Transcript: David Cannadine on promoting historical research | Apr 15, 2001

A slate with two Doric columns reads "David Cannadine. 'The Role of Historical Research Institutes in Contemporary Society.'"

[applause]

David Cannadine sits at a table in a large meeting room and addresses an unseen group of people. He's in his early fifties, clean-shaven and balding. He's wearing glasses, a gray suit, white shirt, and patterned red tie.

He says THE TITLE OF THE TALK IS
"THE ROLE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH INSTITUTES IN
CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY."
IN ADDRESSING THAT ISSUE,
I WANT TO KEEP IN MIND -
AND I'D LIKE YOU TO KEEP
IN MIND - TWO QUOTATIONS
WHICH PROVIDE BOTH THE
FRAME OF THIS LECTURE AND
ALSO THE QUESTION WHICH IN
A BROAD BUT, I HOPE,
HIGHLY RELEVANT WAY I
WANT TO TRY TO ANSWER.
HERE IS WINSTON
CHURCHILL IN 1940.
IT'S IN THE COURSE OF
HIS EULOGY OF NEVILLE
CHAMBERLAIN AT THE
END OF THAT YEAR.
"HISTORY WITH ITS
FLICKERING LAMP STUMBLES
ALONG THE TRAIL
OF THE PAST
TRYING TO RECONSTRUCT
ITS SCENES,
TO REVIVE ITS ECHOES, AND
KINDLE WITH PALE GLEAMS
THE PASSIONS
OF FORMER DAYS."
CHURCHILL THEN WENT ON
TO POSE THIS QUESTION.
"WHAT," HE INQUIRED, "IS
THE WORTH OF ALL THIS?"
IF YOU DON'T THINK THAT
STATESMEN SHOULD HAVE
A VIEW OF HISTORY,
THOUGH ON THE WHOLE
I THINK THEY PROBABLY
SHOULD AND MOST OF THEM DO,
HERE IS QUENTIN SKINNER
POSING IN A SENSE EXACTLY
THE SAME QUESTION IN HIS
INAUGURAL LECTURE AS REGIUS
PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY
IN CAMBRIDGE IN 1998.
"WE OUGHT, I THINK, TO BE
PREPARED TO ASK OURSELVES,
QUITE AGGRESSIVELY, WHAT
IS SUPPOSED TO BE
THE PRACTICAL USE HERE AND NOW
OF OUR HISTORICAL STUDIES?
WE MUST EXPECT TO BE ASKED
AND MUST NOT FAIL TO ASK
OURSELVES, WHAT IS
SUPPOSED TO BE
THE POINT OF IT ALL?"
SO THERE IS IN A SENSE
EXACTLY THE SAME FORMULATION.
WHAT IS THE WORTH
OF ALL THIS?
ACCORDING TO CHURCHILL.
WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE
THE POINT OF IT ALL?
ACCORDING TO
QUENTIN SKINNER.
I WANT TO ADDRESS AND
I HOPE COME CLOSE
TO OFFERING SOME ANSWERS
TO THESE QUESTIONS
BY LOOKING AT
THREE THINGS.
MY LECTURES ARE ALWAYS
DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS.
MOST OTHER PEOPLE'S
LECTURES ALSO SEEM TO BE
DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS.
I SUPPOSE THIS OWES
SOMETHING TO JULIUS CAESAR,
THE FIRST EVER LECTURER,
AND SO I PROPOSE TO
FOLLOW THAT PATTERN HERE.
FIRST OF ALL, I
WANT TO ADDRESS,
AS I THINK IT'S
ESSENTIAL TO DO,
THE ROLE OF HISTORY IN A
BROAD WAY IN CONTEMPORARY
SOCIETY, ESPECIALLY,
OF COURSE,
WITH REFERENCE
TO CANADA NOW.
SECONDLY, SINCE IT'S
WHAT I KNOW ABOUT,
I WANT TO TALK A BIT ABOUT
THE ROLE OF THE INSTITUTE
OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH IN LONDON
IN CONTEMPORARY
BRITISH SOCIETY.
AND THIRDLY, I WANT TO
OFFER ON THE BASIS
OF THOSE TWO POINTS SOME
GENERAL AND I HOPE
HELPFUL AND CONSTRUCTIVE
SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE SORT
OF THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO
BE THINKING ABOUT AS -
WHICH I VERY MUCH HOPE
YOU'LL BE DOING - YOU
MOVE TOWARDS MAKING THESE
IDEAS ABOUT A RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IN HISTORY
HERE AT YORK UNIVERSITY
CONCRETE AND
DEFINITE AND REAL.
LET ME START THEN IF I MAY
WITH THE ROLE OF HISTORY
IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
HERE AND NOW IN CANADA TODAY.
AND LET ME THROW AT
YOU A PARADOX WHICH SEEMS
TO ME BOTH SUGGESTIVE
IF IN SOME WAYS
RATHER CHALLENGING.
THE PARADOX IS A
FAIRLY OBVIOUS ONE,
WHICH IS, THAT ACCORDING
TO SOME SOOTHSAYERS
AND DOOM-MONGERS, HISTORY
IS IN DECLINE,
PERHAPS UNPRECEDENTEDLY,
YET ACCORDING TO
OTHER PEOPLE,
HISTORY IS BOOMING,
PERHAPS UNPRECEDENTEDLY.
