That moment when history students become historians

On 13 December 2014, about thirty students taking the first year module ‘Twentieth Century Britain’ visited Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield’s brand new archives centre. The visit was an integral part of the module, taught by Paul Ward and Liz Pente, to look at a scrapbook of primary source materials from the J.H. Whitley collection. Whitley was the MP for Halifax and Speaker of the House of Commons in the 1920s who in 1929 he chaired a Royal Commission on Labour in India. The commission explored issues of Indian poverty and working conditions in the textiles, jute and mining industries.

A newspaper photograph of the members of the Royal Commission. Whitley is the man in the white suit in the middle at the front.

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Temple Newsam Chapel Reconstruction: Angels and Pulpits.

Despite the scriptural warrant for their existence, early Protestant reformers were ambivalent about the visual representation of angels in places of worship, due to a fear of falling into the sin of idolatry. By the seventeenth century, however, a move to express the ‘beauty of holiness’ began to soften attitudes towards such images, and angels were once again used by Protestants in religious decorative schemes. Continue reading

Town and Gown: A film by Tomi Zelei

As part of his second year work placement, History and Film student Tomi Zelei made a film about the relationship between the University of Huddersfield and the community in which it is located. Tomi’s film explores the links between the town and also the idea of a university community.

History at Huddersfield uses research-led teaching and a commitment to public engagement to ensure that what we do is both useful to society and beneficial to the employability of our students. We see our students as researchers  –  partners in the development of knowledge with academic staff, often through co-production of knowledge with community partners. For more information see http://www.hud.ac.uk/courses/full-time/undergraduate/history-ba-hons/  and http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/history/

      You can email us at historyadmissions@hud.ac.uk

 

 

 

The Hepworth Wakefield, the Gott Collection and Heritage Open Days

My name is Adam West currently in my final year studying history at the University of Huddersfield. Along with 4 other fellow students and post-graduates I took part assisting at The Hepworth Wakefield’s heritage weekend, which was part of the national Heritage Open Days programme. Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th September 2014 the Gott collection was being featured as a special collection at the gallery in terms of its importance to Wakefield and Yorkshire as a whole.
The Gott collection itself comprises over 1200 images of places in Yorkshire past and present, sometimes being the sole surviving image of places that no longer exist. Collected during the 18th and 19th Century by William and John Gott the 10 volumes, full of water colours, prints, drawings and letterpresses eventually made its way to Wakefield as a gift from Frank Green.

The Hepworth Wakefield

Coinciding with the Volumes restoration project sponsored by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Hepworth displayed the volumes with other paintings of places in Yorkshire to finally make them available to the public. Now back to university of Huddersfield’s role in this. The Hepworth were having talks given on the Gott collection twice at 11 am and 2pm on both the Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. Additionally they wanted 5 students on hand to converse with the audience afterwards and find out their memories of places that were inspired from the paintings and the collection itself. In doing so the gallery would then not only have an online database of the collections but also have the memories and thoughts from the people that live and lived in the places featured.

 

Black History Month: What’s happening in Black British History?

Paul Ward, Professor of Modern British History, and Milton Brown, founder of Kirklees Local TV and Kirklees African Descent Community Media Productions, gave a joint paper at a workshop at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in London on what’s happening in black British history.

What's happening in Black British History?

We argued that the future of black British history lies in the co-production of historical knowledge – through collaboration between community partners and universities, to ensure that people of African descent are ‘writing’ their own histories and contributing to the discussion of British history taking place in universities, which in turn has an impact on school education and media representations. Continue reading

A Summary of ‘Oral History and New Technology in Museums, Galleries and Communities’ Conference

Our Day started at 4 am on Monday 30th June -luckily the day was bright enough to almost wake us up and following a relaxed, caffeine fuelled, train journey we arrived ata a frantic, peak commuter-time, Kings Cross Station. In route to Queen Mary University’s East End campus, where we were to learn all about new technologies and how they are applied in oral history and in gallery environments. The conference organiser, Eithne Nightingale, a PhD candidate based at Queen Mary’s and the V&A Museum of children had collaborated with the AHRC and Creative Works, London, in order to stage this most informative of events.

