The Centre for the Historical Record participates in a wide variety of research projects, often (but not exclusively) in the field of history of healthcare, in collaboration with many different institutions. The common threads which run through our projects are:

    Photograph of a badly damaged 17th Century manuscript
  • a focus on technology to create and use digital resourses in history, opening up archival collections to a wide global audience and enabling researchers to delve deeply;
  • collaboration with libraries, museums and archives;
  • imaginative use of research methods such as prosopography, oral history and genealogical research, in a wide variety of contexts;
  • development/use of systems to ensure the widest possible dissemination of knowledge and research findings through publications, conferences seminars and other public events;
  • a blurring of the boundaries between public and academic history.

The Centre is a partner in the following projects:

  • British Red Cross VADs in World War One Project
    A project undertaken in conjunction with the British Red Cross and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund to digitise the records of the Voluntary Aid Detachments during World War One. The project is made possible by the work of over 400 volunteers who are using a specially designed web-based system to transcribe the cards into a database. The results are being made available to the public via a dedicated section of the British Red Cross website, which is being updated weekly as cards are completed.
  • Historic Hospital Admission Records Project
    A Wellcome Trust-funded project on early British children's hospitals, HHARP began in 2003 with the earliest admission records from Great Ormond Street Hospital. In the intervening years we have added records for three more hospitals, and continued to add to the Great Ormond Street collection. All the material produced by the project is available to the public via a dedicated free website and has been used by academics (including the Centre's own staff) to produce journal articles and books on children's health.
  • WISRNet: Women in Science Research Network
    WISRNet is an AHRC-funded Science and Culture research network run in collaboration with the University of Liverpool, The Royal Society and The Rothschild Archive. The CHR's Sue Hawkins is Principal Investigator. The purpose of the Network is to bring together people who are interested in the history of women's involvement in science, and discovering how  knowledge and understanding of this might inform contemporary experiences of women scientists. The Network  ran from 1 April 2013 to 30 June 2014, and  culminated in a two-day international conference in May 2014.
  • Royal British Nurses' Association Membership Rolls
    The RBNA was formed in 1887 to promote the professionalisation of nursing. Its main objective was the standardisation of nurse training and examination across the country, and the maintenance of a central register of nurses qualified to practice. The Membership rolls, housed at  King’s College Archive, contain information  on all the nurses who joined this organisation from 1888 to  the end of the Second World War. The Centre is transcribing the membership registers into a database to make these valuable documents more easily accessible to academic researchers and family historians alike.
  • Oakhill Community Heritage Project
    The Oakhill Community Heritage Project is a Heritage Lottery Fund community heritage project centred on the Oakhill area of Surbiton, Surrey. The demolition of the old cottage hospital and primary school led to ideas about preserving the heritage of the area before it was lost entirely. The project  brings together a number of local institutions in their endeavours to preserve and communicate the rich heritage of the area. The Centre's contribution to this project is to advise on the development of an oral history project and to train local volunteers in the techniques of oral history.
  • Prosopography and Healthcare Web
    Prosopography is a research technique most often associated with classicist or medieval historians, where the historical record is severely fragmented and incomplete. In recent years, however, other groups of historians have awoken to the possibilities it opens up. One such group is historians of healthcare. The Centre for the Historical Record, with its emphasis on increasing accessibility to historical data (especially in the healthcare fields) seemed a natural place to act a hub for researchers using this technique in this field of endeavour. Hence  the Prosopography and Healthcare Web will act as a forum and resource for researchers active in this field.
  • Museum Lives
    Museum Lives was a three year AHRC-funded oral history project conducted in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, London and Kingston's Department of Journalism. It ran from 2008 to 2011, producing interviews with over 50 past or present staff members. The resultant videos and transcripts are stored in the Museum's archive for use by future historians of the Museum and of natural history in the 20th century.
  • History e-Learning Project
    A spin-off from HHARP, the history online learning product was developed specifically for primary schools as a resource for Key Stage 1 and 2 modules on Victorian life. It was developed in conjunction with the University's Education Department and the London Grid  for Learning.
  • Kingston Local History Project
    This was our first venture into digital history, begun in the late 1990s. It is a database of census and parish records which provides insight into Kingston's economic and social development in the late 19th century The project offers for analysis one of the most comprehensive local databases in the country, containing over 200,000 records from the census returns for 1851-1891 and registration records from 1850-1914.
  • Kingston Aviation Heritage Project
    Kingston Aviation Heritage Project is a Heritage Lottery Fund community heritage project which has brought to light the extraordinary history of  Kingston's association with the aviation industry. The project had several themes including an oral history strand. The Centre for Historical Record provided advice on the design and organisation of the oral history project, which aimed to collect and record memories of former employees of Kingston's Hawker  Siddeley factory.
  • Kingston at Leisure
    Another HLF-funded community-based project, this time centering on the importance of local clubs and societies in fostering community development in the past. It was conceived as a result of discussions between colleagues from the Kingston Museum and Heritage Service and the Centre for the Historical Record. The Project focuses on ordinary people, how they chose to spend their leisure time and the records they have kept in the process.
Photograph of a patient being examined at the Hospital for Sick Children Glasgow, 1897

Contact the Centre

Centre for the Historical Record
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Kingston University
Penrhyn Road
Kingston upon Thames

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2359