History Day participating organisations
- Archives of IT
- Archives Portal Europe
- Armagh Observatory and Planetarium
- Bethlem Museum of the Mind
- Borthwick Institute for Archives
- CILIP Local Studies Group
- Dr Williams’s Library
- Guildhall Library
- History UK
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers
- Institute of Historical Research
- LSE Library
- Royal Irish Academy Library
- Linnean Society of London
- Marx Memorial Library
- Mass Observation Archive
- Museum of the Order of St. John
- National Science and Media Museum
- The Royal Society
- SOAS Library, University of London
- Senate House Library
- Society of Genealogists
- Zoological Society of London
- University of Leicester Library Archive and Special Collections
- London Metropolitan Archives
- Related links
Historically, the IT industry has energised the UK economy more than any other since the coal industry fuelled the industrial revolution in the 19th century. From a niche industry in the 1950s, in 70 years it has grown to employ millions of people. IT is now pervasive in all areas of economic activity, is critical to the economy of the UK and ubiquitous in its social impact. As well as enabling a new generation of business leaders and enterprises, awareness of where the industry has come from, its future direction, and its role in society are important to us all.
Archives of IT (AIT) is an expanding digital database of media and oral history interviews from leading people associated with the UK IT and Telecommunications industry to help understanding and encourage study of the industry and how it has changed our lives. Our emphasis is on the history of personalities, their background, successes and challenges. We capture this through video and audio interviews and complement them with company reports and other media. AIT is distinctive in concentrating on the personal views, ideas and experiences of those who built and have worked or currently work in this industry. We have 200 oral history interviews available alongside company archive material such as the Butler Cox Reports and industry publications offering fascinating insight into the history of the UK IT industry from the 1950s to present day.
Previous research has produced papers on Post-war Britain and the tech revolution, 60 years of progress for women in tech, and the meritocracy of the industry through analysis of the formative years of 20 high achievers.
Archives Portal Europe is the largest online archival repository in the world, and the gateway to European archival heritage. It integrates archival catalogues from thousands of archives across Europe and makes them accessible and searchable all at the same time in a single virtual place. When available, digital objects from the web presence of the single institutions are also linked; otherwise all contacts to the physical archival institutions are provided.
Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is Ireland’s leading centre for astronomical research and education. The Observatory was opened in 1790 by Archbishop Robinson and The Planetarium was opened in 1968 through the efforts of Director Eric Lindsay.
Bethlem Museum of the Mind records the lives and experience and celebrates the achievements of people with mental health problems. Our aim is to make our collections more accessible, and to provide accurate information to help in their interpretation. We hold the records of Bethlem Royal Hospital, The Maudsley Hospital, and Warlingham Park Hospital.
The Borthwick Institute is home to records dating from the 11th century to the present day, covering over 40 countries. We have particular research strengths in Christianity, the Church and Christian thought in the north of England, the environment and natural history, 20th politics and policy, and arts and performance. We are also home to the archives of the University of York, a vibrant art collection and have an active programme of volunteer projects from onsite indexing projects to an online community transcription group.
CILIP Local Studies Group supports local history collections and their staff in libraries across the U.K. We can provide researchers with advice and information on finding local history collections and what kind of sources they hold.
For many years, we have run the Alan Ball Award for Local History Publishing. We recently announced the winners for 2020 and 2021: https://lslibrarians.wordpress.com/2022/05/03/alan-ball-award-winners-announced/ and would also like to promote these books and websites to a wider audience. We would encourage researchers and heritage professionals to submit entries in the future, particularly from projects funded publicly or locally.
Dr Williams’s Library
Dr Williams’s Library is the leading research library for the history of English religious dissent.
The Library was established by the will of Dr Daniel Williams, the leading London nonconformist minister of his day, who died in January 1716. He left instructions for his trustees to house his collection as a public library and to make it available to nonconformist ministers, tutors and students in the City of London. However the opening of the Library in Red Cross Street, Cripplegate, in 1730 was largely due to the selfless efforts of his trustees who contributed and raised the necessary funds to build and equip a separate library building.
