Supporting historical research online: a workshop for information professionals

girl in front of laptop at desk

Tuesday, 24 August 2021, 14:00-16:30 BST

Join the History Research Libraries Comittee (HRLC) for a special event on supporting historical research during and beyond the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated existing trends towards moving historical research and teaching into an online environment. While digital sources have been an important part of historical research for a long time, history students and historians still rely heavily on physical library and archive collections. Since the beginning of the pandemic, librarians, archivists and other information professionals have been working to find solutions to increasing the availability of collections and research materials in an environment heavily reliant on digital access. This workshop will explore what they have learnt from the past year while supporting their research communities remotely and what can be done to continue to support these communities in future.

The event will be held online on Microsoft Teams.

The event is free and everyone is welcome but advance resgistration is required.


14:00 – 14:05: Introduction

14:05 – 14:25: Julianne Simpson (John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester), The virtual seminar at the John Rylands Library: support for teaching and workshops

14:25 – 14:45: Paul Cooke (Seeley Library, University of Cambridge), A Year of Change at the Seeley Library: How Cambridge has Adapted During the Pandemic

14:45 – 14:50: Questions

14:50 – 15:00: Break

15:00 – 15:20: Johanna Anderson (University of Gloucestershire), #Ebooksos – resisting the consignment of libraries to the pages of history books

15:20 – 15:40: Philip Carter (Royal Historical Society), What use are learned societies in a pandemic? Views from the Royal Historical Society

15:40 – 16:30: Questions and discussion

Book your place



History New to Teaching: an interactive workshop

Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th July 2021 (2 x half-day events)

Venue: online

Participants in this two-day interactive online workshop, sponsored by History UK and the Royal Historical Society, will develop their understanding of key issues relating to teaching History in higher education, from innovations in teaching and learning (including the shift online during the pandemic) and curriculum design to teaching seminar groups and preparing for the academic job market.

All those who are new to teaching History in higher education – i.e. about to begin or recently-started – are eligible to apply, including PhD students, postdocs, ECRs and new lecturers. We welcome applicants from beyond the UK, although elements of the event will be tailored specifically to UK HE contexts. The workshop will be delivered by a group of experienced and innovative teachers of History in HE. There will be a blend of pre-recorded and ‘live’ presentations. Participants should be prepared to engage actively in the sessions; we will be leaving plenty of time for questions and discussion!

Register for the workshop here.

Download the programme here.

Wood and Ceramic: Introducing digital methods with Classics Library special collections

1 July 2021, 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Institute of Classical Studies


Online event. Booking is essential. Everyone welcome.

The Combined Classics Library holds over 150,000 volumes on Greco-Roman antiquity, including a number of special collections. One is the Wood Archive, a collection of diaries, notebooks, sketchbooks and published works relating to a tour of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant, made by between May 1750 and June 1751 by the classical scholar Robert Wood, the archaeologists John Bouverie (who died during the tour) and James Dawkins, and the draughtsman Giovanni Battista Borra. Another is the Ehrenberg Bequest, a collection of antiquities, mostly ceramics, bequeathed to the Institute of Classical Studies in 1976 by Victor Ehrenberg, on the understanding that the collection was to be used for teaching and handling.

As part of a digitisation programme by the library we are looking at ways to make these collections usable and accessible online as well as in person.

Digital photographs of the Wood notebooks have been used in both research and engagement projects, involving the annotation of places and other named entities in the texts using the Recogito platform, allowing researches and members of the public to identify references in the diaries for display and querying on a map or other semantic web interfaces. A programme of 3D scanning of the objects in the Ehrenberg collection, with a view to uploading them all to the Sketchfab 3D platform, is involving students and others who receive training in 3D methods, cataloguing of object data, and includes links from the Classics Library catalogue to the only 3D models.T

his event will involve short presentations on the history of the collections, their unique features, and some of the novel uses to which the digital models have been put, demonstrations of some of the platforms used, and questions and discussion with the participants.

Book here