Announcements: 3 May 2011

The Family & Colonialism Research Network has launched a Twitter account (@FamilyColonial). Follow us for updates related to family and colonial history, including announcements of events and publications, useful links for research or teaching, related news stories, quotes from archival sources, even fun facts of the day. Blog posts will complement, summarize, compile, add to and expand upon tweets.

Public Lectures

Dr. Elizabeth Buettner (York), ‘India, Canada and the British Family: Empire, Class, and Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century’
23 May 2011, 17.30-19.00, Museum of Childhood, London

Dr. Elizabeth Buettner, author of Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India, will speak on late-Victorian letters and keepsakes exchanged between parents and children living separately in different parts of the British Empire. The evening will also include an opportunity to examine some children’s items connected with the British in India.

The first in a series of talks on ‘The Child in the World,’ organized in collaboration with Queen Mary, University of London. Free. Bookings taken up to 14 days in advance.

For more details, see


Local History Summer School
11-13 July 2011, Institute of Historical Research, London

Open to all researchers in local history, including those interested in the family. Lectures and workshops will consider sources (how to find, obtain and interpret written and visual evidence in the archive and online) and techniques and themes (paleography, computers, landscape and the built environment, family and neighbourhood, etc). Taught by experts from the University of London, the National Archives, the British Library, the Victoria County History and the London Metropolitan Archives, amongst others.

See for programme, details and registration instructions.

Researching the Colonial Archive – Training Day
27 June 2011, 9.30-17.00, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

With Isabel Hofmeyr (Witwatersrand), Satish Padiyar (Courtauld), Josephine McDonagh (King’s), Chris Breward (V&A), Anna Jackson (V&A), Sue Stronge (V&A) and Rosemary Crill (V&A).

This intensive event offers post-graduate and early-career researchers working in eighteenth and nineteenth century subjects training in archival analysis and research methods. Designed around the collections of the V&A, this event focuses on textual history, visual culture and the methodological issues collection based research might raise. It also includes collection visits and experience with archival materials. We will consider, amongst other things, ‘The Material Histories of Postcolonial Texts,’ ‘Reading the Visual,’ and ‘The Colonial Archive.’

For more information and details on applying to participate, see Applications due 5 May 2011.

New Publications of Interest

Lucy Frost, ‘The Politics of Writing Convict Lives: Academic Research, State Archives and Family History,’ Life Writing 8, 1 (2011): 19-33.

Uses the story of Amelia Hedsman, a convict transported to colonial Australia in 1838, to discuss the potential connections between researchers inside and outside the academy as they explore newly democratized archives and re-write the histories of common families in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land.

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