History Day 2022 | Human Discovery: Experiencing Science

Date / time: 17 November, 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Register to attend at: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/history-day22

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.

This year the theme is Human Discovery: Experiencing Science. We will be exploring collections on the history of science and technology in its broadest sense, including the everyday experiences and impacts of science and technology on ordinary people.

Libraries, museums, archives and history organisations from across the UK and beyond will come together online to share collections and resources. Join us and collaborators across the globe to explore these collections with two interactive sessions and a wide variety of content featured in our Discover Collections Gallery and on social media using the hashtag #HistDay22.

People’s health histories and public policy – 11.00-12.30 GMT (Online)

Can history help us analyse past medical crises and shape public health policy? What can history collections reveal about these histories? This session will explore the history of vaccinations and health crises and how understanding this can help to navigate and deal with modern medical crises. We will explore how library, archive and museum collections capture and document the effects and public experiences of health policy.

The session will consist of a series of lightning talks followed by a discussion, highlighting how the work of historians and collections professionals contributes to our understanding of these histories.

The session will be chaired by Professor Philip Murphy, Director of History and Policy at the Institute of Historical Research.


  • Katie Birkwood (Rare Books Librarian, Royal College of Physicians)
  • Victoria Cranna (Archivist, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
  • Isabelle Chevallot (Assistant Librarian, Guildhall Library)
  • Dr Elma Brenner (Specialist, Medieval and Early Modern Medicine at Wellcome Library)
  • Dr Tilda Watson (Archivist, Wellcome Sanger Institute)

Everyday Technology Firsts: Panel Discussion and Interactive Session – 14.30-16.00 GMT (Online)

How has new technology transformed the lives of ordinary people over through history? Join this session to share your own ‘Everyday Technology Firsts’, and discover stories from collections and projects. When did you first get a telephone – or a cordless ‘phone, or a mobile? What labour-saving appliance was a game-changer for you or your family? Do you remember your first email? Whether you were an early adopter or a late-starter, join the conversation and share your memories, pictures and stories on our special Padlet or on Twitter, using hashtag #TechFirsts.

The session will be chaired by Professor Catherine Clarke, Director of the Centre for the History of People, Place and Community at the Institute of Historical Research.


  • Dr Eve Colpus (Telephonic Youth)
  • Helen Day (Ladybird Fly Away Home)
  • Dr David Geiringer (Queen Mary University of London, speaking about research using Mass Observation Archive)
  • Louis Platman (Museum of the Home)

For this session we are encouraging participants to contribute posts on the theme “Tech Firsts” to an interactive Padlet. You can add text, links, images, videos, audio recordings, and any other media that relates to the theme. The Padlet will be featured during the session.

Discover Collections

Watch out for our updated Discover Collections gallery featuring over 50 history organisations which will be published in advance of the event.

For more information, go to the History Collections website and make sure to follow the hashtag #HistDay22 on social media. In the meantime, why not check out our newest blog posts with contributions from history organisations and historians. One of our most recent posts comes from Sophie Swann, a placement student at the IHR from the University of Leicester, exploring Medicine and Science collections in the IHR library.

This year’s event is part of the Being Human festival, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, taking place 10–19 November 2022. For further information please see beinghumanfestival.org.

We are looking forward to welcoming you all on History Day.