The collections were greatly enlarged over the years with many important gifts of books, manuscripts and portraits, so that Williams’s original benefaction of about 7600 books forms only a small part of the modern library which extends far beyond puritanism to cover Biblical subjects, church history, Byzantium and much more. The Library remained in Red Cross Street until 1865, when the Metropolitan Railway Company bought the library premises. The Library removed temporarily to No.8, Queen Square, and in 1873 to a new building in Grafton Street. In 1889 the Trustees acquired University Hall in Gordon Square, London, where the Library opened in 1890. The Library is still administered by an independent Trust, and receives no government or outside funding.
Guildhall Library is the library of London History. Our core collection covers London and its history and is the largest collection in the world devoted to the history of a single city. We hold over 200,000 printed materials dating from the 15th to the 21st centuries. The collection focuses on the City of London and the Inner London boroughs, but covers the whole of London including the Outer London boroughs.
Our collection covers all aspects of life in London, past and present, its trade, people and buildings. In addition to this Guildhall Library holds a wide range of family history and local history publications from all over the UK.
History UK is the independent national body promoting and monitoring History in UK Higher Education. It is funded by history departments or their equivalents and campaigns on issues of concern to academic historians and the broader history community, particularly in the following areas:
- The profile of history in higher education and beyond.
- The state of the profession, particularly the recruitment and career development of undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and staff.
- Research culture, including the research resources available to historians and the impact of the REF.
- Teaching and learning within the discipline, especially the impact of the NSS and TEF.
- Audit culture, to ensure that the demands of external audit and quality measurement are appropriate to the discipline and light in touch.
Archive collection relating to the history of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and its predecessor bodies as well as papers relating to individual engineers and engineering companies. Our collection allows us to provide a perspective on the history of mechanical engineering and the individuals and firms involved in its development.
Founded in 1921, the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) is an important resource and meeting place for researchers from all over the world, providing an accessible and stimulating portal for the exchange of ideas, information, and current developments in historical scholarship.
It promotes the study of history and an appreciation of the importance of the past among academics and the general public, in the UK and internationally, and provides institutional support and individual leadership for this broad historical community. It offers a wide range of services that promote and facilitate excellence in historical research, teaching, and scholarship in the UK through its library, seminars, conferences, fellowships, training, consultancy, Continuing Professional Development programme, and publications. Its own academic staff and research centres produce internationally regarded scholarship.
IHR library: https://www.history.ac.uk/library
Join for free: https://www.history.ac.uk/library/library-membership
Collection guides: https://www.history.ac.uk/library/collections
Library catalogue: https://catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/search~S10/
British History Online: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/
Bibliography of British and Irish History: https://www.history.ac.uk/publications/bibliography-british-and-irish-history
Reviews in History: https://reviews.history.ac.uk/
History & Policy: https://www.historyandpolicy.org/
Seminars and events
Centre for the History of People, Place and Community
Find out more about Layers of London, Victoria County History and the Applied Public History: Places, People, Stories MOOC
Research training, studying and fellowships
Vision: for the UK to be a world leader in technology for education and research
Mission: to power and empower our members with the technology and data they need to succeed
Our learning and research resources support UK academics, teachers, students and researchers by providing access to a wide range of learning and research resources and content services.
The Archives Hub enables you to search across the archives held at over 350 institutions across the UK. It covers most UK universities, many specialist repositories, national, local authority, museum and business archives, and includes physical and digital archives. Search for specific materials, search by name and topic, or browse and take advantage of the huge potential for serendipitous discovery.
The Historical Texts and Journal Archives services deliver high quality digitised content for research, learning and teaching, in a way that enables cross-searching of collections and supports discovery and access. Historical Texts provides access to almost half a million digitised historic books, from the birth of printing in England to the early twentieth century. Journal Archives contains over five and a half million facsimile articles, more than half as part of the British Periodicals collection of publications from the nineteenth century or earlier, and the rest from scholarly journals across a wide range of subject areas.
Library Hub Discover allows you to quickly discover and locate material across the holdings of 172 UK national, academic, and specialist libraries. A freely available service to help you find what you need for your research, learning, and teaching, including Open Access material you can use immediately online.
