All Party Parliamentary Group 'hugely supportive' of the archivesector
Professor Sir Richard Evans delivers All Party Group 2014 Annual Lecture at Houses of Parliament
Lord Clark leads Celebration of Accreditation at Houses of Parliament
Lord Clark of Windermere, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History, led the congratulations at a celebration of Archive Service Accreditation at the House of Commons on 15 October. Representatives from the first 14 archive services which have gained Accreditation were praised by Lord Clark for their hard work and their willingness to be pioneers for the wider sector.
All Party Group honours historian Lord Morgan and archivist George Mackenzie
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History has honoured the work of historian Lord Morgan and archivist George Mackenzie at their annual lunch to celebrate outstanding achievement.
The archivist and historian, with their wives, joined guests at the lunch on 18 June 2014 at the House of Commons, hosted by Dr Hywel Francis, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History.
Lord Morgan – Kenneth Owen Morgan – is a historian of modern British history and politics and a Fellow of the British Academy. He was Vice Chancellor at Aberystwyth and Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of Wales. He became a life peer in 2000 as Baron Morgan of Aberdyfi.
George Mackenzie retired in 2012 from the National Records of Scotland, where he held the titles Registrar General, Keeper of Records and Keeper of the Register of Tartans. He had worked with Scotland’s records for nearly 40 years. He oversaw the formation of the National Records of Scotland in 2011, which made Scotland the first country in the world to combine archives with statistics about population, registration and the census.
Photograph shows, left to right: George Mackenzie, Dr Hywel Francis and Lord Morgan. Read more .
All Party Group visits Swansea University to celebrate 40 years of the South Wales Miners' Library
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History visited Swansea University on 9 May to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the South Wales Miners’ Library and to visit the University’s Richard Burton Archives, before hearing Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield – contemporary historian Peter Hennessy - deliver a public lecture entitled: Secrecy, Openness and Writing the History of One’s Own Times.
The South Wales Miners’ Library was established by the University College of Swansea in 1973, to house material collected by the South Wales Coalfield History Project, including photos, posters, banners, oral history tapes and many books rescued from miners' institute libraries.
Dr Hywel Francis MP, Chair of the All Party Group and previously Professor of Continuing Education at Swansea University, founded the Library. As a young journalist, Lord Hennessy wrote an article for the Times Higher Education Supplement about the major research project which established the Library in 1973.
At the Library, the Group was welcomed by Librarian Siân Williams and shown items from the extensive collection, including books, photographs, banners and recorded sound.
The Richard Burton Archives is the archive repository of the University which holds material of local, regional and national significance.It holds archival material collected by the South Wales Coalfield History Projects. It recently achieved Accreditation Status, the first higher education institution to in the UK to do so. Archivist Elisabeth Bennett showed material from Richard Burton’s papers, from the history of the University itself and about the area’s industrial history.
Vice Chancellor of Swansea University, Professor Richard Davies, introduced the public lecture, referring to Lord Hennessy as our ‘foremost contemporary historian’.
Lord Hennessy – a ‘child of the uranium age’ – believed the world of his childhood had had a huge impact on his interests and sensibilities: his was the generation that had seen the Britain of Empire and then lived through the fear of global destruction and the cold war. ‘History doesn’t repeat itself, but it sometimes it rhymes’ he said, as he shared his thoughts on some of the changes in government planning and openness he had seen in his lifetime. He shared his thoughts on some of the Prime Ministers he had known; his regard for Jim Callaghan was particularly high.
Photographs show: at the Miners’ Library, Lord Hennessy listens to a recording of Harold Wilson, with Librarian Siân Williams.
At the Richard Burton Archives (l to r): Lord Aberdare, Chris Evans MP, Mair Francis, Elisabeth Bennett, Lord Hennessy and Dr Hywel Francis MP.
Do Miners Read Dickens? Origins and Progress of the South Wales Miners’ Library 1973-2013 by Hywel Francis and Siân Williams, is published by Parthian Books.
