Constructing Histories: exploring the potential of charity archives

at University of Birmingham

Call for papers

Deadline for submissions: 27 March 2020

The Save the Children archive is held at the Cadbury Research, University of Birmingham. The archive comprises 2000 boxes of administrative papers, project reports, publications, photographs, and ephemera. The archive is currently being fully catalogued and preserved as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project to enhance access and discoverability of this incredible resource for research.

This Study Day will bring together academics, researchers, archive professionals, and aid workers. Adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, it will examine the unique value of charity archives in exploring new perspectives in a range of disciplines such as the history of medicine, education, post-colonial studies, and humanitarianism.

The Study Day aims to provide space for critical reflection of the activities of various charitable
agencies throughout the 20th century and towards the present day. Although part of the day will
focus on work undertaken by the Save the Children Fund, we wish to include papers which focus on other charitable organisations, in order to develop connections and identify similarities and
differences within the sector.

We would especially welcome paper proposals that engage with aspects of:
• How charity archives support any aspect of academic research;
• Diversity, race and inclusion within charity archives;
• The value of oral history to organisations’ institutional memory;
• The challenges of managing and accessing charity archives in the digital age;
• And the wider question, do organisations make enough use of their own history?

Papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Preference will be given to those proposals
which stimulate dialogue and debate, and engage with broader topics.

Please send enquiries and proposals of no more than 300 words, by Friday 27 March 2020, to:

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