The British Association for the Advancement of Science: Collections on the History of Science 1830s-1970s is a new digital archive that brings together under one roof about 1m pages of manuscripts, papers, images, maps and correspondence of important scientists drawn from the BAAS and over 10 UK universities. The digital archive is free to all UK Jisc members thanks to a collaboration between Jisc and Wiley.
The British Library of Political and Economic Science was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. Arriving at a time when the social, legal and economic environment was becoming increasingly significant; providing materials from all over the world; the Library would enable such research and the ‘laboratory’ of the social sciences was born.
Over the years many significant private collections and papers were donated and collections built to support LSE research and teaching. In 2013, LSE became custodians of the Women’s Library.
Browse our new Digital Collections via our AtoM page: https://lse-atom.arkivum.net/
including digital collections on peace and internationalism, interwar feminist pamphlets, Women’s Liberation Movement posters, Charles Booth notebooks and maps, economic history, election ephemera and more.
Browse our Women’s Rights Collection: https://digital.library.lse.ac.uk/collections/suffrage
Browse our Digital Library for Fabian Society Tracts, Beatrice Webb’s diaries and more: https://digital.library.lse.ac.uk
Our collection highlight pages: https://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collection-highlights
Our archive catalogue: https://archives.lse.ac.uk
Our online exhibitions: https://www.lse.ac.uk/library/whats-on/exhibitions
Images on our Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lselibrary
Our Google Arts and Culture platform for online exhibits: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/lse-library
Founded in 1785, the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) is an independent, all-island society for Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and public service. The RIA Library, at the heart of the Academy, is an important research centre principally for the scholarship of Irish history, language, society, politics, natural history, archaeology and the history of Irish science. Our significant multidisciplinary collections of archival and published materials support the work of the Academy and the research community it serves with its major manuscript, book, pamphlet, maps and drawings collections.
The RIA Library’s unique holdings contain: the largest collection of Irish language manuscripts in the world including the oldest extant Lebor na hUidre ; significant manuscripts such as the sixth century Cathach, the Book of Ballymote, the Books of Survey & Distribution and the deeds of the Guild of St Anne; the invaluable Haliday collection over 35,000 seventeenth to nineteenth century pamphlets and tracts; the antiquarian book and periodical libraries of Thomas Moore, Osborn J. Bergin and Henry A.S. Upton; the modern manuscript collections of noted individuals such as James Caulfeild, Charles and James Graves, John Windele, Kevin B. Nowlan and W.T. Cosgrave; natural history collections of A.G. More, Robert Lloyd Praeger, J.A. Ussher, A.H. Haliday and Cynthia Longfield among others; over 8,000 drawings of antiquarian interest from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries; Ordnance Survey maps, memoirs, letters and drawings; and a variety of genealogical sources for the study of local heritage. We engage in outreach and communications activities, in national initiatives, in institutional partnerships, in online publishing and in the facilitation of knowledge transfer.
The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest biological society and has in its care several important collections, including those of the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, and the Society’s founder, Sir James Edward Smith. Designated a collection of outstanding national importance by the Arts Council England in 2014, the holdings of the Linnean Society (which include library, archive and biological material) provide an unsurpassed resource for the study of natural history.
The Marx Memorial Library has a world class library and archive on the history of socialism and the working class movement. Areas of specialism include:
- the Spanish Civil War, specifically the archives of the International Brigade Association and on the British Aid Spain movement
- revolutionary poster art; we have over 2000 examples covering subjects including the Russian Revolution and campaigns against apartheid South Africa
- the peace and anti-nuclear movement post WW2 including the archives of John Desmond Bernal
- rare printed material on the early trade union movement including, for example, the tolpuddle martyrs
The Mass Observation Archive specialises in material about everyday life in Britain. It contains papers generated by the original Mass Observation movement (1937 to early 1950s), and newer material collected continuously since 1981. The Archive runs an active social research project, called the Mass Observation Project, and researchers, across a wide range of disciplines, collaborate with The Archive by commissioning their own Directive questionnaire. The Archive is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (registered charity number: 1179673) and in the care of the University of Sussex.
The Museum of the Order of St John collects items related to both the medieval Knight Hospitallers and the modern Order of St. John – including documents related to St John’s Ambulance. We care for wide-ranging collections, including 200 manuscripts, 1000 early printed books, and over 60,000 objects (including arms, suits of amours, and works of art).
