RHS News

New Historical Perspectives passes 100,000 book downloads

The Royal Historical Society’s book series, New Historical Perspectives, publishes monographs and edited collections by early career historians within 10 years of a PhD.

Launched in late 2019, 18 titles are now available or forthcoming, with University of London Press. Earlier this month, the series reached its 100,000 book download.

All books in the series are available in paperback print and free Open Access, funded by NHP’s partners: the Society, the Institute of Historical Research and University of London Press. Contracted authors receive mentoring when writing their books and are offered an author workshop, with subject specialists, prior to submission of the final manuscript.

Recent titles in the series include Matthew Gerth’s Anti-Communism in Britain During the Early Cold War, A Very British Witch Hunt, and Hannah Parker and Josh Doble’s edited collection, Gender, Emotions and Power, 1750–2020.


Coming soon is Jon Winder’s monograph, Designed for Play: Children’s Playgrounds and the Politics of Urban Space, 1840–2010. Designed for Play is an original and accessible contribution to modern British history, urban and environmental history, and histories and geographies of childhood.



Society awards six RHS Workshop Grants, 2024

The Society is very pleased to announce the six projects receiving funding as part of its 2024 Workshop Grants programme. Grants support historians to come together to undertake group activities. Projects are broadly defined and may focus not only on academic research but also a wider range of activities. Grants offer £1000 for hosting a day event.

This year’s recipients and their projects are:

  • Arunima Datta (University of North Texas) for ‘(Re)Visioning London through “Black” Dialogues’
  • Helen Glew (University of Westminster) for ‘Pat Thane: Reflections on History, Policy and Action’
  • Elizabeth Goodwin (York St John University) for a ‘Network Building Symposium for Historians in Post 92 Institutions’
  • Claire Kennan (King’s College, London) for ‘A Workshop in Ruins’
  • Aparajita Mukhopadhyay (Kent) for ‘Mobilising Imperial History: Crime, Policing and Control in the British Empire’
  • Jamie Wood and Graham Barrett (University of Lincoln) for ‘Present and Precedent in the Church Councils of Late Antique Iberia’

Projects will be held within the next 12 months with public sessions advertised by the Society. Each recipient will also write on their activity for the RHS blog, Historical Transactions. For further details of the RHS Workshops Grant programme, please see here.

Research funding from the Royal Historical Society

Allocation of research funding is central to the Society’s work of supporting historians and historical research.

In 2023 the Society awarded over £110,000 in funding to historians through open competitions, generously assisted by partner organisations and donors. In 2024, the Society is developing and extending its funding programmes for historians, within and outside Higher Education, and at at all career stages.

The following programmes are now open and accepting applications (in order of deadline):

  • Postgraduate Research Support Grants – for History students (who are Postgraduate Members of the Royal Historical Society), currently studying for a Masters degree or PhD. Awards of either £500 or £1000 to support specified research activities. Next closing date for applications: Friday 7 June 2024.
  • Early Career Research Support Grants – for early career historians (historians who are within 5 years of having submitted their PhD in a historical subject). Applicants must also be members of the Royal Historical Society. Awards of either £500 or £1000 to support specified research activities. Next closing date for applications: Friday 7 June 2024.
  • Martyn Lynn Scholarships in African History – to assist a postgraduate researcher of African history. The Scholarship is worth £1,500 and is open to Postgraduate Members of the Royal Historical Society. Next closing date for applications: Friday 6 September 2024.
  • PhD Fellowships – for fourth-year doctoral students, providing funding of £8,295 over 6 months. Four awards (2 Centenary Fellowships and two Marshall Fellowships) are available for 2024-25. The call for this award opens on Monday 8 April 2024.


Call for Two Section Editors: Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH)

The Bibliography of British and Irish History seeks to appoint two new Section Editors with research and/or teaching expertise in the following areas:

  • Imperial, Colonial, Commonwealth, and Indigenous histories since 1783
  • Britain since 1960

Section Editors play a vital role in the Bibliography’s editorial process. They provide specialist advice on new content that has been prepared by the BBIH Editor (based at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), by chronology, region, and subject.

We anticipate that these roles might be of interest to PhD students, early and mid-career academics and independent researchers. We particularly welcome applications from individuals at different career stages – working in any sector or context – and/or from individuals from under-represented groups, including those from minoritised ethnic groups, disabled people, LGBTQ+ people, and those who are ‘first generation’ in Higher Education.

The closing date for applications is 11.59PM (GMT) on Friday 31 May 2024.

Ideally, the successful candidates will be able to take up the positions before 1 September 2024.

About the Bibliography of British and Irish History

This is an exciting opportunity to be involved with an internationally recognised resource for historical scholarship, learn new editorial skills, as well as stay informed of the latest academic developments in your research and/or teaching field.

