Panel 3: Breaking free of documents: Collections in Global Histories Q&A
Chair: Sarah Longair, British Museum
Margot Finn (UCL), Catherine Eagleton (British Library), JD Hill (British Museum)
In recent years, there has been a turn to the global across the humanities and social sciences, including in the discipline of History. Global history has been taken to mean many things, and can encompass world, transnational, postcolonial and connected and comparative approaches to the study of the past. But what are the implications of this widening of research beyond traditional national or area studies frameworks for archives? How does it impact on the way in which archivists view their collections, and how historians use them? How best can UK archives support global history? And how do their collections relate to the need for multi-sited research that doing global history implies? Does global history imply an expansion of the historian's traditional archive, and the incorporation of other traces of the past, such as through oral history or ethnographies of commemoration? And, how does the global turn cause us to look differently at, and generate new uses for, the collections in UK archives? These are some of the questions that we will explore in this year's Gerald Aylmer Seminar.