ARCHIVES: AUTUMN 2020 ISSUE: TOC AND ABSTRACTS

CONTENTS

ARTICLES

Emma Markiewicz, Foreword

Jeff James, The Historical Manuscripts Commission: Celebrating 150 years and looking to the future (1869-2019)

Philip Gale and Elizabeth Lomas, The Historical Manuscripts Commission: An Archival Evolution

Arike Oke, The Historical Manuscripts Commission at 150

Alice Prochaska, The Civic Importance of Archives

OBITUARY

Sonia Anderson, Felicity Strong (1935-2019)

REVIEWS 

A Biographical Register of the Franciscans in the Custody of York, c.1229-1539, ed. Michael J.P. Robson – reviewed by Bronach Kane, Cardiff University

Episcopal Visitations of the Diocese of Meath, 1622-1799, ed. Michael O’Neill  reviewed by Ian Atherton, Keele University

The Further Correspondence of William Laud ed. Kenneth Fincham – reviewed by Anthony Milton, University of Sheffield

Memoirs of the City and University of Oxford in 1738: Together with poems, odd lines, fragments and small scraps by ‘Shepilinda’ (Elizabeth Sheppard), ed. Geoffrey Neate – reviewed by Nigel Aston, University of Leicester

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Archiving the British Raj: History of the Archival Policy of the Government of India, with Selected Documents, 1858-1947 – reviewed by Swapan Chakravorty

Gordon Johnston and Emma Robertson, BBC World Service: Overseas Broadcasting, 1932–2018 – reviewed by Emily Oliver, University of Oxford

 

ABSTRACTS

ARTICLES

Emma Markiewicz, Foreword

Jeff James, The Historical Manuscripts Commission: Celebrating 150 years and looking to the future (1869-2019)

This is an edited and elaborated version of the address given by Jeff James as Historical Manuscripts Commissioner to the Symposium held on the 14 October 2019 to mark the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1869. He reviews The National Archives’ current activities and priorities as a contemporary expression of the objectives of the HMC Royal Warrant and concludes that the Historical Manuscripts Commission still forms an integral part of The National Archives’ wider leadership of the archive sector.

Philip Gale and Elizabeth Lomas, The Historical Manuscripts Commission: An Archival Evolution

The creation of the Royal Historical Manuscripts Commission formed part of a wider movement of institutional renewal and reform in mid-Victorian Britain, including growing professionalisation of both public administration and the academic study of history, particularly from the 1850s. Two features of the Commission’s work continued to influence its development and The National Archives’ engagement with the archives sector today: first, the need to respect the legitimate rights and interests of both individuals and organisations, and second, the relationships by necessity based on collaboration with many partners. This has led to the evolution of a distinctive British mixed economy embracing public and private archives. This article considers the Commission’s evolution from surveying and publishing reports on the contents and locations of private collections to becoming the central advisory body on all issues related to archives and manuscripts not covered by the 1958 Public Records Act. The social and technological changes over this time have had a profound influence on the commission’s professional practices. In addition, the range and rights of stakeholders have evolved, presenting new challenges. Meeting all the demands and possibilities of the commission’s delivery needs to be seen in the context of frequently operating with significant resource constraints.

Arike Oke, The Historical Manuscripts Commission at 150

The 150th anniversary of the Historical Manuscripts Commission invites the opportunity for reflection on how the commission characterises and influences the development of the archives profession. This article considers archival practice as linked to the mood and character of a nation, in this case Britain. It uses the historiography of post-war identity building to begin to investigate and critique the British archives sector, and asks questions about the future of archives and archivists. The article is adapted from a keynote lecture at the HMC150 commemoration, 14 October 2019.

Alice Prochaska, The Civic Importance of Archives

The article explores the importance is based on a short talk given at the parliamentary reception to celebrate 150 years of the Historical Manuscripts Commission in  2019. It draws on some work I did when I was at the British Library and subsequently at Yale University, some of it presented to a conference of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), whose section on rare books and archives I chaired for a few years.

 

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