Job: AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award

AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship (January 2018 start)

Published on 4 September 2017

Black and white photo of Martins Bank, Aigburth
Martins Bank, Aigburth, Liverpool. Barclays Group Archives

‘Accounts with Interest’ – Opening up the Archives of Barclays Bank

Closing date for applications: 30 October 2017

The University of Liverpool and Barclays Group Archives (BGA) invite applications for a fully-funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship to start in January 2018.  While corporate archives are sometimes seen only as sites of historical research, this  PhD research is different and will focus on what the archive does for the company in the present.   The studentship is designed to prepare the candidate for a successful career in either academic or private sectors.

The successful candidate will enjoy privileged opportunities to work  as a member of the professional team responsible for Barclays Group Archives in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester exploring the possibilities for exploiting customer and other nominal banking data within the information technology environment available to BGA and investigating how such a local development might be exploited in the context of the wider banking archive sector.

‘Accounts with Interest’ is conceived as a genuinely interdisciplinary project within the digital humanities; we are keen to attract suitably-qualified candidates from any area  who can demonstrate their potential to carry out a research project designed to enable digital access to the nominal and related information held in archival records.

You can download further details of the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award Studentship

Alternatively email Dr Margaret Procter, senior lecturer, Record and Archive Studies or Dr Andrew Smith, senior lecturer in International Business.

Tuition fees + £14,553 (RCUK rates) + £1,000 p.a. (towards research costs) from Barclays.


Born digital sources & historical research

Political History in the Digital Age: The challenges of archiving and analysing born digital sources.

Helen+McCarthy+5bcredit+Jonathan+Ring5dThe vast bulk of source material for historical research is still paper-based. But this is bound to change. Dr Helen McCarthy considers the lessons from the Mile End Institute’s conference on Contemporary Political History in the Digital Age. The specific challenges of using a ‘born digital source’ is an area that requires considerable attention. For political historians, the advent of ‘e-government’ and personal digital archives, and the many formats and artefacts involved, is thrilling but also intimidating.

Historians like digging around in archives.

The materiality of the primary source is part of the allure of historical research: rummaging through dust-covered files, turning the decomposing pages of thick-bound volumes, removing rusty paperclips, perusing bundles tied with ancient string – it’s all part of the voyage of discovery into the past which drew most of us to our careers as historians.

To continue reading go to the LSE blog.


Final ESRC seminar in Organization History

The final ESRC seminar will take place at Exeter University, Wednesday 5 April 2017.

Speakers will include Albert Mills (Saint Mary’s University, Canada), Gabie Durepos (Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada), and Sarah Kinsey (Corporate Archivist, Nationwide Building Society), among others.

The programme and joining instructions will follow shortly. Any inquiries should go to Mick Rowlinson (

Reception: Woolworths Archive, Reading

A reception to celebrate the launch of the:

Woolworths archive at the University of Reading

Friday 10th March 2017, 18.00-19.30,
Henley Business School,
University of Reading,
Reading, RG6 6UD

The Centre of International Business History (CIBH), at the University of Reading’s Henley Business School, is delighted to announce that the corporate archive of Woolworths UK has been donated to the University of Reading Archives at the University’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). Woolworths was one of most iconic retail brands on the British high street and, from the 1930s until 1968, Britain’s largest retailer. Following preservation work and cataloguing, this collection will soon be accessible to researchers and others with an interest in this much-loved retail institution.
To celebrate the launch of this archive, CIBH is holding a reception on Friday 10th March, from 18.00-19.30, at the Henley Business School (main Reading University campus). This will also include an exhibition of materials from the Woolworths archive collection. Those interested in attending should register beforehand via the following web-link This also provides a map of the campus and travel information.
We thank Shop Direct for their help and generosity in securing the preservation of this archive.
For further information contact Professor Peter Scott, Professor of International Business History, 0118 378 5435 or for questions regarding booking, Valerie Woodley, Department Administrator,, 0118 378 7667.

Conf: Is there an accountability gap in archives?


Is there a democratic deficit in archives?