We receive interest from both members of the public, looking to learn more about their family history, and academics interested in (but not limited to) the history of the Mediterranean region, the history of religious orders, history of ambulance services in both World War I and World War II, coins and coinage, medieval manuscripts, and much more.
The National Science and Media Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Railway Museum in York, and Locomotion in Shildon. As the world’s leading group of science museums, we share our unparalleled collection—spanning science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine—welcoming millions of visitors each year.
All our collections, including 200 archives and 1000s objects, play into our remit to focus on all sound and vision media with an emphasis on photography, film, television and broadcast and sound technologies.
The collections of the Royal Society Library cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. They include the published works of the Society’s Fellows, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society’s activities since our foundation in 1660. The Library is open to all public readers.
The SOAS Library is one of the world’s most important academic libraries for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Library attracts scholars from all over the world to consult its holdings and further their research. The Library houses over 1.3 million volumes at the SOAS campus at Russell Square in central London, together with a major collection of archives, manuscripts, rare books and special collections, an expanding Digital Library and a growing network of electronic resources.
Located at Senate House in Bloomsbury, Senate House Library is the central library for the University of London and the School of Advanced Study. Members have access to beautiful study spaces in Central London, outstanding Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Special Collections, Archives, and digital resources.
Senate House Library’s collections:
Senate House Library research strength subject guides: https://london.ac.uk/senate-house-library/our-collections/research-strengths-of-our-collections
Senate House Library special collections, archives and manuscripts: https://london.ac.uk/senate-house-library/our-collections/special-collections
Senate House Library catalogue: https://encore.libraries.london.ac.uk/iii/encore/homepage?lang=eng&suite=shl
Senate House Library exhibitions and events: https://london.ac.uk/senate-house-library/exhibitions-and-events
How to become a member of Senate House Library: https://london.ac.uk/senate-house-library/membership
The Society of Genealogists’ library and archive is the UK’s foremost family history centre for the study of genealogy and related subjects such as biography, topography, local history, prosopography and heraldry. Founded in 1911, the Society brings together in one place an unrivalled collection of unique assets for the study of genealogy.
Although not an archive of public deposit, the library’s collections do contain original documents including, for example the Bank of England Wills abstracts from 1747, unique apprentice indentures collected by the Antiquarian Frederick Arthur Crisp, Trinity House Petitions, Great Western Railway probate stock transfer registers etc.
Many of the library’s transcripts of records, indexes and databases, are made available online to members. Over 11 million records have been digitised online, including exclusive collections not available anywhere else, such as our Memorial Card Collection and Family Trees, searchable through our TreeSearch™ application.
TreeSearch™, created with Art Fund support, allows you to view our collection of intricate, hand-crafted historical Family Trees which have been scanned and indexed as part of our recent digitisation project. Find out more: sog.org.uk/our-collections.
ZSL’s Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives contains a unique collection of resources on zoology and animal conservation.
Founded in 1826, ZSL’s Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives is one of the major zoological libraries in the world and is open to all. For access details please see ‘Who can use the Library?‘
ZSL Library contains a wide range of books and journals on all types of animals and their conservation. It has:
- More than 200,000 volumes
- 5,000 journal titles
- Free wireless internet access
- Document supply and copying services
- Archives of ZSL
- Books dating from 16th century to the present, ranging from popular to technical
- Holdings located on-site
- Modern books on open access in our Reading Room
- Special collection relating to information on zoos
- The ZSL drawings and prints collection
- Image collection
- Collection on the impacts of climate change
- Friendly service from specialist library staff
- Find out about our Subject Scope
Search our online catalogues: ZSL Library Catalogue and ZSL Archives catalogue
The University of Leicester Library’s Archive and Special Collections cover over 900 years of history and include archives, rare books and manuscripts that are of regional, national and international significance. Our specialisms include topographical images, oral histories and the local and regional history of England and Wales: we have one of the largest local history libraries in Britain.
