Social history

Find podcasts relating to social history. From government records to true crime tales, these authoritative talks bring history to life, placing historical documents in societal context.

  • Audio contentKarl Marx request for naturalization, notification of refusal (catalogue reference HO 45/9366/36228)

    British nationality: subject or citizen?

    Mark Pearsall looks at the status of immigrants and the concept of nationality over the last 500 years. This talk covers alienage, denization, naturalisation and registration of citizenship and the records of these statuses that survive. This talk also clarifies ...

  • Audio contentOld Somerset House (catalogue reference WORK 30/265 (1 of 2))

    Early civil registration

    Everyone researching 19th century English or Welsh ancestors is familiar with birth, marriage and death certificates, but how much thought do we give to the origins of the General Register Office which was created to look after these records? Not ...

  • Audio contentEvicition of poor Irish families in Leather Lane Holborn,1892 (catalogue reference ZPER 34/100)

    ‘…we may lie and die in a land of plenty…’: The Victorian poor in their own words

    In all but the most specialist accounts of Victorian histories the poor are often represented through generalisations, graphs or summed up in ‘averaging’ paragraphs. More detailed work might look at the experiences of individual poor people through pulling together accounts ...

  • Audio contentFlyer from the Keep Our Secrets Secret campaign (catalogue reference EXT 1/111)

    Spies like us: The secret life of Ernest Oldham

    The security service files held at The National Archives in series KV 2 reveal that many people involved in espionage, like Foreign Office clerk Ernest Oldham, were ordinary folk who entered an extraordinary world by chance – often with tragic ...

  • Audio contentIllustrated London News, New School Room, Boy's Home, Regent's Park Road (catalogue reference ZPER 34/56 (P 349) )

    He is so silly he would rather have a half pence than a shilling: Discovering the history of learning disability

    Simon Jarrett explores the fascinating and little-known world of the history of people with learning disabilities, known variously over time as idiots, imbeciles, defectives and the mentally handicapped. Using court records, government files, parish records, prints, art and even jokes ...

  • Audio contentSummary of debate on homosexual offences

    From deviance to diversity?

    Finding sexuality and sexual science in the archives. Dr Lesley Hall, Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library, examines sources at the Wellcome Library on questions of sexuality from approximately 1800 to the present, with particular reference to the roles of ...

  • Audio contentTroops travelling to Manchester for review by Lord Kitchener

    Digitising MH 47 the Middlesex military service appeal tribunal

    On the introduction of conscription in 1916, Military Service Tribunals were set up to hear applications and appeals for exemption. Surviving material is fragmented but two complete sets of tribunal papers were retained, including those for the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal. ...

  • Video contentBlack nurse and baby

    Black in the British Frame

    Stephen Bourne shares his memories of growing up in Peckham and of his adopted Aunt Esther, a black Londoner born before the First World War and the subject of his first book. And he talks about how, from an educationally ...

  • Audio contentHO 287/1496 (35)

    Public Cooperation with the Household Expenditure Enquiry, 1953-1954

    The Household Expenditure Enquiry of 1953-54 was the first large-scale enquiry into household expenditure and income in the United Kingdom since the Family Budget Enquiry of 1937-1938. It was intended to cover 20,000 households and the Ministry of Labour and ...

  • Audio contentINF 3/1124

    NDACA – the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive

    In this talk Tony Heaton examines the vision for The National Disability Arts Collection and Archive and the wider historical and social context. Tony Heaton OBE has been involved in the disability arts sector as an artist and activist for ...

  • Audio contentINF 10/147

    They gave the crowd plenty fun

    West Indian cricket and its relationship with the British-resident Caribbean Diaspora. ‘They gave the crowd plenty fun’ is a lucid study of the impact of West Indian cricket on those of Caribbean birth and descent in Britain. It traces the ...

  • Audio contenttracy-borman-witches

    Writer of the month: witches, sorcery, scandal and seduction in Jacobean England

    This talk describes the events which unfolded at Belvoir Castle four hundred years ago, during the witch craze. It is a tale of superstition, injustice and conspiracy. Dr Tracy Borman is an author, historian and broadcaster, whose books include the ...

  • Audio contentext-11-159-1851

    Big ideas: Searching the unsearchable

    Colour, pattern and texture are all ‘content’ but are not searchable like written text. This talk discusses how exploiting digital technology to enhance both access and preservation of the image-rich Board of Trade Design Register could open up the records ...

  • Audio contentmpgg-1-103-2-1871

    William Hardin Burnley and Caribbean slavery

    William Hardin Burnley, the biggest slave owner in Trinidad, did everything in his power to prevent the emancipation of Africans in the colony. When slavery ended, he was convinced that only Africans who had tyrannical masters would benefit from emancipation. The rest, ...

  • Audio contentUntold-Histories-Image

    Researching Untold Histories

    Dr Kathleen Chater discusses her book Researching Untold Histories: Black people in England and Wales during the period of the British slave trade, c.1660-1807. Kathleen worked for the BBC until 1994. One of her interests was family history so when ...

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