24th – 25th January 2017

Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

At Northumbria’s Threats to Openness in the Digital World conference in 2015 Professor Arthur Lucas raised the question Is there a democracy deficit in the way records are managed and selected for archives?   In the UK, there is public oversight of the process for releasing official records via the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Council and the Information Commissioner, but there is no statutory oversight of the creation, selection or disposition of records. The recommendation in the recent FOI Act review that the Information Commissioner’s prosecution powers be strengthened to make it easier for the IC “to prosecute offences relating to destroying information that has been requested under the Act, and to increase the penalty for this offence”, implies that public bodies will need to publish destruction schedules that are supervised as in Scotland under amendments to the Public Records Act (Scotland).

Does this mean there is an accountability gap in archives? How should the profession respond to these fundamental criticisms?

This follow-on 1.5 day conference will explore the issue and seek to learn from a variety of experiences and perspectives. The keynote speaker will be the new Information Commissioner, Ms Elizabeth Denham. Aimed at members of civil society and information sharing groups concerned with democratic access to the use of information, academics, archivists, records managers and users, it will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to listen to and actively engage in a discussion with leading UK and international figures at the most senior levels of government, academia and the profession. Sessions will focus on what future users want, government reviews and inquiries, the importance of recordkeeping in Africa in fighting corruption and developing the continent, and how tragedies have taught us new lessons about managing records both currently and in the long term.

Other speakers include Greg Falconer, Deputy Director, Digital Records and Information Management at the Cabinet Office; Bruno Longmore, Head of Government Records at the National Records Scotland; Sarah Tyacke, a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, Julia Jones who is Head of Information Management for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and Dr Nick Barrett, Associate Director Collections and Engagement at Senate House Library; and Dr Sinéad Ring, Co-Director of the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality.

Cost: £75, including refreshments and evening reception. For more information and to book a place please see

Sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, there are some free places available for charities.

The conference blog is and Twitter handle is @archivalgap


Ms Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner

Prof David Nicholas, Director, Ciber Research Ltd

Alison Diamond, Archivist, Duke of Argyll, Inverary Castle

Assoc. Prof William Merrin, Media & Communication, University of Swansea

Greg Falconer, Deputy Director, Digital Records and Information Management, Cabinet Office, The Government’s response to Sir Alex Allan’s Review of Government Digital Records

Julia Jones, Head of Information Management, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Bruno Longmore, Head of Government Records, National Records Scotland

Dr Alastair Tough, Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow

Simon Gill, Project Director, Overseas Development Institute

Sarah Tyacke, former Keeper of Records, Public Record Office and member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel

Dr Nick Barrett, Associate Director Collections and Engagement, Senate House Library

Dr Sinéad Ring, Law School, University of Kent, Historical Child Sexual Abuse Inquiries and the Nation’s Duty to Remember: Reflections from Ireland

On behalf of the organisers: Profs Michael Moss & Julie Mcleod and Visiting Prof Dr David Thomas, Northumbria University

Julie McLeod (Prof)| iSchool, Dept. Computer & Information Sciences, Faculty of Engineering & Environment, Northumbria University, Room 117 Pandon Building | Camden Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 1XE, UK| t: +44 (0)191 227 3764



Computer & Information Sciences

Workshop report: Private Interests or National Heritage? Gothenburg, Sweden

Review of the Workshop

‘Private Interests or National Heritage? Corporate Archives and the Production of History in a Global Perspective’

Diego M. Coraiola
Peter B. Gustavson School of Business
University of Victoria

The workshop “Private interest or corporate heritage” put together by Andrew Popp and Susanna Feldman took place in the beautiful city of Gothenburg in the 25th and 26th of November. The workshop brought together corporate archivists, business historians, and organizational theorists to discuss the reasons and practices the state and organizations use to collect, preserve, provide access, and use records from the past. There was a good mix of theoretical frameworks and practical applications and cases. This brought an interesting dynamic to the workshop to the extent that presentations would complement and draw from one another. Theoretical propositions would meet with practical experience and both scholars and practitioners would benefit from an enriched view of organizational mnemonic practices.