All Party Parliamentary Group visits TUC Library
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History visited the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Library at London Metropolitan University on 28 January 2014.
Six All Party Group members – Chair Hywel Francis, Vice Chairs Lord Clark and Paul Murphy and members Baroness Taylor, Lord Monks, Lord Haworth and Helen Goodman – were welcomed to London Metropolitan University by Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Gillies, by TUC Librarian Chris Coates and her colleagues from the University’s Library Services.
The Trades Union Congress was founded in 1868; its Library collections were established in 1922. They are a major research resource for all aspects of trade unions, lifelong learning and people at work. The Library was developed for the use of the TUC and affiliated unions; it moved to London Metropolitan University in 1996. There are numerous special collections within the Library.
Chris presented a fascinating overview of the Library and its collections. There was then an opportunity to look at some specific items from the rich collections, including posters, photographs, press cuttings, minutes books, letters – even a collection of badges which was being listed and researched by a student volunteer.
Chair of the All Party Group on Archives and History Hywel Francis – who had himself worked at the TUC along with Lord (John) Monks – presented the Library with a copy of his book Miners Against Fascism: Wales and the Spanish Civil War. He presented a personal copy of his book Do Miners Read Dickens? Origins and Progress of the South Wales Miners’ Library to Chris Coates, who will retire from the TUC Library very shortly. Both books were signed by the visitors from the All Party Group. (Photograph shows, from left, Chris Coates, Professor Malcolm Gillies and Dr Hywel Francis)
Professor Malcolm Chase delivers 2013 All Party Group lecture on Chartism
Professor Malcolm Chase delivered the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archive and History’s annual lecture on 22 October 2013. The lecture was entitled: ‘The People’s Charter of 1838: The Chartist Legacy to Parliamentary Democracy’. The lecture was held in the Speaker’s State Rooms by kind permission of Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP and was attended by 15 MPs and Lords and more than 60 archivists, historians and other guests.
Dr Hywel Francis, Chair of the All Party Group, introduced the lecture.
The high-profile lecture was one of a number of activities undertaken by the All Party Group during the year to commemorate the work of the Chartists. It is 175 years since the People’s Charter. A seminar on Chartist Archives was also held on 22 October and led by Professor Owen Ashton.
An Early Day Motion by Dr Hywel Francis commemorating the Chartists gained nearly 80 signatures.
A small display of Chartist material was mounted in the No Lobby in the Houses of Parliament in July and will move to the Members’ Library in November. Among the material on display is the only known photograph of John Frost (prominent leader of the Welsh Chartists) and a copy of Byron’s poetry given to black Chartist John Cuffay by the movement as he was transported to Australia. With the display on the route of the public tour at least a quarter of a million people have seen it.
The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art, chaired by Frank Doran MP, agreed that a permanent display of Chartist material would be placed on the Upper Committee Corridor. (The All Party Group considered it a scandal that such an influential movement in our history, including the largest petition ever to have been delivered to parliament, had not been marked in the Houses of Parliament until now.)
Photograph shows, from left, Professor Owen Ashton, Dr Hywel Francis and Professor Malcolm Chase.
Vice Chair of All Party Group gives lecture on researching and writing Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors
Chris Skidmore MP, Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History, gave a lecture on his new book, BOSWORTH: The Birth of the Tudors, on 10 June 2013 in the House of Commons, to an invited audience of MPs, Lords, archivists and historians. Lord Bew, Secretary of the All Party Group, introduced the lecture.
This is Chris Skidmore’s third book. He wrote Edward VI: the Lost King of England in 2007 and Death and The Virgin: Elizabeth, Dudley and the Mysterious Death of Amy Robsart in 2010.
Chris shared with the audience how newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence helped him recreate the events and consequences of a legendary battle on 22 August 1485 in fields near Bosworth.
