News archive 2002
King's Military Archives honours Professor Sir Michael Howard29 Nov 2002, PR 55/02
A new Reading Room will be formally opened in the completely redeveloped Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College London on Tuesday 3 December.
The Room is to be named in honour of Professor Sir Michael Howard, to celebrate both his 80th birthday and over 50 years contribution to the study of war.
The Michael Howard Reading Room has been designed to the highest professional standards and will provide integrated access to paper, audio-visual and electronic archives for the first time. Individual scholarly work will be supported by access to Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart's Library, as well as a seminar room equipped for teaching, 'memory jerking' conferences and presentations of audio-visual materials to a wider audience.
Patricia Methven, Director of Archives and Corporate Records Services at King's said:
'This is a terrific development. More and better space opens up a whole raft of exciting opportunities for encouraging the use of the Archive by both the academic community and the wider public. For our regular readers - who have over doubled in numbers in the last year- the new reading room offers a significant improvement in working conditions.'
Following the opening of the Michael Howard Reading Room a newly commission portrait of Sir Michael by Anthony Palliser will be unveiled. Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor the History of War at Oxford University, will then give the annual Liddell Hart Lecture.
Entitled Michael Howard and the dimensions of military history, it will explore both Sir Michael's role in grounding the discipline in the 20th century and the challenges posed by new forms of conflict and the continuing need to understand the past.
The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives Annual Lecture is a popular and well-atttended event. Previous speakers have included General Lord Guthrie, Professor Harry Hinsley, General Sir Michael Rose, Professor Lawrence Freedman, The Rt Hon Alan Clark, and Max Hastings.
The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives Annual Lecture
The lecture will take place in the Great Hall, Strand Campus at 18.00 on Tuesday 3 December. If you would like to attend, please call Melanie Gardner in the King's Press Office on 020-7848 3073 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
King's College London is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with some 12,400 undergraduate students and over 4,700 postgraduates in ten schools of study. The College had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level. It is in the top group of five universities for research earnings and has an annual turnover of over £300 million and research income from grants and contracts in excess of £90 million (2001-2002).
Professor Sir Michael Howard's knowledge of warfare has been gained through experience and study. Having left Oxford to join the Coldstream Guards in 1943, he served in Churchill's Personal Security Detail before earning a Military Cross at Salerno. He was twice wounded before the end of the war.
After finishing his Oxford degree, Sir Michael joined the Department of History at King's College London in 1947 and was instrumental in creating both the Department of War Studies and the Centre for Military Archives at the College. In 1964, he became the College's, and the country's, first Professor of War Studies. In 1970, he moved to Oxford where he became the Chichele Professor of the History of War and later the Regius Professor of Modern History. He concluded his teaching career at Yale in 1993, as the first Robert A Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History.
The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, founded in 1964, was in the vanguard of repositories and museums which actively sought out private papers. Today it enjoys an international reputation for work in the field. The Centre was named in honour of Captain Sir Basil Liddell Hart in 1978 to mark the acquisition of his papers and library - the Centre's largest single collection. The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives is a unique collection: holding the papers of over 700 officers and/or their families, including several Chiefs of General Staff. It covers all the armed services, including the special services, and all wars, campaigns and peacekeeping initiatives in which British forces were engaged or acted as observers or specialist advisers.
The range of material includes diaries, correspondence, working papers and files, text of lectures, memoranda, unpublished memoirs, audio and video tapes of events, transcripts of interviews, photographs, maps and plans and press cuttings. It is also increasingly becoming an archive for independent television production companies. A major collection in this area includes the award winning Death in Yugoslavia produced by Brain Lapping Associates.
AIM25 - The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives is also the lead player in AIM25, a 50 partner collaboration of higher education and learned institutes in London to provided on-line access to descriptions of holdings of archives. The site already attracts over half a million hits each month. www.aim25.ac.uk
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