News archive 2005
AHRB success for Department of History10 Dec 2004, PR 77/04
The King’s Department of History has achieved remarkable success in the latest funding round of the Resource Enhancement scheme from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB).
The Department was involved in three separate bids, all of which received funding. Collectively they were awarded almost £1 million out of a total of £2.9 million available under the scheme, and in two cases build on awards made in 1999 with a total value of more than £1 million.
A grant of £317,246 over three years was awarded to phase 2 of The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England Project (PASE), co-directed by two King’s medievalists, Professor Janet Nelson and Dr Stephen Baxter, with Professor Simon Keynes of University of Cambridge.
This grant will enable the chronological expansion of PASE’s existing comprehensive biographical register of recorded inhabitants of Anglo-Saxon England (c 450-1066) accessible in the form of a searchable on-line database to make it an essential resource, in one assessor’s words, for ‘all who study the history of England (and Britain) through the crucial period of the so-called Norman Conquest’.
The second grant, of £303,378, was awarded to the continuation of the Clergy of the Church of England Database, 1540-1835 (CCE), a joint initiative between Dr Arthur Burns, Head of the King’s Department of History, Dr Kenneth Fincham, University of Kent and Dr Stephen Taylor, University of Reading.
CCE is completing work on the creation of an online relational database covering all clerical careers in the Church of England between the Reformation and the late Hanoverian period based on an innovative collaboration between academics and local and amateur researchers. This new grant will facilitate the development of new software and resources to make the contents more easily accessible to all its users, and to enable more structured investigations of the data.
An assessor commented, ‘This will not therefore be a static resource, representing the sum of knowledge, but will generate an ongoing research dynamic. It is a truly thrilling prospect.’
Professor David Carpenter, a leading authority on the history of Britain in the central middle ages, has been awarded the third grant of £311,963 over three years to digitise and calendar the Fine Rolls of the Reign of Henry III to 1248 in a collaboration with Harold Short of King’s Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) and Dr David Crook of the National Archives.
This is a new project which will see what the assessors describe as ‘a fundamental resource’ for all scholars working on 13th-century England made accessible to a wide audience from professional historians to genealogists.
Fundamental to the design and implementation of all three projects has been the involvement of King’s Centre for Computing in the Humanities, under the leadership of Harold Short; technical innovation and development is as important to their success as the scholarship of the historians involved. The award of these grants underlines King’s status as one of the leading centres in this field not just within Britain but internationally.
Dr Burns comments: ‘The awards also reflect a welcome trend towards strategic collaborations on specific large-scale research projects between scholars possessing complementary expertise yet based in different institutions. I am also particularly delighted that the Department is associated with three projects which contribute so significantly to the dissemination of the fruits of high-quality scholarship beyond the academy, in line with the College’s commitment to the “service of society”.
The Principal of King’s College London, Professor Rick Trainor, said: ‘These awards represent an extraordinary achievement for the King’s Department of History. They are a tribute both to the very high reputation of the Department and to its ability to blend the latest technology with traditional scholarly techniques.’
The Resource Enhancement scheme supports projects aiming to improve access to and use of research resources and materials. Grants up to £300,000 are available and can be held for a maximum of three years.
Notes to editors
King’s College London
King’s is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the University of London with 13,800 undergraduate students and some 5,300 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. King’s is in the top group of five universities for research earnings with income from grants and contracts of more than £93 million (2002-2003) and has an annual turnover of £348 million. King’s is a member of the Russell Group, a coalition of the UK’s major research-based universities.
Department of History
The Department dates back to the 1870s. It admits about 110 undergraduates every year and has a thriving postgraduate community engaged in work for MA and PhD degrees. It achieved the highest rating in the national Teaching Quality Assessment in 1994, and a top 5* rating in the Research Assessment Exercise in 1992, 1996 and 2001. Members of staff research and teach a wide range of subjects in British, European, Imperial and South Asian History.
Last month, Dr Stephen Lovell, Lecturer in Modern European History, was one of 22 UK academics to win one of the prestigious 2004 Philip Leverhulme Prizes.
Jinty Nelson, Professor of Medieval History
Professor Janet L (aka Jinty) Nelson’s research is mainly focused on earlier medieval Europe. Though most of her work has been on kingship, government and political ideas, she has also published on heresy, religion and ritual, and has become increasingly interested in the history of women and gender. She recently retired from the position of President of the Royal Historical Society.
Arthur Burns, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History and Head of Department of History
Dr Burns has written widely on the history of the Church of England and reform projects in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. As well as being a director of the CCE project since 1999, he has recently co-edited St. Paul's: The Cathedral Church of London 604-2004 (Yale University Press, 2004) and Rethinking the Age of Reform: Britain 1780-1850 (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
David Carpenter, Professor of Medieval History
David Carpenter's research and writing focuses on English history in the 13th century where he ranges widely through social, economic, architectural, military and political history. He is a particular exponent of ‘thickened political narrative,’ which he deployed in The Minority of Henry III (1990), a book which traced the complex political history of the years 1216 to 1227 out of which a new monarchy, limited by Magna Carta, emerged. David Carpenter has also fixed the true date of Magna Carta in 1215, revealed the causes of the great political revolution in 1258 and shown how peasants were fully engaged in the subsequent Montfortian period of reform and rebellion.
The Arts & Humanities Research Board
The AHRB funds postgraduate training and research in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. The quality and range of research supported not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. Each year the AHRB provides approximately £70 million to support research and postgraduate study and in any one year, the AHRB makes approximately 700 research awards and around 1,500 postgraduate awards.
Melanie Gardner, Senior Public Relations Officer, King’s College London
Tel: 020-7848 3073, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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