All Party Parliamentary Group honours Professor Jose Harris and Dr Gerry Slater
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History has honoured the work of historian Professor José Harris and archivist Dr Gerry Slater at their annual lunch to celebrate outstanding achievement.
The archivist and historian joined guests at the lunch on 15 May 2013 at the House of Commons, hosted by Dr Hywel Francis, Chair of the All Party Group.
Professor José Harris is Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Catherine's College. Her main interests are in intellectual history, political thought, and the history of social and economic policy. She wrote William Beveridge: A Biography, which was published in 1978 (and a ‘much more frank’ second edition in 1997).
Dr Gerry Slater worked in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) from 1974 to 2008; he led the institution as Chief Executive and Deputy Keeper from 1999. He is currently policy adviser to the Scottish Council on Archives.
Photograph shows, left to right: Dr Gerry Slater, Hywel Francis (Chair of the All Party Group on Archives and History) and Professor José Harris.
All Party Parliamentary Group meet the leaders of the UK's national libraries
The leaders of the UK’s three national libraries spoke of their challenges and successes to an invited audience in the House of Commons on 30 October 2012.
Andrew Green of the National Library of Wales, Roly Keating of the British Library and Martyn Wade of the National Library of Scotland were the guests of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History. Hywel Francis MP, Chair, and eight members of the All Party Group were joined by an invited audience from the archives, library, history and education sectors to hear each speaker give a short presentation and then take questions.
Photo shows, left to right, Andrew Green, Hywel Francis, Roly Keating and Martyn Wade.
Read more about the event here.
Professor Michael Slater delivers All Party Group on Archives and History Summer lecture 2012
Dickens scholar Professor Michael Slater delivered the annual All Party Group lecture in the House of Commons on 20 June 2012.
Read the report here.
All Party Parliamentary Group honours Lord Briggs and Sarah Tyacke
The All Party Group on Archives and History has honoured the work of Sarah Tyacke and Lord (Asa) Briggs at their annual lunch to celebrate outstanding achievement. The archivist and historian joined guests at a lunch at the House of Commons on 23 February 2012 hosted by Dr Hywel Francis, Chair of the All Party Group.
Read more Lord Briggs and Sarah Tyacke honoured
All Party Parliamentary Group hosts unique session with the leaders of the UK's national archives
‘Archival blood’, claimed George MacKenzie, proves itself time and time again to be thicker than any ‘national water’.
The leaders of the UK’s national archives met with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History on 5 December 2011 to brief them on the successes and challenges of the UK archive sector and to take their questions. The MPs and Lords who attended were joined by a small audience of archivists and historians.
Aileen McClintock (Director and Deputy Keeper of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland), George MacKenzie (Keeper of Records at the National Records of Scotland) and Oliver Morley (Chief Executive and Keeper of the National Archives at Kew) confirmed that the archive sector worked in a collegiate way across all national and many international boundaries, sharing many challenges in a difficult financial environment and an ever-developing digital present and future. While the clear brief of each national repository was the safety, preservation and access to government records, significant work was also undertaken to advise the profession and the public about all aspects of archive work – specifically the ‘right home for the right archive’, be it religious, scientific, business or private.
Read full report: UK archive leaders meet APPG.doc .
All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History visits National Archives at Kew
Four members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Archives and History visited the National Archives at Kew on 23 November 2011. Dr Hywel Francis, Chair of the Group, and his wife Mair, were joined by Lord Boswell, Lord Howarth and Paul Murphy MP.
Chief Executive and Keeper Oliver Morley showed the group the busy public areas, and the behind-the-scenes storage and operational areas. He also presented TNA’s policies and activities as a digital archive. A number of TNA historical treasures were shown to the visitors. Dr Francis thanked Oliver Morley for a ‘most impressive tour’.
The photograph shows (l to r) Mair Francis, Dr Hywel Francis, Lord Boswell, Lord Howarth, Oliver Morley of TNA and Paul Murphy MP. Marie Owens, Head of Public Affairs at ARA, is secretary to the All Party Group.