The workshop started with Elizabeth Shepherd’s (University College London) keynote speech overviewing the history of archival science and the development of business archives in the UK. It was followed by Mats Jönsson’s (University of Gothenburg) analysis of the private ‘documentary’ ‘Das Dritte Reich’. The movie is based on an assemblage of silent amateur footage of the Nazi regime period to which the voice of a narrator and some other sounds related to the images were added, bringing specific meaning to some of the scenes. Mats then used this case to argue about the importance of media and for the future of historical consciousness. The third presenter was Andrew Smith from the University of Liverpool. Andrew’s paper was a manifest for a transparency revolution in business history. He attempts to sensitize researchers, journals, and publishers for engaging with ‘active citation’ – i.e. the inclusion of hyperlinks with full access to a digitized copy of the sources used in the production of a piece of business history.

The second round of presentations started with Karl-Magnus Johansson and his description of the Gothenburg regional state archives, followed by Anders Houltz from the Swedish Centre for Business History. Both presenters make the point that instead of looking at public and private preservation as concurrent alternatives, it would be better to think about corporate archives as integral to national heritage. While the first presentation reinforced the existing accounts about business archives in Nordic countries by describing how corporations and the state work together in Sweden, Andres introduced the original approach taken by the Center, which provides consulting for organizations on how best use their past, from records keeping to history writing. I took over after them to present a framework in which Stephanie Decker (Aston Univerity) and I try to provide an answer to the question of why organizations remember the way they do. We believe that there is more to the memory of business than private interest or national heritage and we argue that we should pay attention to the institutions at play within an organizational field. Our framework thus identifies for different models of governance for the business and management memory: public governance, private governance, community governance, and representative governance.

Neill Forbes from the University of Coventry presented the case of the digitization of the records of British Telegraph, a very challenging reality for corporate archives, and commented on the possibilities this brings for business history. Ine Fintland and Torkel Thime cheered us with the case of the Norwegian oil and gas archives and the collective project for the preservation of business archives developed by the European companies that gave rise to the European Oil and Gas Archives. After their presentation, Jarmo Luoma-aho introduced us to the Finnish state-based model of business archives and the role of Elka, the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records in preserving business archives as part of the national heritage. Our first day ended with a collective reflection about the subject and a delicious dinner at a local restaurant.

Charles Harvey (Newcastle University) was the keynote speaker for the second day. He did a wonderful job summarizing the historical turn and introducing the notion of rhetorical history to a varied audience of scholars and practitioners. He made a distinction between four types of rhetorical history based on the intended audiences and the frequency in which they are addressed. He also explored the idea of possibly quantifying the contribution of corporate archives based on a formula accounting for the direct value archives add to the business plus the value they add to the society, minus the costs of operation of the archives. In addition to the bright ideas and comments, Charles enlightened us all with an amusing performance of a Scottish cherishing and defending its hundred old invented traditions. After him, Wim van Lent (Montpellier Business School) presented an ongoing project we are working together that focuses on the uses of the past in the East India Company. This is one of the first accounts of a company interested in recording its history, and we hope to understand better the corporate interests and uses in play even before the rise of the modern notion of history and archives.

Andrew Popp (University of Liverpool) delivered the last presentation at the workshop, based on a paper he and Susanna Fellman (University of Gothenburg) are writing together. They main purpose of the paper is to develop a methodological framework based on a stakeholder approach to business archives that contributes to legitimize the research on archives for an audience of management and organization scholars. After the presentations we engaged in an open discussion about possible future plans for this stream of research and wondered about the possibility of bringing close together scholars from organization studies, history, and archival theory through joint conferences, edited volumes, and special issues. I take this opportunity to thank both Andrew and Susanna for their proactive role in organizing this interesting workshop and for the well-planned sessions and the social get together. This was a great event and I hope to see – and maybe contribute to – this idea to grow and flourish in the future.


