Honoured historians pay tribute to archives

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History honoured twoof the UK’s most famous historians at a special lunch in the House ofCommons on 15 June.

Eric Hobsbawm and Lord (Hugh) Swynnerton Thomas were honoured by the MPs and Lords who make up the Parliamentary Group for their outstanding contribution to the study of history.

erichobsbawm_webEric Hobsbawm, now 94,is a Marxist historian. He continues to write and his books continue to be read and studied all over the world. One of his key interests is in the ‘dual revolutions – The French Revolution and the British Industrial Revolution. His ‘Age of Revolution: Europe’ published in 1962, has never been out of print.

Hugh Thomas, nearing his 80th birthday, wrote the seminal book, The Spanish Civil War in 1961. He has written widely on Cuba and on the slave trade.hughthomas_web

Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband MP, a family friend of the Hobsbawms, dropped in on the lunch to join fellow MPs and Lords in paying tribute to the two men.

Both historians spoke briefly and stressed the debt they owed to archives and those who work in them.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History will continue to honour outstanding historians and archivists in this way. They will consider who to honour in summer 2012 at their meeting in September 2011.

Marie Owens of the Archives and Records Association is responsible for the administration of The All-Party Parliamentary Group.