History and Archives in Practice, 2023

Collecting Communities

Working Together and with Collections (#HAP23)

10am – 5pm, Wednesday 29 March 2023
Institute of Historical Research, University of London


On Wednesday 29 March, we hosted History and Archives in Practice 2023 (#HAP23), along with our partners The National Archives and Institute of Historical Research. The theme for #HAP23 was ‘Collecting Communities: Working Together and with Collections’. 

About History and Archives in Practice (HAP)

History and Archives in Practice (HAP) is the new and rebranded version of the Gerald Aylmer Seminar run in partnership by the Royal Historical Society, The National Archives and Institute of Historical Research

From March 2023, History and Archives in Practice provides a new format and greater focus on the collections that lie at the heart of our work. It’s where historians and archivists come together to consider shared interests in archive collections, their interpretation and use.

#HAP23: ‘Collecting Communities: Working Together and with Collections’

The theme of #HAP23, ‘Collecting Communities: Working Together and with Collections’, showcases and celebrates the diverse and unique nature of historical research. Over the day, we heard from 14 projects in which historians and archivists are working together to recover, interpret and present our past. 

Our speakers represent a broad range of universities and archives, large and small, from across the UK. Panels considered the rediscovery, digitising and creation of collections; the locating of collections in places and communities; and collaborative working between historians, archivists and the public.

Together they introduced new work on the history of the voluntary sector, unpaid labour, business, war, slavery and empire, family life, contemporary politics, migration and climate change, among other topics. In keeping with the aims of HAP, we focused especially on practice — how historians, archivists and communities work best together — to provide insights and experiences for attendees to take into their own work.

Special sessions will provided demonstrations and handling of items from UK archives, as well as talks on taking archives into communities, and creating successful networks between historians and archivists in higher education.

Download the full programme for History and Archives in Practice, 2023> 

Additional video presentations

In addition to the 14 projects on the day, we’ve also created videos of 5 additional collaborations between historians and archivists. These videos are available here.

The featured projects include: Archives & Paper Trails (UCL); Co-creating Heritage – Challenging perceptions of Sierra Leone (Hull); Kent Maps Online (Canterbury Christ Church); Slavery Law & Power (Maryland), and A Story of the Great War: Will Bradshaw’s Journal (Edge Hill). Our thanks to those involved in these projects for these videos.

On Thursday 27 April, we’ll be hosting a follow-up online #HAP23 event, bringing together the presenters of these videos to discuss their projects. More details here.

Join us to host and create HAP24

From 2024, we intend to take History and Archives in Practice to institutions across the UK, to showcase, explore and work with other collections. We now welcome expressions of interest for HAP24 from archive centres and universities.

If you’re interested in partnering with TNA, the Institute of Historical Research and the Royal Historical Society, please contact the Society’s Academic Director: philip.carter@royalhistsoc.org.