NOW HOW CAN IT BE
BOTH OF THESE THINGS,
OR IS IT THE CASE THAT
BOOM IS MORE IMPORTANT
THAN DECLINE, WHICH
I'M BOUND TO SAY,
DECLARING MY HAND,
I THINK IT IS.
WELL, THERE IS CLEARLY
EVIDENCE FOR DECLINE.
HIGH SCHOOL
ENROLLMENTS ARE DOWN.
HISTORIANS FEEL IN
UNIVERSITIES ON BOTH SIDES
OF THE ATLANTIC
INCREASINGLY EMBATTLED,
SOMETIMES MARGINALIZED,
AND ALWAYS UNDERPAID
AND UNDERFUNDED.
PROFESSIONAL HISTORIANS
ARE A KIND OF ALIENATED
LOT IN GENERAL, I THINK,
AND MANY OF THEM FEEL
THAT ESPECIALLY NOW.
UNDERLINING THIS IS
SOMETHING ARGUABLY
MORE IMPORTANT AND
MORE WORRYING,
THAT IS THE IMPACT
OF POST MODERNISM.
POST MODERNISM HAS
SUBVERTED HISTORY'S
FAVOURITE MODE
OF DESCRIPTION,
THAT IS TO SAY, THE
MASTER NARRATIVE;
WE NO LONGER BELIEVE
IN THOSE ANYMORE.
POST MODERNISM HAS
INTRUDED INTO HISTORY
AN UNPRECEDENTED
AMOUNT OF JARGON,
AN IMPENETRABLE
INCOHERENCE WHICH
OFTEN RENDERS IT
INCOMPREHENSIBLE
TO ALMOST ALL OF US.
POST MODERNISM ASSERTS THAT
THERE IS NO SUCH THING
AS TRUTH, THAT WE
CAN NEVER KNOW HOW IT
ACTUALLY WAS, AS RANKE
CLAIMED THAT WE COULD.
AND POST MODERNISM ASSERTS
THAT EVERY VIEW OF THE PAST
IS AS SUBJECTIVE AND
THEREFORE AS VALUABLE
OR AS VALUE-LESS AS
EVERY OTHER VIEW.
NOT SURPRISINGLY
THEN IN 1992,
FRANCIS FUKUYAMA WROTE A BOOK
CALLED
THE END OF HISTORY,
ALLUDING TO SOME
OF THESE DEVELOPMENTS,
BUT ALSO MAKING THE POINT
THAT AS LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC
FREE-MARKET CAPITALISM
TRIUMPHED EVERYWHERE,
HISTORY REALLY HAD
COME TO A FULL STOP.
FAR BE IT FOR ME TO
SUGGEST THAT THE EVIDENCE
OF DECLINE CAN BE
EASILY WASHED AWAY AND,
AS IT WERE,
AIRBRUSHED OUT.
I THINK THE PROBLEMS OF
HIGH SCHOOL ENROLLMENT,
EVEN IN SOME UNIVERSITIES,
THE PROBLEM OF UNDERGRADUATE
ENROLLMENT ARE REAL AND
NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT.
THE PROBLEM OF UNDER
FUNDING FOR HISTORY,
A SENSE OF MARGINALIZATION
CERTAINLY NEEDS
TO BE WORRIED ABOUT.
I DON'T THINK MYSELF
POST MODERNISM HAS DONE
HISTORY MUCH HARM.
I THINK IN SOME WAYS
IT'S DONE IT SOME GOOD.
WE CAN IGNORE THE JARGON.
WE CAN IGNORE ITS MORE
EXTRAVAGANT CLAIMS AND
SELF-EVIDENTLY HISTORY DID NOT
COME TO AN END IN 1992.
IT'S STILL GOING ON
AND IT'S GOING TO
CARRY ON GOING ON.
SO I THINK THE EVIDENCE
FOR DECLINE IS ALTHOUGH
THERE AND NOT AS GLOOMY
AS SOME PEOPLE THINK.
THE EVIDENCE FOR THE FACT
THAT HISTORY IS BOOMING
SEEMS TO ME TO BE
WIDESPREAD AND ENCOURAGING
AND UNDENIABLY HERE.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT
IN THE MORE MOBILE,
THE MORE GLOBAL, THE MORE
MULTI-CULTURAL WORLD THAT
WE LIVE IN, THE MORE
HISTORY THERE IS A GENERAL
WISH TO KNOW, PARTLY
BECAUSE WE WISH TO KNOW
ABOUT THE HISTORY OF
THE WORLD AS WELL
AS THE HISTORY OF
OUR OWN LOCALITY.
PARTLY BECAUSE MANY
PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR
A ROOTED SENSE OF
THEIR OWN IDENTITY,
AND HISTORY IS THE KEY
TO UNDERSTANDING THAT.
IT SEEMS TO ME THERE
ARE MANY HOPEFUL AND
ENCOURAGING SIGNS THAT
HISTORY IS DEFINITELY BOOMING.
THE GREAT MUSEUMS OF OUR
CAPITAL CITIES AND IN
OUR GREAT PROVINCIAL
CITIES ARE, I THINK,
FLOURISHING IN WAYS THAT
HAVE NEVER BEEN TRUE BEFORE.
MUSEUMS REMEMBER OUR
CONCERN TO DISPLAY
THE ARTIFACTS OF THE PAST AND
TO TELL US STORIES ABOUT
THE PAST BUILT AROUND
THOSE ARTIFACTS.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "David Cannadine. British Institute of Historical Research. 'Historical Research Institutes.'"