Reminder: Corporate Archives & the Production of History

The Unit for Economic History organizes jointly with the Regional State Archives in Gothenburg an International Workshop the following workshop

Private Interests or National Heritage? Corporate Archives and the Production of History in a Global Perspective

Venue: Regional State Archives in Gothenburg

Date: November 24th–25th 2016

Keynote speakers:

Elizabeth Shepherd, Ph D, professor and director of research at Archives and Records management studies, UCL. She is author of Archives and Archivists in 20th Century England (Ashgate, 2009) and serves on the editorial board of the journals Archival Science: Journal of the Society of Archivists and the Record Management Journal.

Charles Harvey is Professor of Business History and Management at Newcastle University Business School. In a distinguished career he has published numerous highly regarded articles on a wide range of topics in business history, management and organization studies. He was a long time editor of the journal Business History.


Corporate archives are preserved for a variety of reasons. Likewise they are preserved in a multitude of different places and under a multitude of different conditions. These variations might reflect differences in how corporate records are viewed and valued, to whom they are seen to belong, and in the uses to which it is believed they can be put. Sometimes companies retain records out of habit or inertia. Others have a more active interest in preserving their history and perhaps in preparing for writing that history. The archive can be used for branding and marketing purposes, for image creation by the companies, for change management, or for other strategic purposes. Some corporate archives are collected and organized to the highest standards of the archive profession, while others are merely a result of requirements to keep specific records. Other companies, whether purposefully or otherwise, rarely retain archives or regularly destroy their records and documents. The fate of an archive when a company dies is another important question, as is the fate of the archives of state-owned enterprises experiencing privatization. Another question concerns the archives of multinational corporations, who often cross multiple borders.

At the same time, it is not only corporations themselves who sometimes collect, store, and make accessible corporate archives – a range of private, quasi-public, and public organizations and institutions might become involved. As in many fields of social life, history has seen a turn to a transnational or global perspective, asking questions about the patterns and variations across and between rather than simply within countries. However, the very largest unit at which archives are organized tends to be the nation. As a result, the differences – and similarities – in the ways in which corporate archivization takes place across nations has tended to go unexamined. Simply stated, we know that corporate archives are preserved in many different venues, by many different bodies, and for many different reasons and this become even more apparent when we adopt a global perspective.

Our sense is that choices around the institutions and practices of the archive have real implications for the kinds of history generated. Are we correct in this? Our aim in organizing this conference on corporate archives in global perspective is not simply to gain an overview of patterns and differences between countries but also to enquire as to what consequences these patterns and variations have for the production, dissemination, and reception of history. The international perspective will, it is intended, throw these issues into sharper relief.

For more information and preliminary program, see:–private-interests-or-national-heritage–

The workshop is free of charge (lunches etc on own expenses), but in order for us to know the number of participants, kindly register to Susanna Fellman


Professor Susanna Fellman  and professor Andrew Popp (VPP at Economic History)


Corporate Archives in Global Perspective

Corporate Archives in Global Perspective: Preliminary Timetable

Thursday 24th November 2016:

10.00 Opening of workshop, words of welcome, practical information

10.15-11.00. Key Note I Professor Elizabeth Shepherd (UCL, London) TBA

11.00 -12.00 Session I: Voice vs Silence in the Corporate Archive:

Mats Jönsson (University of Gothenburg): “From Private Silent Imagery to Counterfactual Audiovisual History: Causes and Effects of Digital Compilation by A Commercial Film Archive”..”

Andrew Smith (University of Liverpool) & Maki Umemura (Cardiff Business School), “Why We Need a Transparency Revolution in Business History.”

Lunch: 12.00-13.00

13.00-14.30 Session II: National vs. International Perspectives on Preservation of Corporate Archives

Karl-Magnus Johansson (Landsarkivet I Goteborg), “Short Introduction to Swedish Corporate Archives and their Preservation.”

Anders Houltz (Centre for Business History, Sweden), “Private Interests and National heritage: A Swedish Model for Preserving Corporate Archives.”

Diego Coraiola (University of Victoria, Canada) & Stephanie Decker (Aston Business School), “International Archives and National Institutions.”

Coffee: 14.30-15.00

15.00-16.30: Session III Public needs vs Private Interests? Competing Models for Preserving Corporate Archives

Neill Forbes (University of Coventry), “New connections for the BT Archives?

