Showing posts from July, 2013

admission to the British Library

I've had trouble getting a seat in the British Library this week, and the old canard about who should have access to the library has recently been raised again in the Guardian. The comments below the article remind the reader of the old days when it was much more difficult to get a reader's ticket, and indeed I remember when I first joined I had to provide a list of the manuscripts which I wished to consult there, which could not be accessed elsewhere.

So instead I went to the National Archives, and by coincidence came across this letter in a bundle of HO 44 papers marked 'miscellaneous'.
G. Duncombe Cox, M.D., of Bedford Square, London, wrote a letter of complaint regarding his application for a reader's ticket for the British Library in September 1840.

His application had been refused, because the regulations stated that he had to be recommended by 'a Member of Parliament, a Rector of a Parish, or by an Alderman of London', which presumably he had not be…

This is what Mancunians thought the world looked like in 1839...

Mancs have a tendency to put themselves at the centre of the world. This poor law commission map from c.1839 is a case in point!

what's next for Chartist studies?

Here are some quick thoughts that I gave to the annual Chartism day, which this year took place on 29 June in St. Mary's Church, Bramall Lane, Sheffield, the site of an alleged (but not proven) Chartist insurrectionary 'bomb'.

What's next for Chartist studies? 
Matt Roberts asked me to speak on this topic, in part because I wrote a historiographical review of the current state of labour and protest history in Social History. In the article, I discussed how labour history has moved away from class as a sole identity and framework and now looks more towards gender and international identities.  There is much more to be researched about the gendered aspects of Chartism, and also its international links.

The article also examined what Steve Poole and myself and others have been working on recently: the efflorescence of early modern and rural studies of popular protest. Again, there are possibilities that could be applied to Chartist studies, not least in terms of explorin…