The Raw Materials of History: Publishing Historical Records

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Date / time: 23 April, 12:00 am

Lancaster University

The Raw Materials of History: Publishing Historical Records

A symposium in memory of Constance Fraser, in collaboration with the Surtees Society

This one day conference will explore the principles and practice of publishing scholarly editions of original historical records. It will be of interest to individual local historians and members of record publishing societies and local historical groups. The day aims to take stock of the current state of record publishing and the challenges it faces; to consider the pros and cons of electronic publishing; and to encourage good practice.

The Regional Heritage Centre in the History Department at Lancaster University seeks to foster engagement with the regional community in the field of cultural heritage. The Centre runs an annual programme of public events, arranges student placements with heritage organisations, is working with schools to foster the teaching of Local History and is home to the Victoria County History of Cumbria project.

The Surtees Society, which is sponsoring the symposium, was founded in Durham in 1834, is the oldest record publishing society in northern England. Its remit is ‘the transcription, editing, translating and publication or original historical documents’ relating to the region that constituted the ancient kingdom of Northumbria. 20916 will see the publication of the Society’s 220th volume.

Constance Fraser (1928-2013) was one of the leading record scholars in the north of England. She edited five volumes of medieval texts for the Surtees Society, was a leading light in the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne and, for almost thirty years, edited the Wakefield Court Rolls for the Yorkshire Archaeological Society.

For a programme of the day and to register for the symposium, please go to  form, or alternatively book a place online at