Sunday, 23 February 2014

National Archive Podcasts (8)

I love history at a local, national and world levels. The National Archives contain some interesting records of British Imperialism around the world. There are also important records relating to life in the united kingdom. These records can also be used by anyone who is interested in genealogy. The documents come in all forms. I like to listen to the research outcomes in the form of lectures as the archives come under greater and greater scrutiny. The files are captured in MP3 format. There is obviously a bias towards history and family history in my choices.
At the age of 12, the delicate and genteelly brought up Charles Dickens was plunged into employment in a boot-blacking factory, while his father was incarcerated in Marshalsea debtors' prison. These events traumatised the young Dickens, and greatly influenced his future work. However, as an adult this difficult period was never discussed, and only after his death did his account come out. That account has never been corroborated or challenged, but author Michael Allen has discovered that Dickens' employers at Warren's Blacking were fighting each other in the Chancery Court, revealing a great deal of new information. Click Here to listen.
Professor Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History, Queen Mary, London University, and author of The Secret State, examines the 'particles and patterns of the past' to peer into the part of the post-war British state kept under wraps for the duration of the Cold War. Click Here to listen.
Census returns are among the most popular records used by family historians and other researchers, but many of us give little thought as to what went on behind the scenes every time a census was taken. This talk explores the creation of the census, with the mass organisation of enumerators, temporary clerks, permanent civil service clerks and registrars, as well as the fascinating stories that lie behind each census, to help us better understand the records we think we know so well. Click Here to listen.
The famous Boulting Brothers film 'I'm All Right Jack!' was released just over 50 years ago. The film, in which a blundering innocent causes a nationwide strike, was a satire - but did it also reflect social realities in 1959? Were trade unions and government on a collision course at this time? Does it reflect other trends in post-war Britain? This talk analyses the film and examines related material in the public record of the late 1950s - some of the results may seem surprising from today's perspective. Click Here to listen.

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