Launching ‘History and Archives in Practice’ (HAP2023)

26 October 2022

The Royal Historical Society, and partners, are pleased to announce the launch of our new collaborative conference: History and Archives in Practice.

HAP2023, which takes place on Wednesday 29 March 2023, will have as its theme ‘Collecting Communities: Working together and with collections’. Further details of the conference programme, and how to book, will be available from mid-January 2023.

Introducing ‘History and Archives in Practice’

History and Archives in Practice is the new and rebranded version of the popular Gerald Aylmer Seminar run in partnership with The National Archives and Institute of Historical Research. The Gerald Aylmer Seminar has been hosted annually by these three institutions for nearly 20 years (2002 to 2021). As a new annual event, HAP builds on our experience of bringing archivists and historians into dialogue.

‘History and Archives in Practice’ is an opportunity for archivists and historians to meet to discuss collections and research practices. In this way, it mirrors the aims of the Aylmer Seminar. However, from March 2023 ‘History and Archives in Practice’ brings a new format and a greater focus on the collections that lie at the heart of our work.

As its name suggests, our new-look event will highlight research practices, and consider these in relation to distinctive collections. To launch ‘History and Archives in Practice’, the 2023 event will take place at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

From 2024, ‘History and Archives in Practice’ will endeavour to partner with an additional UK archive/institution which likewise specialises in the bringing together of archivists and researchers. Each year we’ll draw on aspects of UK collections and emerging research being undertaken, integrating it into the conference programme. This new format enables a formerly London-based conference to take place at archive centres across the UK.

HAP2023: ‘Collecting Communities: Working together and with collections’

Wednesday 29 March 2023, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

The theme for HAP2023 is ‘Collecting Communities: Working together and with collections’ with further details of the programme and booking made available from mid-January 2023.

Contributions to HAP2023 will explore the intersection between history, archives, collections and research, and reflect on shared practice across and between disciplines. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Collecting the contemporary (for example: born digital collections, collecting contemporary events and/or historicising the contemporary: how are archivists and historians working together when creating a collection?)
  • Designing a project: how are historians and archivists using collections to shape  programmes of research and engagement?
  • New ways of engaging with archives: insights into contemporary collecting practices and their use in historical research
  • Working with diverse collections and sensitive histories
  • Cross-sector collaborations
  • Promoting and accessing collections
  • Working with and/or building research communities
  • Advocating for history: working with and/or in smaller organisations, researching underrepresented collections, championing new research, and the value of greater appreciation of the past.