big idea

  • Audio content

    Big Ideas Series: Surfacing the Page

    This Big Ideas seminar consists of three short presentations exploring the theme ‘surfacing the page’. In the first talk, Professor Maryanne Dever looks at how the presence of digital technologies for the reproduction and circulation of archival artefacts have placed…

  • Audio content

    Big Ideas Series: Setting the Record Straight for the Rights of the Child

    The recordkeeping and archival needs for childhood out-of-home care are part of one of society’s wicked problems, namely how to ensure that the systems set up to protect children from abuse and neglect do not themselves cause harm? That makes…

  • Audio contentHouses of Parliament from Lambeth bridge.1899. Catalogue reference: COPY1-442(ii)

    Big Data and the gendering of Parliamentary language

    Luke Blaxill discusses the ways in which Big Data techniques can introduce quantification into long-standing historical debates. His example is the case of female MPs in the House of Commons. How is the language they use different to that of…

  • Video contentGordon_Childe

    Archaeology and espionage: The secret political life of Professor Vere Gordon Childe

    Dr Katie Meheux, UCL Institute of Archaeology, discusses Professor Vere Gordon Childe (1892-1957). Childe was one of the most influential figures of 20th century archaeology, but his political life remains enigmatic. Security Service files kept on Childe reveal that he…

  • Video contentWax seals at The National Archives

    Materiality matters: new approaches to medieval wax seal studies

    Wax seals have been widely studied in terms of how they look, what they depict and what they might mean. But their physical characteristics and their importance as a method of communication are still not fully understood. Our ‘Wax Seals…

  • Video contentCOPY 1/207 (130a)

    Big Ideas: Freedom of Memory: A new human right?

    This presentation introduces the concept of Freedom of Memory, which Elizabeth is currently developing.  The talk proposes a possible definition for this potential new human right and explain why such a Freedom is necessary at this point in time.  The…

  • Audio contentCover of Modern Romantics by Alexandra Harris (Dungeness by John Piper)

    Big Ideas: On pilgrimage in England

    The 1930s saw a resurgence of interest in local knowledge and traditions, and intense debate about how it might be possible to ‘go modern’ while honouring the past. Alexandra Harris looks back on her research for Romantic Moderns, remembering how…

  • Audio contentD H60 moth two seater aircraft design and test, 1925-1928 (catalogue reference AVIA 8/133)

    Big Ideas: Innovation in the Air Force

    Ross Mahoney’s talk is based on sources ranging from operational records held by The National Archives to some of the personal recollections found at other archival institutions and in the memoirs of retired officers. By bringing these together he highlights…

  • Audio contentBlouses for Women War Workers, 1916 (catalogue reference ZPER 34/148)

    Big Ideas: The women’s war in the Middle East – women’s First World War service in Egypt, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Palestine

    Nadia Atia is Lecturer in World Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research examines the literature and cultural history of the First World War outside Europe. Her work explores how ideologies of race and empire shaped the ways…

  • Audio contentVictoria and Albert Museum, West Block and Back Elevation, 1900 (catalogue reference WORK 33/2190)

    Big Ideas: Rapid response collecting

    Rapid Response Collecting is a new strand to the V&A’s collecting activity – one that is responsive to global events, situating design in immediate relation to moments of political, economic and social change. Corinna Gardner explores how an IKEA toy…

  • Audio contentC0000713 Wellcome Library, London: Anatomical fugitive sheet (Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 )

    Big Ideas: ‘An heroic, slow-motion cataloguing of life’: ethics and digitisation

    A culture shift is taking place in the Wellcome Library’s Special Collections team.  Driven by a growing realisation that past acquisition policies have left patient perspectives on health and well-being woefully under-represented, they have started to re-evaluate what kinds of…

  • Audio contentbig-idea-time

    Big Ideas: The shape of time

    Visualisation is widely believed to bring many benefits, assisting us in making sense of all kinds of information. To try to make diagrams of history – using timelines or some other kind of chronographics – may seem a simple task.…

  • Audio contentTate Gallery, ground floor plan, 1893 (catalogue reference WORK 33/1718)

    Big Ideas: The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Value Project

    The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value Project was set up late in 2012 to address the dissatisfaction with the ways in which we understand and articulate the benefits of arts and culture. These tended to concentrate on the…

  • Audio contentTwo models meeting and partly turning, Muybridge, 1887 (catalogue reference COPY 1/383)

    Big Ideas: Understanding patterns of behaviour for users of public records

    When Google launched in 1998, a prime ingredient in their not-so-secret sauce was the question: if a user randomly clicked links where on the web might they end up? They called the answer PageRank. This involved treating the web as…

  • Audio contentBig Data for Law

    Big Ideas: Big Data for Law

    Big data is big news. Did you know an estimated 90 per cent of the world’s data was created in the last two years (see Insights gleaned from large datasets are increasingly driving business innovation and economic growth. Underpinning…

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