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 From government records to true crime tales, these authoritative talks bring history to life, placing historical documents in societal context.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 content"Berlin leaving". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berlin_leaving.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Berlin_leaving.jpg

    Writer of the month: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall

    Hester Vaizey discusses her latest book, Born in the GDR: Living in the Shadow of the Wall, which reveals the everyday lives of citizens of the former German Democratic Republic The National Archives is again hosting a series of monthly […]

  • Video contentAllied troops celebrate Christmas

    Allied troops celebrate Christmas

    Each month the Education team’s ‘Take one film’ series highlights a Pathé film relating to current events, anniversaries or key topics that you may be covering in the classroom. This month we have a 1940 film entitled ‘Allied Troops celebrate […]

  • Audio contentChesham War Memorial, Buckinghamshire

    Putting it all together: using archives to discover your community’s involvement in the First World War

    The names of the First World War dead are there for all to see, on war memorials all over the country. Many individuals and groups are researching the stories behind the names, but what about delving even deeper? There is […]

  • Audio contentHMSO, Underwood Street, interior of office, 1916-1917 (catalogue reference STAT 20/391)

    The civil service in the First World War

    The First World War affected every sector of society, as the nation’s resources were harnessed for the war effort. Like other employers, the civil service lost staff to the armed forces and had to replace them while they were away. […]

  • Video contentInventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls (Thames & Hudson, 2014)

    Inventions that didn’t change the world: a history of Victorian curiosities

    In an era when Britain led the world in technological innovation, a host of lesser inventors were also hard at work. Registering designs for copyright was quicker and cheaper than the convoluted patenting process; anyone with what they thought was […]

  • Audio contentInventions That Didn't Change the World by Julie Halls (Thames & Hudson, 2014)

    Inventions that didn’t change the world: a history of Victorian curiosities – audio

    In an era when Britain led the world in technological innovation, a host of lesser inventors were also hard at work. Registering designs for copyright was quicker and cheaper than the convoluted patenting process; anyone with what they thought was […]

  • Video contentFirst World War soldiers shaving

    Soldiers shaving in Belgium

    Each month the Education team highlights a Pathé film relating to current events, anniversaries or key topics that you may be covering in the classroom. To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, The National Archives […]

  • Audio contentAndover Union Workhouse, 1846 (catalogue reference ZPER 34/9)

    Webinar: Why did people fear the Victorian workhouse?

    The workhouse was a major feature in the lives of the poor, whether or not they were ever inmates themselves. This webinar can help you to explore records in The National Archives, showing what life was like inside the workhouse, […]

  • Audio contentFlorence Maybrick 1889 (catalogue reference COPY 1/397)

    Did she kill him? Addiction, adultery and arsenic in Victorian Britain

    Florence Chandler was in her early 20s when she married much older James Maybrick, a Liverpool cotton broker, in 1881. Eight years later, tensions seethed. James was addicted to arsenic. Both were unfaithful. When James died suddenly, Florence was arrested […]

  • Audio contentYacht Marguerite 1884 (catalogue reference COPY 1/370)

    The naval policy of the Free Church of Scotland

    In 1843 the established Church of Scotland suffered a large secession of members who formed the Free Church of Scotland. In the early years of its existence the new church had to overcome a shortage of buildings and clergy, as […]

  • Audio contentLucy Worsley

    Writer of the month: A very British murder

    A Very British Murder is Lucy Worsley’s account of a national obsession – a tale of dark deeds and guilty pleasures. Lucy Worsley is Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity which opens up The Tower of London, […]

  • Audio contentThe Foresters Asylum, Bexleyheath, Kent 1890 (catalogue reference COPY 1/401)

    Inconvenient people and how to find them: Tales from the Victorian lunacy panics

    The 19th century saw a series of scandals concerning sane individuals being locked away in lunatic asylums, who were the victims of unscrupulous persons who wanted to be rid of a ‘difficult’ family member, spouse or friend. But who were […]

  • Video contentTranscript of the trial of Charles I (catalogue reference SP 16/517)

    Reluctant regicides? The trial of Charles I revisited

    Dr Andrew Hopper investigates the recent controversy among historians about the nature of the trial of King Charles I. Which individuals drove the king’s trial and what were their aims and goals? Did the king know he was doomed from the […]

  • Audio contentLondon, Western half, by R Horwood, 1799 (catalogue reference MR 1/682)

    Georgian Londoners – the making of a modern city

    Lucy Inglis looks at the making of the London identity, and how it was shaped through the last years of the 17th century, then consolidated throughout the 18th century as London moved towards Enlightenment. Lucy Inglis began the blog GeorgianLondon […]

  • Video contentQuentin wounded, 1894 (catalogue reference COPY 1/111 (204))

    Writer of the month: Human woes – researching violence and pain in the archives

    Joanna Bourke discusses her book What it Means to be Human: Reflections from 1791 to the Present and how she uses original records in her writing. Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is […]

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