David continues MANY WORKS OF HISTORY
ARE SELLING WELL AND
SELLING ARGUABLY
BETTER THAN BEFORE.
THIS SUNDAY I WAS READING
THE NEW YORK TIMES
BOOK REVIEW.
IN THERE I FOUND REVIEWS
OF NIALL FERGUSON'S
NEW BOOK ON THE CASH NEXUS
AND OF ELAINE SHOWALTER'S
BOOK ON THE HISTORY
OF FEMINISM.
BOTH OF THOSE I THINK
WILL SELL EXTREMELY WELL.
BOTH OF THEM ADDRESS
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES WITH
A STRONG AND RELEVANT
AND MUCH APPRECIATED
HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE AND
THERE HAS I THINK NEVER
BEEN AS MUCH HISTORY ON
TELEVISION AS THERE IS NOW.
IF WE THINK OF SIMON
SCHAMA'S TELEVISION
HISTORY OF BRITAIN, OR THE
HISTORY OF CANADA THAT HAS BEEN
ON TELEVISION HERE
AND I UNDERSTAND IS STILL
TO GO FORWARD IN FURTHER
FUTURE EPISODES.
NONE OF THIS SHOULD REALLY
COME AS ANY SURPRISE.
AFTER ALL, THE DESIRE TO
KNOW ABOUT THE PAST
IS INNATE TO ALL
HUMAN SOCIETIES,
AND IT'S A PRIME PURPOSE
OF UNIVERSITIES NOW,
AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND
AS IT ALWAYS MUST BE,
TO GRATIFY THAT DESIRE TO
KNOW ABOUT THE PAST AND
TO INFORM AND TO BETTER
INFORM THAT DESIRE
TO KNOW ABOUT
THE HUMAN PAST.
LET ME SUGGEST IN A BIT
MORE DETAIL HOW I THINK
THIS IS SO AND WHY
KNOWING ABOUT THE PAST
IS IMPORTANT AND WHAT LESSONS
WE CAN DRAW FROM THIS.
LET ME BEGIN BY ADVANCING
THE PROPOSITION,
UNFASHIONABLE IN CERTAIN
QUARTERS, BUT I THINK
NEVERTHELESS AN
IMPORTANT PROPOSITION.
THAT ALL PEOPLE
NEED TO KNOW,
MANY OF THEM WANT TO KNOW
AND THEY ALL OUGHT TO KNOW
THE HISTORY OF THE NATION
TO WHICH THEY BELONG.
I'M NOT SAYING THAT THEY
HAVE TO LIKE THE NATION
TO WHICH THEY BELONG.
THEY MAY EVEN ONLY
HAVE RECENTLY ARRIVED
IN THE NATION TO
WHICH THEY BELONG.
THEY MAY EVEN HAVE PLANS
TO LEAVE THE NATION
TO WHICH THEY BELONG.
BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT
ANYBODY WHO IS A CITIZEN
OF OR RESIDENT IN CANADA
TODAY IS BOUND TO ASK
THEMSELVES, AND I
SUSPECT REGULARLY DOES,
HOW DID CANADA GET
TO BE THE WAY IT IS?
THEY MAY ASK THAT
QUESTION IN BAD TEMPER,
IN BEWILDERMENT,
IN EXAGGERATION,
BUT THAT QUESTION, HOW DID
CANADA GET TO BE THE WAY
IT IS, IS A HISTORICAL
QUESTION WHICH I SUSPECT
MANY PEOPLE WISH TO
KNOW THE ANSWERS TO.
WHY IS THERE A MONARCH
AS HEAD OF STATE?
WHY DOES CANADA HAVE
A FEDERAL STRUCTURE?
WHY DO ITS BOUNDARIES WITH
THE UNITED STATES IF YOU
HEAD WEST BEGIN WITH THE
GROUP OF MARITIME ISLANDS,
THEN BECOME A RIVER, THEN
BECOME A SET OF LAKES,
AND THEN BECOME
A STRAIGHT LINE?
WHY IS CANADA SO
DIVERSE A NATION?
IS THIS SOMETHING
RECENT?
HAS IT ALWAYS
BEEN LIKE THAT?
WHY IS THE ECONOMY EVOLVED
IN THE WAY IT HAS?
WHAT ARE THE RELATIONS
BETWEEN THE MARITIME PROVINCES
AND THE WEST OR BETWEEN
ONTARIO AND QUEBEC,
AND HOW HAVE THEY GOT TO
BE THE WAY THEY ARE?
SEEMS TO ME FOR ANY OF
YOU LIVING HERE
IN CANADA TODAY, THESE ARE
ESSENTIAL, UNAVOIDABLE,
HIGHLY RELEVANT,
CONTEMPORARY QUESTIONS
AS YOU LIVE YOUR LIVES IN
THIS COUNTRY HERE AND NOW.
BUT SELF-EVIDENTLY THEY
CAN ALSO ONLY BE FULLY ANSWERED
IN A HISTORICAL WAY.
THEY ARE INTRINSICALLY
AND IMPORTANTLY
HISTORICAL QUESTIONS.
AND THE FACT THAT THERE
IS NO LONGER ONE SINGLE
OVER-ARCHING COLONY TO
NATION MASTER NARRATIVE
OF CANADIAN HISTORY SEEMS
TO ME FROM THIS PERSPECTIVE
NEITHER HERE NOR THERE.
