‘Scholarly Editing for Historians: an Introduction and Guide to working with Primary Texts’


Training Workshop

2pm BST, Tuesday 18 July 2023, Online 

Watch the video of this event (3 videos, including two breakout sessions)


Speakers at the event

  • Siobhan Talbott (Keele University and RHS Camden Series Editor)
  • Richard Gaunt (University of Nottingham and RHS Camden Series Editor)
  • Jayne Gifford (University of East Anglia and a recent RHS Camden volume editor)
  • Daniel Patterson (Independent Scholar and a recent RHS Camden volume editor)


About the Workshop

The Royal Historical Society has wide-ranging expertise in the scholarly editing of primary sources. Its Camden Series of primary texts now runs to more than 380 volumes, covering source materials for the history of Britain, medieval to modern, and Britons’ engagement overseas.

In this Workshop, the editors of the RHS Camden Series — Richard Gaunt and Siobhan Talbott — will share their extensive experience of producing scholarly editions and working with editors as they prepare primary texts for publication. They’ll be joined by Jayne Gifford and Daniel Patterson who, as a recent contributors to the Camden Series, will share their experience of identifying and producing a scholarly edition.

Part One of the Workshop offers a guide to getting started on a scholarly edition. This will include: advice on how to select a suitable primary source; options for publishing scholarly editions; approaching a publisher, and what to consider when writing a proposal; determining editorial conventions; and writing an introduction for an edition. Part One is open to anyone with an interest in publishing a scholarly edition, or currently at work on a volume.

Part Two will offer more focused guidance for those currently working with a text for publication. In two groups, we will consider, in greater detail, approaches to editing pre-modern and modern texts, with chance to discuss specific examples of attendees’ work of value to the wider group. Attendance at Part Two will be limited to 20 people per session (pre-modern and modern) to allow for a group discussion. Attendees will be invited to submit questions about their work for review in advance of Part Two of the Workshop.


About our speakers

  • Richard Gaunt is Associate Professor in Modern British History at the University of Nottingham. With Siobhan, he is a Series Editor for the Royal Historical Society’s Camden Series — a collection of scholarly primary editions, edited by specialist historians. As one of the Series’ Editors, Richard is responsible for modern Camden content, commissioning volumes and working with the volume editor to produce a final edition. A specialist in nineteenth-century political history, Richard is himself the editor of three volumes of the diaries of the Tory politician, Henry Pelham-Clinton, fourth duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, of which the most recent — The Last of the Tories. Political Selections from the Diaries of the Fourth Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyne, 1839-1850 — was published in 2021. Since 2013 Richard has been co-editor of the journal Parliamentary History.
  • Siobhan Talbott is Reader in Early Modern History at Keele University and, with Richard, is Series Editor for the RHS Camden Series, with responsibility for pre-modern content. Siobhan’s research covers the economic and social history of Britain and the Atlantic World. Her publications include Conflict, Commerce and Franco-Scottish Relations, 1560-1713 and the co-edited Cultural History of Business, Vol. 4: The Age of Enlightenment: 1650-1850. Her current book project is a study of Knowledge, Information and Business Education in the Early-Modern Atlantic World. Siobhan has also published three scholarly editions: The Letter-Book of John Clerk, 1644-45 (2014), the co-edited Letters of Drummer Major James Spens (Northern Studies, 2018) and, most recently, The Letter-Book of Thomas Baret of Norwich: merchant and textile manufacturer, 1672-77, for  the Norfolk Record Society (2021). Her latest project (for the Scottish History Society) is The Letter-book of Alexander Shairp, 1712-1719
  • Jayne Gifford is Lecturer in Modern History and a specialist on British imperial rule in the twentieth century. She is the author of the monograph, Britain in Egypt: Egyptian Nationalism and Strategic Choices, 1919-31 (2019) and the scholarly edition of Sir Earle Page’s British War Cabinet Diary, 1941-42 (2021), co-edited as part of the Society’s Camden Series with Kent Federowich. Jayne is also a member of the Editorial Board for Transactions of the Royal Historical Society.
  • Daniel Patterson is an Independent Scholar and the editor of The Diary of George Lloyd (1642-1718), for the Royal Historical Society’s Camden Series, published in 2022. Daniel is a former Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Huddersfield.

Watch the recording this event >

About the Camden Series

The Royal Historical Society’s Camden Series is one of the most prestigious and important collections of primary source material relating to British History, including the British empire and Britons’ influence overseas. Each volume is edited by a specialist historian who provides an expert introduction and commentary.

The complete Camden Series now comprises over 380 volumes of primary source material, ranging from the early medieval to late-twentieth century Britain. The full series is available online via Cambridge University Press, providing a rich conspectus of source material for British History as well as insights into the development of historical scholarship in the English speaking world.

Today the Society publishes two new Camden volumes each year in association with Cambridge University Press.

More on the Royal Historical Society’s events programme, 2023 >