This year, we will be running several projects to improve access and encourage new uses of our collections, which we are interested in promoting at History Day. We will be finishing the digitisation of the Fox Collection, almost 2000 topographic prints, paintings, drawings and photographs, predominantly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, of buildings and landscapes from across the whole of England and parts of Wales. It is currently being catalogued and digitised with the aim of making it fully available to researchers online later this year (http://specialcollections.le.ac.uk/digital/collection/p16445coll16/search).
We will also look at how the digital technology, International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), can be used by researchers working with topographical images to carry out chronological and comparative analysis across institutional collections.
The new Sounds for the Future project will work with volunteers to help preserve all of the East Midlands Oral History Archive collections in a new digital preservation system and bring the catalogue up to date to improve access for researchers.
Landscape history and oral history are central to the Leicester tradition in local and urban history, and the Library is home to a number of important collections. Collections on topography, landscapes and oral histories we hold include:
- Fairclough Topographical Collection, which comprises a variety of material illustrative of life in seventeenth-century Britain and depicts country houses, castles, churches and other buildings.
- Ghost Signs of Leicestershire, a collection of photographs of over 250 ghost signs (the fading remains of hand-painted advertising signs on walls) from around the county with location coordinates for each.
- Vanished Leicester, which comprises over 1000 photographs of streets and individual buildings in Leicester that were demolished between 1955 and 1975, mainly as a result of the post-war slum clearance programme, but also in connection with other developments.
- The Chaproniere photographic collection of English parish churches (not digitised) which, unusually, is not organised by county, but geology.
- East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) collection, the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings for Leicestershire and Rutland, which includes personal recollections about living and working in different urban and rural environments, and includes interviews with those born outside of Leicestershire.
Our collections are valuable to researchers for a number of reasons. Many are country-wide in their coverage with most English and some Welsh historic counties represented; they provide important visual records of buildings, landscapes and places that have since changed or even disappeared (e.g. because of redevelopment or demolition); and they offer varied insights into life in the seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries through the different mediums of engraving, printing, painting, drawing, photography and oral recordings. Consequently, our collections are valuable to researchers with interests in local, social, cultural, landscape and oral history, as well as art, architecture, engraving and printing.
London Metropolitan Archives holds a vast collection of archive material relating to London and its inhabitants spanning a thousand years of history. Our holdings offer many opportunities for researchers working in a variety of disciplines and we are experienced in supporting academic researchers, local historians and genealogists.
Key collections include archives of London-wide local authorities (Corporation of London, London County Council, Greater London Council, Inner London Education Authority and more, covering architecture, town planning, public health, transport, education etc); St Paul’s Cathedral and religious organisations such as the Dioceses of London and Southwark and the Board of Deputies of British Jews; health authorities and hospitals; charities; records of the London Quarter Sessions, magistrate’s courts and coroners’ records; individuals, families and estates including rich collections of maps, prints, drawings, photographs and sound material documenting the changing face of London and its built environment. We hold a superlative collection of business archives with international range, particularly strong in insurance and banking, with significant collections relating to brewing, building and publishing and a growing collection relating to London’s under-represented communities, particularly Black Caribbean community archives (Eric and Jessica Huntley, Mollie Hunte) and the LGBTQ+ community (rukus!, Peter Tatchell, National HIV Story Trust).
Our catalogue and research guides be accessed at https://search.lma.gov.uk/
Our pages on the City of London website can be accessed at https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/history-and-heritage/london-metropolitan-archives
A significant proportion of our visual sources can now be accessed at https://www.londonpicturearchive.org.uk/
Digitised film holdings and some recordings of events held at LMA can be accessed via our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/LdnMetArchives
Find out more about History Day: https://historycollections.blogs.sas.ac.uk and the other organisations involved in the Discover collections gallery: https://historycollections.blogs.sas.ac.uk/discover-collections
School of Advanced Study
The School of Advanced Study at the University of London forms the UK’s national centre for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities. The School of Advanced Study supports History Day.
The School of Advanced Study Library collections include:
- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library: https://ials.sas.ac.uk/library
- Institute of Classical Studies Library: https://library.ics.sas.ac.uk/
- Institute of Historical Research Library: https://www.history.ac.uk/library
The Warburg Institute Library, Photographic Collection and Archive: https://warburg.sas.ac.uk/library-collections
You can learn more about History Day on the History Collection website.
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