THERE ARE MANY CANADAS.
THERE ARE MANY CANADIANS
AND THERE ARE MANY
HISTORIES AND WE - OR
PERHAPS I OUGHT TO SAY -
YOU NEED THEM ALL TO
UNDERSTAND YOURSELVES
AND YOUR WORLD HERE,
NOW, IN CANADA, TODAY.
A SECOND PROPOSITION I
WOULD LIKE TO ADVANCE
IN TERMS OF THE GENERAL
IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY
TO A WIDE PUBLIC IS THAT
THE HISTORY OF CANADA
IS PART OF, BUT ALSO
CONTRIBUTES TO,
MANY BIGGER AND
BROADER HISTORIES.
AND THESE TWO WE NEED TO
KNOW - YOU NEED TO KNOW -
IF WE ARE TO UNDERSTAND
THE WAY THAT OUR WORLD
GOT TO BE THE WAY IT IS.
SELF-EVIDENTLY THE HISTORY
OF CANADA IS PART
OF THE BROADER HISTORY
OF NORTH AMERICA,
ALONG WITH THE HISTORY OF
THE UNITED STATES
AND THE HISTORY OF MEXICO,
AND THERE ARE MANY
COMMON THEMES TO THOSE
THREE HISTORIES.
SELF-EVIDENTLY THE HISTORY
OF CANADA IS PART
OF A GREATER HISTORY OF FOUR
NATIONS WHICH HAVE MUCH
IN COMMON, THOSE FOUR
NATIONS BEING AUSTRALIA,
SOUTH AFRICA,
AND NEW ZEALAND,
AS WELL AS CANADA.
NATIONS CREATED
IN LARGE PART,
THOUGH NOT OF
COURSE ENTIRELY,
BY THE BRITISH AS THEY
EXPORTED WHAT THEY THOUGHT
WAS THEIR VERSION OF
CIVILIZATION OVERSEAS,
AND THE HISTORY OF CANADA
HAS MANY THINGS IN COMMON -
THOUGH NOT OF COURSE
ALL THINGS - WITH
THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIA,
SOUTH AFRICA,
AND NEW ZEALAND.
ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IT
HAS IN COMMON WITH THEM,
AS IT HAS IN COMMON WITH THE
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
AND THE HISTORY OF
MEXICO IS THAT THE HISTORY
OF CANADA IS IN PART A
HISTORY OF THAT BROADER
WORLD OF ENCOUNTERS
BETWEEN DIFFERENT NATIONS
AND DIFFERENT RACES,
FRENCH AND BRITISH, EUROPEAN
AND ABORIGINAL INHABITANTS
OF NORTH NORTH AMERICA.
AND THE HISTORY OF
CANADA IS A PRIME CASE
STUDY OF THAT SENSE OF
HISTORY AS BEING A HISTORY
OF ENCOUNTERS BETWEEN
DIFFERENT RACES.
IT'S ALSO A CASE STUDY
OF THE HISTORY
OF GLOBAL MOVEMENTS
OF PEOPLE.
CANADA I THINK ALWAYS HAS
BEEN A MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETY.
IT MAY BE MORE CONSCIOUS
OF THAT TODAY.
IT MAY BE MORE
MULTI-CULTURAL THAN IT WAS.
BUT BEYOND ANY QUESTION,
CANADA IS A PRIME WAY STATION,
AS IT WERE, FOR GLOBAL
MOVEMENTS OF PEOPLE
FROM ONE PART OF THE
WORLD TO ANOTHER,
STOPPING HERE
ALONG THE WAY.
THE HISTORY OF CANADA IS
PART OF A TRANSPACIFIC
HISTORY WHICH
INVOLVES ASIA.
IT'S PART OF THE
TRANS-AMERICAN HISTORY
WHICH GOES SOUTH FROM
NORTH AMERICAN AND
IT'S PART OF A TRANSATLANTIC
HISTORY WHICH GETS IT
IN PARTICULAR TO GREAT
BRITAIN AND MORE
BROADLY TO EUROPE.
SO I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST
THAT THE HISTORY OF CANADA
IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT
IN ALL OF THOSE BIGGER,
BROADER HISTORIES, AND
THAT RECIPROCALLY THESE
BIGGER, BROADER HISTORIES
ARE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS
IF WE AND IF YOU ARE TO
PROPERLY UNDERSTAND
THE HISTORY OF
CANADA ITSELF.
WHAT DO THEY KNOW,
SOMEBODY OBSERVED,
WHAT DO THEY KNOW OF
ENGLAND WHO ONLY
ENGLAND KNOW?
WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF
CANADA WHO ONLY CANADA KNOW?
THE ANSWER IS QUITE A LOT
BUT I WOULD ALSO LIKE
TO SUGGEST NOT
NEARLY ENOUGH.
LET ME THIRDLY SUGGEST
HERE THAT THE HISTORY
OF CANADA AND THE MANY
BROADER HISTORIES TO WHICH
IT CONTRIBUTES AND WHICH
NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD
TO GET THAT HISTORY OF
CANADA RIGHT GET US TO
WHAT REMAINS THE MOST
GENERAL AND MOST ABIDING
JUSTIFICATION OF THE
STUDY OF HISTORY.