BBIH is an essential tool for the study, research, and teaching of British and Irish history. It is the largest and most comprehensive guide available to what has been written about British and Irish history, from the early 1900s to the present. The Bibliography covers the history of the British Isles, the former empire and Commonwealth, the British world, and Britons’ activities on the global stage.

It is an essential resource for study, research and teaching, providing up-to-date information (and links) on over 650,000 history books, articles, chapters, edited collections and theses. New records are added in three annual updates, with c.10,000 new publications added each year. These records are searchable by a wide range of facets including: title, author, chronology, date and form of publication, historical topic and geographical region.

The Bibliography is a research project of the UK’s Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the Royal Historical Society (RHS), and is published by Brepols.

About the Section Editor roles

Responsibilities of the Section Editors include:

  • Assessing, correcting and/or amending records for new books, articles, chapters, edited collections and theses relevant to your section (4 per year)
  • Recommending new books, articles, chapters, edited collections and theses relevant to your section
  • Collaborating with the BBIH editor to help promote the Bibliography on social media (e.g. guest posts for the IHR’s digital magazine On History) and through your wider academic networks.

The positions attract an annual honorarium.

Successful candidates will be fully supported by the outgoing Section Editor, the Academic Director and BBIH Editor. The successful candidates will have a six-month trial period before committing to take on their positions.

How to apply

Please apply via the Royal Historical Society’s applications platform (You will be asked to create an account or to login as an applicant if you already have an account).

Those interested in making an application for the Section Editor posts should send:

  • a CV (no more than 3 pages)
  • a summary of 200-250 words outlining their interest in the Bibliography
  • please make clear in your application which Section Editor position you are interested in


Informal enquiries about the roles, including honorarium payments, can be made to: Professor Roey Sweet, Academic Director (BBIH@sas.ac.uk)

Questions about the application process may be sent to: administration@royalhistsoc.org.


Deadline for applications: 11.59PM (GMT) on Friday 31 May 2024.


Society visits historians at the universities of York and York St John

On Wednesday 13 March, members of the Society’s Council were in York to meet with historians from the universities of York and York St John.

The day brought together teaching staff, researchers and students, along with representatives of the city’s schools, museums, archives and civic trust to consider ‘History Matters’. Panels discussed the communication of history — to students, visitors and the city’s residents — and public perceptions of history with a focus on public history which connects York’s universities to its heritage industry.

‘History Matters’ was followed by a discussion on the role and work of the Royal Historical Society, and how the Society can best respond to the needs of historians, of all kinds, at the regional and national level.

The RHS Visit to York closed with a public lecture, ‘Why History Matters to Medicine. The Case of Face Transplants’, given by Fay Bound Alberti (King’s College London). In the lecture Fay discussed her work on this new area of surgery, and the importance of its historicisation to humanise a procedure whose emotional outcomes are little understood.

We are very grateful to historians at the University of York for hosting the Visit, and to colleagues from York St John, York College, The Borthwick Institute, Bar Convent Museum and York Civic Trust for taking part in ‘History Matters’. A special thanks to Fay Bound Alberti for her extremely powerful lecture on the need for the humanities in medical science.

The Society’s next Visit will be to historians at Brunel University on 23 May. This event will include a public lecture from Corinne Fowler (Leicester) on ‘Country Walks Through Colonial Britain’. The lecture is open to all and booking is now available.


Society discusses ‘Historical Legacies’ in Cardiff

On Wednesday 6 March, the Society co-hosted its annual day conference on History and Archives in Practice, with The National Archives and Institute of Historical Research. This year’s event explored ‘Historical Legacies’: how historians and archivists work together to reclaim ‘lost’ archives, preserve at risk archives, ensure access to historical content, and work with digital platforms to broaden engagement.

History and Archives in Practice 2024 took place at Cardiff University with our fourth partner, the School of History, Archaeology and Religion. This year’s programme featured 30 speakers who discussed conference themes with reference to 15 collaborative projects, many with a focus on collections and work taking place in Wales. In addition to panel events, HAP24 included walking tours of the Cardiff and showcases from a further 9 collections from across the UK, viewed by 130 delegates.

Our thanks to the historians and archivists at Cardiff University for partnering with us for HAP24, all at the University who made the event possible, and those who presented and attended. Following HAP’s launch in London 2023, this was the first ‘History and Archives in Practice’ conference to take place with a fourth partner. Invitations to  archives and universities, UK-wide, to partner with the RHS, TNA and IHR for HAP25 will be made later this year.

For details of forthcoming events from the Royal Historical Society, please see here. We look forward to welcoming you to an RHS event in the near future.


Current Research Funding Calls from Royal Historical Society

Allocation of research funding is central to the Society’s work of supporting historians and historical research.

In 2023 the Society has awarded £110,085 in funding to historians through open competitions, generously assisted by partner organisations and donors. In 2023-24, the Society is continuing to develop and extend its funding programmes for historians, within and outside Higher Education, and at at all career stages.

