History Day, is a day of online interactive events for students, researchers & history enthusiasts to explore library, museum, archive and history collections across the UK & beyond. Find out more at the History Collections website.

This year the theme was environmental history. We explored collections that capture the experiences of ordinary people, collectors and scientists, looking at nature, landscape, climate change and much more. 

History Day is a free annual one-day event that is created collaboratively between the Institute of Historical Research and Senate House Library.

The online interactive “Nature memories” to an interactive Padlet, is still open for contributions. If you have a nature memory that you would like to share, you can do so via adding text, links, images, videos, audio recordings, and any other media that relates to the theme. 

Catch up on History Day 2021

Session 1: Collecting Nature and the Nature of Collecting






What can collecting nature tell us about how we have understood our natural and environmental histories? The panel session will examine how new perspectives on environmental history have made us rethink the history of collecting, what is being collected now and who it is being collected for. We will reflect on current collecting practices and ethics in libraries, archives and museums and ideas and practices around decolonising museum collections and responding to the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

The session was be chaired by Sophie Page, Professor of Medieval History at UCL and a convenor of the Anthropocene Histories seminar at the Institute of Historical Research.


  • Kat Harrington, Assistant Archivist, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Abby Hoverstock, Senior Archivist, Denver Public Library Conservation Collection
  • Miranda Lowe, Principal Curator (Crustacea & Cnidaria), The Natural History Museum
  • Dolly Jørgensen, Professor of History, University of Stavanger

Session 2: Collecting nature memories: an interactive workshop







This session explored how our histories and memories are shaped by our natural environment and how they can help us find new approaches to natural history. We explored how we make and collect memories from nature and how they are reflected in the historical collections of institutions or individuals.

Catherine Clarke (Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, IHR) opened the session talking about the Natural History in the Victoria County History and introduce the idea of “nature memories”.

This was followed by a series of 4 lightning talks sharing “nature memories” from selected history collections and individuals.


  • Rok Nezic, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium
  • George Adamson, King’s College London Weather Memories project
  • Maxwell Ayamba, University of Nottingham, journalist and founder of the Sheffield Environmental Movement
  • Christine Corbett, Community Engagement Officer, Teesside Archives, 'Where the wild things were' project.






Showcasing collections on environmental history from 24 libraries, museums, archives and history organisations across the UK

00:00 History Day 2021 - Welcome slide 
00:28 Senate House Library 
04:23 Institute of Historical Research
06:28 King's College London Archives & Special Collections
10:03 Mass Observation 
12:13 Linnean Society
17:43 School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) Library
20:11 The National Archives Library
24:09 University of Bristol 
26:17 Barrow Archives Centre, Cumbria
27:44 University of Lincoln
30:33 London School of Economics
32:32 Library Hub JISC
34:30 Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
36:18 Archives Portal Europe 
38:10 Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS)
40:08 John Rylands Research Institute and Library, Manchester
42:07 Kendall Archives Centre, Cumbria
44:09 Worshipful Society of Apothecaries 
45:55 Carlisle Archives Centre, Cumbria
47:19 Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A)
49:26 Bangor University, Wales
51:25 Society of Antiquaries
53:19 Archives Hub
55:07 Centre for History of People, Place & Community at the Institute of Historical Research