Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour Exhibition

A major exhibition of watercolours, marking the bicentenary of the births of both Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, opens on Saturday 26 October at Poole Museum, 4 High Street, Poole, Dorset BH15 1BW. Poole Museum will be the only venue to host this exhibition in the South of the UK.

Victoria & Albert: Our Lives in Watercolour showcases nearly 70 works loaned by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection. The exhibition explores the private and public lives of the couple throughout their marriage. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were avid patrons and practitioners of watercolour painting.Visitors will have the opportunity to view many watercolours depicting the pomp and spectacle of royalty, travel abroad as well as scenes from the private life of the couple. In addition, works by Queen Victoria herself will be on display, showcasing her talent and passion using watercolours.

Poole Museum will host a series of events and activities throughout the exhibition, suitable for all ages including a children’s Make and Take craft activity and a talk from the curator of the exhibition, Carly Collier, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust. Programming also includes a Dementia-friendly exhibition tour.


Postdoctoral Researcher, Historical Future Expectations in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period

The Faculty of Arts at the University of Antwerp is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of History for a

Postdoctoral researcher in an ERC-funded project on historical future expectations in the Late Medieval and Early Modern Period

The candidate will contribute to the ERC Starting Grant Project “Back to the Future: Future expectations and actions in late medieval and early modern Europe, c.1400-c.1830” (, supervised by prof. dr. Jeroen Puttevils.

The post-doctoral researcher will carry out the analysis of long-term developments in the linguistic expression and rhetoric of future statements on the basis of English merchant letters for the period 1400-1830 and are mostly available in digital form. The researcher will use distant reading methods to find and categorize future statements within the English letters. Through close-reading particular letters (s)he will contextualize these future statements. The researcher will also assist and co-supervise the other team members, especially in the digital text analysis of the project.

Full information and to apply:


War from the inside: Oral histories from the BBC

Join us to explore rare recordings from the BBC’s vaults and the stories they tell about how our national broadcaster has reported war and helped us live through it.

Eighty years ago, on 3 Sept 1939, the ponderous voice … through the radio.. ‘We are at war’…

To mark this anniversary, the Mass Observation Archive is teaming up with the BBC and the University of Sussex. Through hearing personal accounts from key BBC figures, we’ll explore how the BBC helped shape our experience of World War 2 – at home, abroad, and in our minds. We’ll also retrace landmark coverage of the Blitz and D-Day, but also lesser known stories from behind-the-scenes: the ‘secret war’ of coded messages and secret beams, the arguments over the hit-series Music While You Work, the strange life of siege experienced by a generation of broadcasters who felt themselves on the front-line.

There’ll be a chance to see new clips from the BBC’s archive and hear from the legendary war correspondent Allan Little. The event also offers a unique opportunity to take your place in BBC history by bringing your own memories and visiting our special pop-up TV corner to record your reminiscences on film.

Light lunch and refreshments provided.


Please book online at: 

Image credit: Olive Shapley (producer) with Mrs Emerson in the colliery village of Craghead, County Durham BBC North region 01/01/1939 © BBC


“Wake Up Slackers!” The Great Registration Controversy

After decades of campaigning by nurses, the Nurses Registration Act was finally passed in December 1919. It marked the recognition of nursing as a profession. But registration was not without controversy. Different nursing organisations clashed over stridently opposed ideas. Meanwhile, “anti-registration” views remained strong. The College of Nursing called for its members to get involved in politics by demanding: “wake up slackers”!

This exhibition commemorates 100 years of nursing registration in the UK by delving into the heated arguments that characterised the registration debate. Antagonistic and often entertaining, the theme also encourages us to reflect on the future of nursing. Is a nurse born or made, Edwardian campaigners wondered. How do we teach or examine care? And is compassion an innate trait or something that can be taught?

17 October 2019 – 20 March 2020

9am – 7pm

RCN Library and Heritage Centre, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN


Heroic Black Sailors of the 1800s

This special talk takes place on board a replica of Francis Drakes 16th century ship the Golden Hinde. The talk starts at 7.30pm but the boat will be open for exploration to ticket holders from 6.30pm

Heroic Black Sailors of the 1800s. An illustrated talk with a selection of amazing true stories of free African/Caribbean sailors. They crossed oceans, seas and rivers performing exciting acts of valour that have been left out of history.

We will cover:

  • Black Sailors in Nelsons Navy
  • The Jamaican sea captain and his support for the Haitian revolution
  • The first Black sailor to win a Victoria Cross
  • The real pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Black male sailor who was really a woman
  • Black sailors on the Thames, Tower Hamlets, Deptford, Greenwich to Gravesend
  • Enslaved Africans who were not sailors but took over the ship and mashed up the slavemaster

About the speaker: S.I. Martin is an author and historian. His book, Incomparable World, is currently being made into a TV series by Ridley Scott’s (Director of Gladiator/Alien/Blade Runner) company. The book is about African-American veterans who fought for the British in the revolutionary war only to be betrayed. They relocate to London and plan an audacious raid to get even.

Doors open at 18:30, bar available.

Tickets available from


History of The UK Postage Stamp

Reform often comes from someone who is just a victim of a problem and not an expert. One such example is that of fixing postage stamp prices by Rowland Hill back in 1837. What are the odds of such a revolutionary change to be suggested by a former schoolmaster who did it on his free-will in contrast to being assigned this task?So, the problem with the postage stamp system of the time was that its pricing was inconsistent in different parts of the country which was disgruntling for the recipients of the post as they often ended up paying for the postage.

