Records of the Historical Association, 1681-2004

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The bulk of the institutional records date from 1906 to 2004 with some earlier seventeenth-century historical records. The arrangement is according to the institutional organisation of the Historical Association, as follows:

Governance of the Association, including council agenda, minutes and correspondence, minutes of the Annual General Meetings, correspondence and papers of the President, Deputy President, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. Includes general financial papers on Development Fund, covenants, bequests and investments, legal documents including articles of association and charitable status documents, items relating to Coopers and Lybrand report and general correspondence. (HAn/1)

Executive Committee papers, including agenda, minutes, correspondence and papers, with items relating to the Norton Medlicott bequest and medal. (HAn/2)

Primary Committee papers, both prior and post the amalgamation of the Primary History Association and the Historical Association, contains agenda, minutes, correspondence and papers. (HAn/3)

Secondary Committee papers, including agenda, minutes, correspondence and papers. (HAn/4)

Public History Committee. This committee has not currently deposited any papers. (HAn/5)

Branches and Membership Committee, including agenda, minutes and correspondence of Membership Services Committee, registers of members from 1906 onwards, lists of life members with correspondence, various statistics relating to membership. Also files on attempts to form branches of Historical Association with correspondence from headquarters to branch officers, lists of lecturers, branch programmes, reports and other ephemera. Papers relating to Area Advisers and branch officers in general. There is also a large series of records for 135 branches. The vast majority are the files kept on each branch by Association headquarters and only occasionally are original records present. Similar files also exist for the overseas branches of the Association in countries of the British Commonwealth. (HAn/6)

Finance and General Purposes Committee, including minute books, agenda, minutes and correspondence. (HAn/7)

Education Committee, including agenda, minutes, correspondence and papers of the Education and Educational Services Committees, papers of the Schools, Educational Publications, Higher Education, 16+, Adult Education, Examinations, and Information Technology subcommittees. Also material relating to the History at the Universities Defence Group, Campaign for History and various miscellaneous files, reports and consultation documents. (HAn/8)

Publications Committee, including agenda, minutes and papers for committee with contracts and correspondence relating to the production of publications. Files relating to General Series, Helps for Students of History, Implementing the National Curriculum, Appreciations in History, New Appreciations of History, Teaching of History, Occasional papers, Aids for Teachers, and Information Leaflets pamphlets and History, The Historian, Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature, and Teaching History journals. Complete runs of General Series pamphlets, The Historian and Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature. Files of contracts and correspondence relating to Blackwell Historical Association Studies in History. Also audio visual publications including videoreel and audio cassette. Series of annual reports and accounts, library catalogues and booklists. (HAn/9)

Conferences, teaching and tours, including agenda, minutes, correspondence and papers of Courses, Conferences and Tours Committee. Files relating to specific conferences, along with programmes and files for tours and other meetings. Items relating to administration of Advanced Certificate in the teaching of history and correspondence with colleges offering the qualification. (HAn/10)

Young Historian scheme, including papers relating to governance of scheme, agendas, minutes and correspondence, files relating to administration of various local schemes, publications resulting from various projects. (HAn/11)

Local History Committee, including minute book, agenda, minutes and correspondence. (HAn/12)

Other Committees, including agenda, minutes and papers from the Illustrations Committee, Library Committee, Propaganda and Publicity and Development Committees, International Committee, Carnegie Assessment Committee, Cinema, TV and Films Committee, Premises Committee, History Watchdog Committee, Committee for Scotland and Historical Association Dining Group. (HAn/13)

Links with wide variety of other subject specific groups and non governmental organisations, arranged alphabetically. (HAn/14)

Miscellaneous material, including items relating to 50th and 75th anniversaries of the Association and correspondence regarding granting of royal patronage. Also documents relating to administration of headquarters and office administration. Selection of miscelleneous seventeenth-century items bequeathed to Historical Association and collection of miscellaneous twentieth-century photographs of Historical Association conferences. (HAn/15)

Administrative / Biographical History

The Historical Association was established in 1906, as a result of a growing feeling among teachers and academics that there was inadequate provision for the teaching and research of history. By 1906 a number of 'subject' associations were in existence. The Mathematical Association had been founded in 1870, the Geographical and Modern Language Associations in 1893, and the Classical Association in 1903. In the early years of the twentieth century teachers of history began to form local groups. Support for a formally constituted Historical Association was secured from various university professors, and at a meeting at University College, London on 19th May 1906 the Association was established. In a short space of time several regional branches were set up. These arranged lectures from historians, tours and social events and remain a core part of the organisation of the Association. A number of overseas branches were also formed in Commonwealth countries.

Governance of the Association was through a council and a President, aided by an Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer. The President was normally a well known academic historian or educationalist and served for three years. Originally the organisation was housed with the Royal Historical Society in Russell Square but moved and moved to 29 Gordon Square, London in the 1930s. During the war it moved to be based in the library at Exeter University and from the 1950s to the present it is based at 59A Kennington Park Road in the former Rectory. The Association Secretary worked at headquarters with a small staff to maintain the back office functions of the Association. A major reorganisation of the Association occurred in 1996 due to a chronic financial deficit and decreasing membership numbers. Coopers and Lybrand, consultants, were brought in to advise the Historical Association on changing its focus, structure and remit. A Chief Executive post was created and a number of the committees were abolished to focus the organisation around support for the teaching of history and public history, along with a central executive committee.

The Association has over the years produced many publications on a wide range of historical subjects including the journal 'History', the magazines 'The Historian', 'Teaching History' and 'Primary History', as well as a variety of pamphlets on historical topics, debates and sources. It also organised a large number of conferences, both for a general audience and also aimed at teachers of history and revision conferences for students. The tours programme began in 1934 and visited a wide variety of UK and overseas destinations, led by historians.

The Association aimed to provide support for all forms and levels of history teaching. Its overall objectives were: to collect and distribute information on all matters relating to the study and teaching of history; to encourage local centres for the discussion of such questions; and to represent to educational authorities and the general public the needs and interests of historical study and teaching. In 1992 it merged with the Primary History Association and strengthened its work with primary school teachers. Alongside this were a number of campaigns to boost interest in school history and maintain its position on the National Curriculum and at universities. From 1985 the very successful Young Historian programme ran annually and encouraged school children to carry out projects of local historical research. The Association also accredited a Post Graduate certificate in the teaching of history, run at a number of polytechnics and university colleges from the 1980s.

Arrangement

The collection has been arranged according to the institutional organisation of the Historical Association. Original filing order has been reconstructed as far as is possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Accessible to all registered readers. Access to some items is restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act.

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Good

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The Association transferred its records to the University of Nottingham between 1996 and 2006. More recent records remain with the organisation.

Bibliography

Historical Association, 'The Historical Association, 1906-1956', (London, 1957). 'One Hundred Years of the Historical Association', 'The Historian', 91 (2006).

Corporate Names