Tag Archives: institute of historical research

Methodologies for material culture workshop 23 September – few places remaining.

Visit Senate House Library at this exciting time in its history to take part in a workshop sharing ways of approaching texts as material objects!

This is the second in a series of AHRC Collaborative Skills Development workshops intended to start a conversation amongst postgraduate students and early career researchers in the Arts and Humanities about the analysis of pre-modern material culture across different disciplines and categories of evidence – from pots to pamphlets and jewellery to armour. The first event, hosted by the Museum of London at The London Archaeological Archive and Research Centre, considered the use of archaeological evidence, and the second will focus on early printed books drawn from the University of London’s Senate House Library’s special collections. This second workshop will consider ways of analysing the lifecycle of the book, exploring peoples’ relationships to textual artefacts through an understanding of manufacture and evidence of ownership, readership and collection.

Offering expert analysis of and access to Senate House Library’s special collections, the day will explore:

•    What makes a book: materials, type, format and their relation to content and circulation.

•    How books differ from each other: different states and the transition from manuscript to print.

•    The copy-specific element: binding and attitudes to texts.

•    Layout and design: how presentation shapes reaction.

•    Reader interaction: different kinds of evidence of reading.

•    Ownership and collecting: provenance and the meaning of books within collections.

•    The role of digitisation: benefits and disadvantages.

The workshop is free to attend but places are limited. To register please visit: http://www.history.ac.uk/research-training/courses/methodologies-material-culture-ii

The third workshop in the series will be taking place at the Museum of London on November 8th 2013 and will focus on early modern domestic material culture in a museum context. The final workshop will take place at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies on December 17th 2013 and will consider the material culture of warfare and scanning technology. More details to follow…


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Materialities of Urban Life – April 17-19th – online booking now open!

screenshotYou can now see the provisional programme (at the bottom of the page) and register for the Materialities of Urban Life (Wednesday,  April 17 – Friday,  April 19 2013) conference here:


If you’re interested in what it was like living in early modern towns – what goods were available and the spaces in which they could be sold and consumed, or just in the material qualities of everyday life more generally in this period then there will be something here to interest you:

There are papers on life in Holland, Sweden, Italy, Scotland, Mons, Milan, London, Paris and Norwich amongst others; and on topics as diverse as disposession, trespass, exercise, lodging, Shakespeare in print, craft guilds and livery companies, tailors, civic colour, candles, relics, silver plate, cabinets, mirrors, musical instruments, portraiture, elite wardrobes, stage costumes, royal courts and blood.

In the next couple of weeks there will be blogs from some of the speakers, so do look out for those and we hope to see you there…

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by | February 21, 2013 · 12:37 pm

Conference: Materialities of Urban Life in Early Modern Europe

screenshotWe’re organising a conference to bring together scholars working on the materiality of urban life, at the Institute of Historical Research in London, 17-19 April 2013. Six of us are involved – names below – from History, Literature, Art History, Archaeology and Museums backgrounds. Many of us were also a part of the very exciting ‘Everyday Objects’ conference, which led to an edited volume of the same name. We have come together again to organise this event because we wanted to open up debate about the particular qualities of public, private, commercial, domestic and civic material cultures to be found in towns across Europe.

So we welcome traditional academic papers and panels from the perspectives of economic and social history, archaeology, art history, museum and literary studies and beyond. We would also be interested in other kinds of presentation – for instance performances and visualisations – which give different kinds of access to the nature of early modern urban experience. We want to know more about European goods and spaces, the actions and emotions with which they were associated, the way they were traded and distributed, embodied experiences, the interactions between individuals and groups, gendered urban materiality, urban landscapes, the ways in which all of the above were influenced by non-European materials and practices, and the methods by which all of these various topics might be addressed.

More information about the conference will be posted here soon. In the mean time, do propose a 20 minute paper, or an hour and a half’s session: send an abstract of no more than 150 words to the conference secretary, Steph Appleton, SJA809@adf.bham.ac.uk or contact any of the organisers:

Professor David Gaimster, The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow: David.Gaimster@glasgow.ac.uk

Dr Tara Hamling, Department of History, University of Birmingham: T.J.Hamling@bham.ac.uk

Professor Maria Hayward, Department of History, University of Southampton: M.Hayward@soton.ac.uk

Dr Mark Merry, Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, Mark.Merry@sas.ac.uk

Dr Catherine Richardson, Department of English, University of Kent: C.T.Richardson@kent.ac.uk

Dr Glenn Richardson, School of Theology, Philosophy and History, St Mary’s University College: richardg@smuc.ac.uk

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