THE STUDY OF THE
HISTORY OF CANADA,
THE STUDY OF THE HISTORY
OF THESE BROADER TRENDS
AND THEMES THAT I
HAVE JUST OUTLINED,
OR EVEN AND MAYBE THE
STUDY OF HISTORY
OF ANYWHERE AND THE
HISTORY OF ANY TIME,
AND THAT IS THAT IN THIS
MOST BROAD SENSE OF ALL,
THE PURPOSE AND
JUSTIFICATION OF HISTORY NOW
IS, AS IT ALWAYS HAS
BEEN, TO HELP US
SEE OURSELVES IN A
BETTER AND MORE
SOPHISTICATED AND MORE
MATURE PERSPECTIVE.
AT THE DEEPEST LEVEL OF
ALL, HISTORY PROVIDES,
AS IT ALWAYS HAS, WHAT
USED TO BE CALLED IN TERMS
OF PRAISE AND IS NOW I
FEAR OFTEN PEJORATIVELY
DESCRIBED AS A
LIBERAL EDUCATION.
AT A DEEPER LEVEL, HISTORY
MAKES PLAIN THE COMPLEXITY
AND CONTINGENCY OF HUMAN
AFFAIRS AND THE RANGE
AND VARIETY OF HUMAN
EXPERIENCE.
IT ENJOINS SUSPICION OF
SIMPLISTIC ANALYSIS,
SIMPLISTIC EXPLANATION,
AND SIMPLEST PRESCRIPTION.
IT TEACHES OR IT OUGHT
TO TEACH PROPORTION,
PERSPECTIVE,
REFLECTIVENESS,
BREADTH OF VIEW, TOLERANCE
OF DIFFERING OPINIONS,
AND THUS A GREATER SENSE
OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
BY ENABLING US TO KNOW
ABOUT OTHER CENTURIES
AND OTHER CULTURES, OTHER
CIVILIZATIONS AND OTHER
CONTINENTS, HISTORY
PROVIDES ALONG WITH
THE COLLECTIONS HOUSED
IN OUR GREAT MUSEUMS
AND GALLERIES THE BEST
ANTIDOTE TO THE TEMPORAL
PAROCHIALISM WHICH ASSUMES
THAT THE ONLY TIME
IS NOW AND THE
GEOGRAPHICAL PAROCHIALISM
WHICH ASSUMES THAT THE
ONLY PLACE IS HERE.
"HISTORY," OWEN CHADWICK
ONCE OBSERVED,
"DOES MORE THAN ANY OTHER
DISCIPLINE TO FREE
THE MIND FROM THE TYRANNY
OF PRESENT OPINION."
OR HERE'S BERNARD BAILYN
SAYING ESSENTIALLY
THE SAME THING.
"HISTORY IS A WAY OF
GETTING OUT OF
THE BOUNDARIES OF ONE'S OWN
LIFE AND TIMES AND CULTURE
AND OF SEEING MORE WHAT
HUMAN EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN."
OR HERE MAKING THE SAME
POINT AGAIN IS GEORGE KENNAN.
"EVERY AGE THINKS ITSELF TO
BE THE MOST IMPORTANT AGE
THAT EVER OCCURRED.
A FALLACY WHICH ONLY
HISTORY CAN, SHOULD,
DOES, AND MUST DISPEL."
THAT I THINK IS WHAT BACON
MEANT WHEN HE SAID THAT
HISTORY MAKES MEN AND WE
WOULD NOW SAY WOMEN WISE.
IT DOES PROVIDE THE MOST
POWERFUL WAY TO GETTING
A BROADER PERSPECTIVE ON OUR
OWN LIVES, OUR OWN TIMES,
OUR OWN CIVILIZATION
TO WHICH WE BELONG.
IT MAKES US SEE THAT OTHER
CULTURES, OTHER CENTURIES,
OTHER CIVILIZATIONS
HAVE LIVED THEIR LIVES
DIFFERENTLY FROM OURS AND
THAT HAS SEEN TO THEM
AS REAL AND AS IMPORTANT
AND AS TRUTHFUL AND AS
ESSENTIAL AS THE THINGS
THAT SEEM REAL
AND TRUTHFUL AND
ESSENTIAL TO US TODAY.
AND FOR ANYONE TO BE, AS
IT WERE, A FULLY PAID UP,
CARD CARRYING MEMBER
OF THE HUMAN RACE,
UNDERSTANDING THOSE
LIMITATIONS TO OUR OWN
CIRCUMSTANCES AND THE
LIVES THAT OTHER PEOPLE
HAVE ELSEWHERE IN OTHER
TIMES IS, I THINK, ESSENTIAL.
HERE IS
THE LONDON TIMES
SUMMARIZING IN A LEADING
ARTICLE PRECISELY
THAT POINT.
"TO BE IGNORANT OF WHAT
HAPPENED BEFORE ONE IS BORN
IS TO REMAIN A CHILD FOR
THE WHOLE OF ONE'S LIFE."
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT
ALL OF US - POLITICIANS,
CIVIL SERVANTS,
POLICYMAKERS,
UNIVERSITY TEACHERS,
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATORS,
GRANT GIVING BODIES,
PHILANTHROPISTS -
ALL NEED CONSTANTLY
TO REMIND OURSELVES
THAT IT IS AN IMPORTANT
RESPONSIBILITY THAT WE ALL
HAVE TO HELP CHILDREN
GROW UP INTO ADULTS
BY TEACHING THEM
SOME HISTORY.