Inte Fintland & Torkel Thime, “The Potential and Possible Problems in Combining Private and Public Archival Material.”

Jarmo Luoma-Aho (Central Archive for Finnish Business Records): “The state subsidy system for private archives and the Central Archives for Finnish Business Records.”

16.30-17.30: Panel Discussion and Closing of Day 1
Friday 25th November:

8.30-9.15 Key Note II: Professor Charles Harvey, (Newcastle University Business School) “History, Archives and the Pursuit of Competitive Advantage: Upside and Downside”.

9.15-9.30 Coffee:

9.30-11.30 Session III: Business Archives and the Control of the Past

Diego Coraiola (University of Victoria) & Wim van Lent: “Creating the Ultimate History: Archives, Memory and Control at the Dutch East India Company.”

Hans Hulling (Karlstads Universitet), “Histories in the Principality of Uddeholm: Corporation, Trade Union and local Community narrating History at times of Transformation and Crisis, ca 1870-1990.”

Andrew Popp (University of Gothenburg) and Susanna Fellman (University of Gothenburg), “A Stakeholder Perspective on Corporate Archives.”

Roy Suddaby (University of Victoria), TBA

11.30 closing of seminar, lunch.

Transparency and information management in financial institutions From the inside out — The Past Speaks

Reblogged from The Past Speaks:

Conference: 14 Sep 2016, Madrid, Spain European Business History Association in cooperation with Banco de España. Transparency is becoming an increasingly important theme, and mode of operation, in today’s financial institutions and global financial markets. This year’s eabh summer school will provide training on the latest developments in financial transparency and how financial archivists can serve their […]

via Transparency and information management in financial institutions From the inside out — The Past Speaks

Event: Business history and digital records


Please accept our apologies for any cross-posting.

How will business histories be written from digital records?


Organized by:
Tim Gollins and Michael Moss

Free Event

The National Records of Scotland, in collaboration with the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Business History in Scotland (CBHS), is hosting a one day conference on the theme of using digital records for business history research. The conference will be held in Edinburgh on Monday 9th May 2016, and is an exciting opportunity for archivists, historians and technical experts with an interest in business records to meet and discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift of records from the physical to the digital.

This one day conference will bring together interested parties from a variety of backgrounds, including businesses, archives, academics and technology. Speakers will present short papers aimed to provoke debate and discussion from panel members and delegates. The day will be an opportunity for collaboration and idea sharing and we anticipate some lively discussion! We hope that the event will produce a new network of professionals across a variety of disciplines, who will be persuaded to bid for funds to conduct further research.

Although the day will focus primarily on business records, the hope is that lessons learned from the business archive community will be used to inform wider debate about the issues surrounding use of digital records for research.

There will be four segments to the day, as follows:

Business archives: two archivists’ perspective

  • the paper world
  • the digital world
  • panel discussion

Business history: two historians’ perspectives

  • the paper world
  • the digital world
  • panel discussion

Digital technology: two experts from the field

  • insights and innovation
  • panel discussion

Conclusions: consortium speed dating exercise and funding streams.

The event is free to attend and tea/coffee and lunch will be provided. Places are limited so please book your ticket via Eventbrite soon.

WHEN: Monday, 9 May 2016 from 09:30 to 17:00 (BST)

WHERE: New Register House – 3 West Register Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YT, United Kingdom


Tim Gollins is Head of Digital Archiving at The National Records of Scotland and as programme director leads their Digital Preservation Programme. Prior to joining the NRS Tim was Head of Digital Preservation at the National Archives, where he led work on digital preservation and cataloguing. Tim was also a Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition for 6 years and is a member of the University of Sheffield I-School’s Advisory Panal.

Michael Moss has been a professor of archival science at Northumbria University since 2013 and holds a fellowship at the University of Melbourne’s e-Scholarship Research Centre. Michael was archivist of the University of Glasgow from 1974 until 2001, and research professor of archival science at the University of Glasgow between 2001 and 2013. He also has a long standing interest in business archives.

Please register here:

Please contact Jo Dixon at for further information.