New online resource for local historians

new website makes available all the PhD theses completed by students at the Centre for English Local History. The collection comprises 100 theses covering subjects from medieval moats to hunting in Northamptonshire. The full text is available to read and download in the majority of cases.

Founded in 1948, the Centre pioneered local history as an academic discipline in Britain. Research students have been central to its activities, and the theses are important research publications in their own right. The team hopes that improved access and discovery tools make this collection a useful resource for anyone interested in local history.

The diversity of themes and places found in the collection reflects the Centre’s mission to undertake research across the regions of England, and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches. Landscape history, a Leicester speciality, is well represented. Many studies are comparative, or use long time frames that break the conventions of periodisation.

The collection is also a source for the history of history. At least two PhDs supervised by W.G. Hoskins can be found here. Authors such as Margaret Spufford, David Hey, and Michael Reed all became academic historians with distinguished careers.

The resource is a partnership between the Centre and the University Library.