WELL I'VE TALKED HERE
A BIT ABOUT CHILDREN,
ABOUT GROWNUPS,
ABOUT CANADIANS,
ABOUT PEOPLE IN AN EVEN
BROADER SENSE THAN THAT.
WHAT IS, AS IT WERE, THE
AUDIENCE FOR WHOM HISTORY
IS IMPORTANT, IF AS I
PASSIONATELY BELIEVE,
IT'S IMPORTANT IN THE WAYS
THAT I'VE JUST SUGGESTED?
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE
AUDIENCE FOR HISTORY
IS INDEED
EXCEPTIONALLY BROAD.
AND I THINK IN ADDRESSING
THAT BROAD AUDIENCE,
WE NEED TO RID
OURSELVES OF THE NOTION
THAT THERE IS, AS IT WERE,
A SPECIALIZED AUDIENCE
HERE WITHIN UNIVERSITIES
AND WITHIN THE ACADEMY
AND THAT THERE IS THEN ANOTHER
BROADER GENERAL PUBLIC
AUDIENCE OUT THERE AND THAT
THESE ARE SOMEHOW
TWO VERY DIFFERENT
AUDIENCES.
AS HUGH TREVOR-ROPER
ONCE SAID,
"THE PROFESSION
AND THE LAITY."
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT
ISN'T TRUE THAT ARE
AS SEPARATE AND ANTAGONISTIC
AND AS MUTUALLY
UNCOMPREHENDING AS THAT
BINARY FORMULATION
MIGHT SUGGEST.
IT ISN'T TRUE OR AT LEAST
IT SHOULDN'T BE TRUE.
AFTER ALL, IT SEEMS TO
ME THAT AS PRACTISING
ACADEMIC HISTORIANS,
OUR PRIME TASK IS
TO TEACH UNDERGRADUATES.
MOST OF THOSE UNDERGRADUATES
WON'T BE PROFESSIONAL
HISTORIANS, BUT THEY WILL
ONCE THEY'VE GRADUATED,
EVEN MORE THAN THEY DO
ALREADY, BE THE PUBLIC.
AND WE SHOULD NOT
STOP TALKING TO THEM
WHEN THEY GRADUATE,
BUT WE SHOULD AND MANY
OF US DO CONTINUE
TALKING TO THEM AFTER.
HISTORIANS, I WOULD
LIKE TO SUGGEST,
TALK TO MANY DIFFERENT
PEOPLE WHO IN FACT MAKE UP
THE PUBLIC AND IT'S A
KIND OF SEAMLESS WEB
OF DIFFERENT CONSTITUENCIES
THAT MELD AND MERGE
IMPERMEABLY ONE
INTO THE OTHER.
HISTORIANS TALK TO EACH OTHER AS
FELLOW PROFESSIONALS.
THEY TALK ABOUT
THEIR OWN WORK.
THEY TALK ABOUT
THEIR OWN RESEARCH.
THEIR SENSE OF ENGAGEMENT
IN A CREATIVE WAY WITH
THE SUBJECT, AN ENGAGEMENT
THAT ALL HISTORIANS NEED.
THEY TALK TO UNDERGRADUATES
AND IN THE PROCESS
OF TALKING TO
UNDERGRADUATES HELP,
ONE WOULD LIKE TO THINK,
TO CONVERT, AS IT WERE,
IN TERMS OF THE LANGUAGE OF
THE TIMES
THAT I JUST QUOTED,
CHILDREN INTO
ADULTS BY GIVING THEM
NOT ONLY KNOWLEDGE OF
PARTICULAR PERIODS,
BUT THAT DEEPER SENSE OF
WISDOM AND SELF-UNDERSTANDING
WHICH IS HISTORY'S MOST
IMPORTANT FUNCTION TO PROVIDE.
AND THEY SHOULD OR THEY DO
AND MANY OF THEM CERTAINLY DO
CONTINUE TO TALK TO THE
PUBLIC BECAUSE THE PUBLIC
WANT TO KNOW ABOUT
THE PAST AND THAT
IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
THERE ARE, IT SEEMS TO
ME, NO CONTRADICTIONS
BETWEEN THESE DIFFERENT
CONVERSATIONS,
THESE DIFFERENT PUBLICS.
THEY'RE ALL MUTUALLY
RE-ENFORCING.
AND THE ROLE OF A
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IN CONTEMPORARY
SOCIETY, IT SEEMS TO ME,
IS TO RE-ENFORCE AND
INSTITUTIONALIZE
THESE DIALOGUES AND
CONVERSATIONS WHICH
HISTORIANS HAVE.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT
THE ROLE OF A RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IS IN PART TO
HELP HISTORIANS TALK
TO EACH OTHER BY PROVIDING
A FORUM FOR THE EXCHANGE
OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
AND IDEAS.
IN DOING THAT, IT SEEMS TO
ME THE ROLE OF A RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IS TO HELP
HISTORIANS BE BETTER
UNDERGRADUATE TEACHERS
BECAUSE HISTORIANS ENGAGED
WITH THEIR OWN WORK ARE,
IN FACT AS WE ALL KNOW,
THE MOST LIKELY TO CONVEY
A SENSE OF EXCITEMENT
AND RELEVANCE AND
IMPORTANCE TO THEIR
UNDERGRADUATE AUDIENCE.