In May 1840, the system was reformed with the introduction of “Penny Black,”a prepaid stamp each of which costed 1d (one penny) to cover up to 4 oz. of a local post by weight.The move was perceived to be detrimental to the system as it would make postage cheaper but Hill countered by making the point that cheaper prices will help increase the scale as it will encourage masses to use it more, and also more often. Small amounts from a large number of people ultimately made postage popular and the new system was also adopted by other countries soon after. The original design of penny black featured a bust portrait of HM Queen Victoria and it was also the world’s first self-adhesive postage stamp.

Another reform in the postal system is something that was initially green in colour and was later painted red. Any guesses? It was the pillar box. Yes, they did not exist until it was invented by postal worker Anthony Trollope in 1853. Learn more about the history of postage stamps by checking out this infographic from Postage Supermarket. You would also get to learn how the price of postage stamps changed with time and about other reforms in the postal system

For further information:


Exhibition: Fighting for Recognition: The History of a Health Profession

Join us for the launch of our new exhibition celebrating 100 years of nursing registration. Find out about the fiery characters who fought for nursing registration, view original nursing registers from the General Nursing Council (now Nursing and Midwifery Council) and trim your own hat to emulate a matron from 1919. Talks and displays will explore the very different histories of health and medical Royal Colleges, from midwifery to physiotherapy; anaesthesia to optometry.

RCN Library, 20 Caverndish Square, Marylebone London W1

17 October 2019, 5.30 pm – 8.30pm

Short talks from 6pm include:

A century of nurse registration in the UK Dr Alison O’Donnell and Dr Moyra Journeaux. Alison trained as a registered general nurse. She has an honours degree in education, a Masters in Nursing and completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Dundee. She is currently Chair of the RCN History of Nursing Forum.

Midwifery in twentieth century Britain: from regulation to reinvention? Dr Tania McIntosh, Principal Lecturer in Midwifery at the University of Brighton. Tania is dual qualified as an historian and a midwife and has researched and written extensively on the history of midwifery and women’s health.

‘Making Massage a Safe, Clean and Honourable Profession for British Women’: from Special Nursing to Physiotherapy in the early Twentieth Century.Dr Kay Nias, Medicine Galleries Research Fellow, Science Museum, London. Kay is a historian whose previous research has looked extensively at the history and material culture of physiotherapy, massage and mechanotherapy.

Displays and Activities (all evening)

  • View original nursing registers with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Trim your own hat with the Royal College of Nursing
  • Association of Anaesthetists
  • The College of Optometrists
  • Bethlem Museum of the Mind
  • Florence Nightingale Museum
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Royal British Nursing Association collection from Kings College Archives


City Women in the 18th Century Exhibition

This new exhibition of the trade and business cards of eighteenth- century women reveals their important economic role across London’s Cheapside. Recent research has demonstrated the prominence of women plying a trade at the heart of commercial London. These women were single, married, and widowed: marital status made little difference to their gainful employment in the city. They traded because they had valuable skills and capital assets. These women were entrepreneurs and they involved themselves in a multiplicity of commercial activities.

The extent of their activity and the fortunes of various individual women are chronicled in this free outdoor exhibition presenting new research in the British Museum collections as well as the records of the City of London and its various guilds.

From business cards produced by women, displayed in the vicinity of where they originally ran their shops, visitors will be exposed to the diverse and complex economic role of City Women in eighteenth-century London. Additionally, views of Cheapside and details of the trades conducted there by both women and men will chart the area’s contribution to the exploding commercial economy across the century.

The free exhibition, stretching over a 700-metre route from Paternoster Square to the Royal Exchange, will be available to view from 21st September to 18th October 2019.

For more information see


Vernon Press Series in Classical Studies – call for book proposals

CALL FOR BOOK PROPOSALS: New Series – Vernon Press Series in Classical Studies

Vernon Press invites proposals on the history, literature, art, philosophy, political or social structures, religion, languages, or archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations for its new Series in Classical Studies.The classics are the earliest branch of the humanities, with a long history of scholarly value, but the field continues to evolve. The past two decades have seen exciting developments in key research areas, especially material culture, reception studies and gender studies. The books in this series will examine such growth areas, while also being open to more traditional approaches.Comprising edited volumes, co-authored books and single-author monographs, the series will be useful for senior researchers, scholars and practitioners with an interest in this field of study, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate students.

To receive more information about submitting a proposal or to discuss your idea, please contact James McGovern:

Information also available on:


Huntington Centennial Essay Prize

The Huntington Library Quarterly invites submissions for the Huntington Centennial Essay Prize. Offered in celebration of the Huntington Library’s centennial in 2019–20, the prize aims to promote scholarship in British and American studies from the sixteenth through the long eighteenth centuries.

The journal encourages interdisciplinary approaches and embraces research in all humanities fields. The competition is open to scholars at any stage. Essays need not be based on research in the Huntington Library’s collections. The prize carries a cash award of $1,000 USD to the author, and the winning essay will be published in the journal.

Application should be made via the HLQ’s online review and submission system,

Submission deadline: October 1, 2019. Word limit: 10,000 words, including notes.

Details at