Published date: 26 October 2012

The 19th century witnessed a huge expansion in the number of people in Britain described as members of a profession, including lawyers, doctors, religious ministers and teachers, as well as newer service providers such as accountants, bankers and civil engineers. Historians have long suspected, but never attempted to prove, that these groups comprised a separate professional class, which championed its own interests and distinguished itself from the commercial middle class. This podcast will demonstrate how online genealogical tools and social media generated by family historians themselves, along with records held at The National Archives, can be used to create detailed family histories that bring us closer than ever before to an understanding of the role of the professions within Victorian society.

Michael Moss is professor of archival studies at the University of Glasgow. He is a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and of the Forum on Historical Manuscripts and Archival Research. His most recent article is ‘Where have all the files gone . . . lost in action points every one’, in the current issue of the Journal of Contemporary History.

Simon Dixon was Research Assistant on The Victorian Professions Project at the University of Oxford from 2011-2012. He previously co-created Dissenting Academies Online, has edited documents on the history of 18th-century Devon and published articles on the Quakers in 17th and 18th-century London.

Laurence Brockliss is a tutor and fellow of Magdalen College Oxford and professor of early modern French history at the University of Oxford. He works on the history of science, medicine and education between 1500 and 1850 and is at present writing a history of the University of Oxford.

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