AND IT SEEMS TO ME IN
ADDITIONAL TO ALL OF THAT,
THE ROLE OF A RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IS TO HELP
HISTORIANS REACH A BROADER
PUBLIC BY MOUNTING
OUTREACH ACTIVITIES AND
INITIATIVES WHICH HISTORY
DEPARTMENTS CAN RARELY
DO BECAUSE THEY FOCUS
AND RIGHTLY ON UNDERGRADUATE
AND GRADUATE TEACHING
BUT WHICH RESEARCH INSTITUTES
CAN ACTUALLY DEVOTE TIME
AND RESOURCES AND ENERGY
AND IMAGINATION TO.
SO I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST
TO YOU THAT IF HISTORY MATTERS,
AND IT SEEMS TO ME IT
MATTERS ENORMOUSLY
IN THE WAYS THAT I'VE
SOUGHT TO OUTLINE HERE,
THEN RESEARCH INSTITUTES
ARE AN ESSENTIAL VEHICLE
IN MAKING IT MATTER AND
HELPING IT DELIVER IN
ALL THE SORTS OF WAYS THAT
I'VE DESCRIBED HERE.
WELL THAT VERY
CONVENIENTLY GETS ME TO
THE SECOND THING I WANT TO
TALK ABOUT THIS AFTERNOON,
WHICH IS THE ONE RESEARCH
INSTITUTE IN HISTORY THAT
I KNOW MOST ABOUT, THE
INSTITUTE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH IN LONDON OF
WHICH I HAVE BEEN DIRECTOR
NOW FOR NEARLY
THREE YEARS.
IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1921
BY A.F. POLLARD
WHO WANTED TO ESTABLISH
IT AND I THINK SUCCEEDED
IN ESTABLISHING IT AS
A WORLD CENTRE -
THAT WAS HIS PHRASE - FOR
THE STUDY OF THE PAST
AND FOR THE COMMUNICATING
OF THAT STUDY
TO A BROADER
PUBLIC WORLD.
POLLARD WAS DIRECTOR
FROM 1921 TO '31,
AND HONORARY DIRECTOR
FROM 1931 TO 1939.
AND THE IHR WAS HIS
CREATION AND STILL VERY
MUCH BEARS THE STAMP
OF HIS IMPRINT TODAY.
BUT THAT WAS NOT ALL
THAT POLLARD DID.
HE WAS, IN ADDITION, THE
MOST OUTSTANDING TUDOR
HISTORIAN OF HIS DAY AND
THE PRIMACY OF LONDON
UNIVERSITY IN
TUDOR HISTORY,
WHICH LASTED WELL
INTO THE 1950s,
WAS LARGELY OWING
TO HIS EXAMPLE,
HIS INSPIRATION
AND HIS PROTEGES.
POLLARD WAS ALSO PROFESSOR
OF CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY
AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
LONDON WHERE HE DID MORE
THAN ANY ONE ELSE TO MAKE
HISTORY AN IMPORTANT
SUBJECT OF UNDERGRADUATE
EDUCATION.
HE WAS IN ADDITION
AN ASSISTANT EDITOR
OF THE BRITISH DICTIONARY
OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY.
HE WAS THE FOUNDER OF THE
HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION.
HE WAS THE SAVIOR AND
EDITOR OF ITS JOURNAL
HISTORY AND HE WAS A
STANCH SUPPORTER
OF THE VICTORIA COUNTY
HISTORIES TO WHICH
I'LL RETURN IN A MOMENT.
AND HE WAS DRAWN INTO
PUBLIC WORK AS A PUBLIC
INTELLECTUAL CONCERNED
WITH HISTORY.
DURING THE 1930s HE
ADVISED THE BRITISH
GOVERNMENT ABOUT THE
LEAGUE OF NATIONS AND
HE VIGOROUSLY SUPPORTED
THE SCHEME FOR A HISTORY
OF PARLIAMENT WHICH WAS
INITIATED BY HIS FRIEND
JOSIAH WEDGWOOD.
POLLARD WAS THEN A
VERY EXTRAORDINARY
AND REMARKABLE MAN.
HE EXCELLED WITH ENERGY
AND DISTINCTION
IN SCHOLARSHIP AND
ADMINISTRATION,
IN FUNDRAISING
AND OUTREACH,
IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP,
AND IN PUBLIC SERVICE.
IN OTHER WORDS, HE HAD AN
UNRIVALLED CAPACITY -
AND THIS WAS THE VIEW
OF BOTH HIS FRIENDS
AND HIS ENEMIES - TO
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
OF ALL THE THINGS THAT
POLLARD MADE HAPPEN,
IT'S ARGUABLY THE CASE
THAT THE INSTITUTE OF
HISTORICAL RESEARCH IN LONDON
IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT,
IMPORTANT, AND ENDURING
THING HE MADE HAPPEN.
TODAY IT HAS A BUDGET OF
WELL OVER 2 MILLION pounds A YEAR
MADE UP OF GRANTS
FROM THE GOVERNMENT,
GRANTS FROM FOUNDATIONS
AND RESEARCH COUNCILS,
AND INDIVIDUAL GIFTS.
IT HAS A STAFF OF OVER 50
PEOPLE RANGING FROM SENIOR
PROFESSORS WHO ARE FELLOWS
OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY
VIA MORE JUNIOR RESEARCH
OFFICERS TO LIBRARIANS
AND TO AN EXTENSIVE
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF.