Full details of the Society’s Research Funding programmes are available here. The Society currently invites applications for the following three schemes with closing dates of Friday 7 June 2024 and 6 September 2024. For further information on each programme, eligibility and how to apply please follow the links below.

Details of further funding calls, including for the Society’s Centenary and Marshall PhD Fellowships, 2024-25, will also be released later in April 2024.

Applicants for Royal Historical Society funding must be members of the Society, with exceptions for several Postgraduate grants. To find out how to become a Fellow, Associate Fellow, Member or Postgraduate Member, please see our Join Us page.

Enquiries concerning these, and other RHS Research Funding programmes, please contact: administration@royalhistsoc.org.

HEADER IMAGE: Design for a Fruit Plate, anonymous, French, 19th century, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, public domain


‘Finding the Funny in Public History’, with Greg Jenner – recording now available

Video and audio recordings of our recent event — ‘Finding the Funning in Public History. In Conversation with Greg Jenner’ — are now available. The event, held on 20 February 2024, featured the broadcaster and historian Greg Jenner in conversation with Emma Griffin, President of the Royal Historical Society.

At the event, Greg discussed his career; the use of different media for the communicating about the past; forms of public history; the place of comedy in engaging new audiences with historical content; and the future of popular broadcasting. The event concluded with a Q&A session from a packed in-person and online audience.

Listen to ‘Finding the Funny in Public History’


Watch the event

Other RHS events to watch or listen to again

Our Events Archive includes many more recent lectures, panels and training workshops for historians, and is available here.

For details of forthcoming activities from the Royal Historical Society, please see the Events pages of the RHS website. We look forward to welcoming you to an RHS lecture, panel or training workshop in the near future.


Conference programme now available for ‘History and Archives in Practice, 2024’ in Cardiff

The programme for this year’s ‘History and Archives in Practice’ day conference (HAP24) which takes place on Wednesday 6 March 2024 at Cardiff University, is now available.

HAP is an annual gathering of historians and archivists to explore new projects, practices and collections. The conference is run jointly by the Royal Historical Society, Institute of Historical Research and The National Archives. This year, HAP24 is partnering with historians and archivists at Cardiff University, where the event will be held.

Our theme for HAP24 is ‘Historical Legacies’. The day combines panels, interactive sessions and collection demonstrations from over 15 projects, UK-wide, involving historians and archivists working collaboratively.

HAP24 provides opportunities to reflect on archival and historical legacies — of people, places, and practice; historical, physical, and digital. This year, we consider questions of value, loss, preservation, access and the opportunities and challenges we face as historians and archivists in preserving histories and collections. HAP24 is now fully booked and we look forward to welcoming those attending in Cardiff on Wednesday 6 March.


Patrick, Lord Cormack (1939-2024)

The Society is very sorry to learn of the death, on Sunday 25 February, of the politician and historian, Patrick, Lord Cormack. In addition to his long career as an MP (1970-2010) and member of the House of Lords, Lord Cormack was a dedicated and greatly respected advocate for history and cultural heritage. 

Before entering parliament, Lord Cormack taught history in schools. From the 1970s, he served a very wide range of organisations dedicated to historical research and preservation. These included, among many others, the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (1981–2003), the Historic Churches Preservation Trust (from 2005, now the National Churches Trust), and the History of Parliament Trust, of which he was Chair from 2001 to 2016.

In 2010 Lord Cormack was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. For the RHS, he played an important role in connecting the Society to UK parliamentarians across party lines in the Commons and the Lords. These contacts included regular meetings between Ministers for Higher Education, the RHS Council, and other historians to consider subjects of significance and concern to the Society. 

Members of the Society’s Council last met with Lord Cormack in late 2023. With him Councillors were involved in planning further meetings with government ministers, and with parliamentarians interested in speaking up for history, until shortly before his death. In continuing and deepening these ties at Westminster, the Society seeks to maintain Lord Cormack’s valuable contribution to history’s place in national life.


Introducing ‘Doing History in Public’ – a new 3-part Conversation for historians

The Royal Historical Society is pleased to announce ‘Doing History in Public’, a new series of online ‘Conversations’ (April, June and September 2024) to explore historians’ experiences of working publicly – with museums and galleries, in print, and via broadcasting. Our 3 evidence-gathering Conversations seek to identify resources and guidance most useful to support those ‘doing history in public’.

Registration is now open for the first session, ‘Doing History in Public: Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums’, which takes place at 2pm on Tuesday 30 April.

This and subsequent Conversations will bring together interested RHS Fellows and Members to contribute to discussions, and to identify issues and where resources might be useful. Conversation themes will be organised around a series of public venues and formats in which historical research is undertaken and communicated:

Please note: this series is reserved for current Fellows and Members of the Royal Historical Society.

For those wishing to join the Society, we offer a range of options including Fellowship, Associate Fellowship, Membership and Postgraduate Membership. Applications to join the Society are welcome at any time.