Commonwealth Studies Research Day

Commonwealth Studies Research Day

Tuesday 14 November, 9:30-12:00

Seng Tee Lee Seminar Room, Senate House Library


This research day will focus on the collections of the Commonwealth Studies held at Senate House Library, which comprise personal archives of individuals linked to the Commonwealth, records of organisations as well as an abundance of scarce material, including pamphlets and ephemera. A great deal of this primary source material relates to political activism, anti-apartheid, civil rights and liberties, the struggle for political independence, journalism and communications, education, workers’ rights and trade unions, as well as the business of government across the Commonwealth. These collections offer a unique opportunity to study the development and continuing history of this group of nations.

This session will be led by a team of specialist staff from Senate House Library and external academic leads. It will consist of an overview of the subject area, followed by case studies outlining current or recent research based on the collections. There will also be an opportunity to see a sample of original items from this area of the collections, and to talk to specialist library and academic staff about potential research topics the collections can support.


The research day is addressed to:

  • 3rd year undergraduates looking for MRes topics
  • Masters students seeking PhD projects
  • PhD students looking for ECR projects
  • Academic staff looking for large-scale projects for research council funding
  • Commercial digitisation partners



9:30 – 10:00       Tea, coffee and registration (Durning Lawrence Library)


10:00 – 10:05     Welcome and introduction


10:05 – 10:20     Maria Castrillo (Head of Special Collections & Engagement, SHL) and Richard Espley (Head of Modern Collections, SHL): Collections overview


10:20 – 11:05     Case Studies


Jacob Fairless Nicholson (King's College London): Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council

Richard Temple (Archivist, SHL): Anti-apartheid collections

Laurence Byrne (Commonwealth Studies Research Librarian, SHL): Nigerian pamphlets


11:05 – 11:40     Viewing of collections


11:40 – 12:00     Plenary discussion and next steps


12:00                 Close

Event details

  • 14 November 2017 09:30
  • Various Speakers
  • Free, but with limited spaces
  • Senate House Library Event


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