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History in Practice: Reconstructing a Lost Seventeenth Century Chapel at Temple Newsam House, Leeds.

Maggie Bullett, PhD student, tells us about an exciting project in which third year history and computer games design students are working together to create a digital reconstruction of a four hundred year old chapel.

When Sir Arthur Ingram rebuilt Temple Newsam House in the 1630s, he included an internal chapel so that his family and staff could attend religious services.  One hundred and fifty years later the chapel was turned into a kitchen, and today only a few of the original furnishings and objects survive. Continue reading

Not yet the Break-up of Britain: Researching the history of Britishness

Paul Ward, Professor of Modern British History and author of Britishness since 1870 (London, 2004), considers the role of history in understanding the outcome of the referendum on Scottish independence in September 2014.

I’m terribly disappointed by the outcome of the Scottish referendum. I hoped for Scottish independence as a way of changing a too conservative and complacent United Kingdom in which too much power rests with traditional elites from wealthy, privileged backgrounds and which the Labour Party has historically accepted as ‘the British way’.

Britishness since 1870

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The BBC’s World War One At Home Live and Armed Forces Day in Woolwich by Amerdeep Singh Panesar

On June 28th I was given the opportunity to work with the UKPHA’s outreach team at the BBC’s World War One at home tour in Woolwich. The BBC’s World War one at Home tour is visiting many different locations in the UK and the aim of tour is too reflect on the impact the war had on families and communities during the outbreak of war.  With Armed Forces Day falling on the same day it was fitting the tour was based at the Woolwich army base. My role on the day was working with the UKPHA (UK Punjabi Heritage Association) and there outreach team. Our contribution to the tour was a stall recognising the non-white contribution to the World War one war effort focusing on Sikh/Indian contribution. Despite the Indians playing a large role in war their contribution is often forgotten.  Close to 1.5 million Indians served fighting in all the major theatres of battle from the Flanders fields to Mesopotamia. At Woolwich we had many artefacts from the war for the public to view and handle. This included original war medals and a Death Plaque which was given to the next of kin of servicemen/woman who had fallen. Other objects were on the stall such as a standard Indian soldier’s kit bag and an officer’s swagger stick. The stall also included a stereoscope to view images from war.

In all we received a positive reaction from the British public on the day. For some of the people that came to the event it was a shock for them to learn so many Indians had gone to War to defend Britain and its allies. Many were surprised about size the Indian contribution in terms of soldiers sent. The main aim of the day was to promote the opening of the Empire, Faith and War gallery at SOAS, Russell square which is an exhibition on the Sikh contribution in World War One. The Gallery is open till 28th September with free admission. For more information please visit   http://www.empirefaithwar.com/. I would also like to thank the BBC and UKPHA for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the World War one at home tour.

History at Huddersfield uses research-led teaching and a commitment to public engagement to ensure that what we do is both useful to society and beneficial to the employability of our students. We see our students as researchers – partners in the development of knowledge with academic staff, often through co-production of knowledge with community partners. For more information see http://www.hud.ac.uk/courses/full-time/undergraduate/history-ba-hons/  and http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/history/

You can email us at historyadmissions@hud.ac.uk

Manchester and the Punk scene

Third year student, Jack Clarke, shares his love of the Manchester music scene and his experience of researching and writing an honours project

Towards the end of our second year at University we were given the option of choosing our topics and titles for our upcoming dissertation in the third year. As much as I enjoy history my initial idea of writing 12,000 words on local politics wasn’t as enthralling as first thought after some further reading. I began exploring my own interests for a historical twist and decided on local music. Being from Greater Manchester there has always been a large pride in the local culture and I’ve seen the effects music had on friends, work-peers and family, and how music drove opinion. Continue reading