AND IT HAS MORE THAN 4,000
MEMBERS WHO ARE DRAWN
FROM LONDON, FROM
BRITAIN AS A WHOLE,
AND FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
HERE'S ITS MISSION
STATEMENT WHICH SETS OUT
I THINK IN GENERAL
TERMS WHAT IT DOES.
THE INSTITUTE OF
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
IS A UNIQUE INSTITUTION
FOUNDED IN 1921
WHICH SEEKS TO PROMOTE THE
STUDY OF HISTORY AND
AN APPRECIATION OF THE
IMPORTANCE OF THE PAST
AMONG ACADEMICS AND AMONG
THE GENERAL PUBLIC
IN LONDON, IN BRITAIN,
AND INTERNATIONALLY.
AND TO PROVIDE
INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT
AND INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP
FOR THIS BROAD
HISTORICAL COMMUNITY.
TO OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF
SERVICES WHICH PROMOTE
AND FACILITATE EXCELLENCE
IN HISTORICAL RESEARCH,
TEACHING, AND SCHOLARSHIP
BY MEANS OF ITS LIBRARY,
ITS SEMINARS,
ITS CONFERENCES,
ITS FELLOWSHIPS,
ITS TRAINING,
AND ITS PUBLICATIONS BOTH
HARD COPY AND ELECTRONIC.
TO FURTHER HIGH QUALITY
RESEARCH INTO PARTICULAR
ASPECTS OF THE PAST BY
SUCH COLLECTIVE PROJECTS
AS THE VICTORIA
COUNTY HISTORY,
THE CENTRE FOR
METROPOLITAN HISTORY,
AND THE INSTITUTE OF
CONTEMPORARY BRITISH HISTORY,
AND TO PROVIDE A
CONGENIAL, HOSPITABLE,
AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT
WHERE HISTORIANS AT ALL STAGES
IN THEIR CAREERS
AND FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS
AND FROM ALL PARTS OF THE
WORLD CAN MEET FORMALLY
AND INFORMALLY TO EXCHANGE
IDEAS AND INFORMATION,
AND TO BRING THEMSELVES
UP TO DATE WITH CURRENT
DEVELOPMENTS IN
HISTORICAL SCHOLARSHIP.
ALL MISSION STATEMENTS
OVERSIMPLIFY AND
ARE WRITTEN THE KIND OF
LANGUAGE THAT MISSION
STATEMENTS NOW HAVE
TO BE WRITTEN IN,
BUT I THINK AS A SUMMARY
OF WHAT THE IHR DOES
OR AT LEAST ASPIRES TO DO AND
HAS DONE FOR A LONG TIME,
THAT'S NOT WHOLLY
MISLEADING.
IN THE LIGHT OF THAT, LET
ME TALK IN MORE DETAIL
ABOUT ONCE AGAIN
THREE THINGS.
WHAT GOES ON
AT THE IHR?
HOW DOES THE IHR
OPERATE AND FUNCTION?
AND WHAT HAVE I BEEN
DOING AS DIRECTOR?
IN TERMS OF ITS ACTIVITIES,
AS THE MISSION STATEMENT
PERHAPS ALREADY SUGGESTS,
IT CAN BE DIVIDED, ROUGHLY
SPEAKING, INTO TWO SORTS:
FACILITATION AND RESEARCH,
IF I CAN PUT IT IN THOSE TERMS.
FACILITATION:
PRIDE OF PLACE HERE GOES
TO THE IHR LIBRARY.
WE HAVE A MARVELLOUS
WORKING HISTORIAN'S
LIBRARY OF 160,000 VOLUMES
WHICH PROVIDES THE BEST
OPEN ACCESS LIBRARY FOR
WORKING HISTORIANS
FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
WE'RE OPEN MONDAY TO
FRIDAY FROM 9:00 IN THE
MORNING TO 9:00 AT NIGHT
AND WE'RE OPEN ALL DAY
SATURDAY AS WELL.
AND ACCESS TO THE LIBRARY
IS SOMETHING THAT WE PRIDE
OURSELVES ON PROMOTING AND
CELEBRATING AND MAKING HAPPEN.
WE ALSO HAVE A LARGE
PROGRAM OF PUBLICATIONS.
THIS IS OUR SECOND
ASPECT OF FACILITATION.
HANDBOOKS, GUIDES,
SOURCE MATERIALS,
A JOURNAL OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH WHICH HAS
RECENTLY BEEN INCREASED
FROM THREE ISSUES
A YEAR TO FOUR
ISSUES A YEAR.
AN ELECTRONIC JOURNAL:
REVIEWS IN HISTORY.
AND A VERY ELABORATE AND
CONSTANTLY DEVELOPING WEBSITE.
AND FINALLY IN TERMS
OF FACILITATION,
WE HAVE AN UNRIVALLED
ARRAY OF MEETINGS.
EVERY WEEK IN TERM TIME
THERE TAKE PLACE
39 SEMINARS PER WEEK.
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
SEMINARS RANGING FROM,
AS IT WERE, STANDARD SUBJECTS
SUCH AS MODERN BRITAIN
OR MODERN EUROPE OR
THE BRITISH EMPIRE,
TO SEMINARS ON FILM,
SEMINARS ON
GLOBAL HISTORY,
AND A SET OF PROGRAMS
ON METHODS AND SOURCES
POST-GRADUATE TRAINING
IN PALEOGRAPHY AND I.T.
A WHOLE SET OF MEETINGS GO
ON AT THE IHR EACH YEAR
ORGANIZED BY DIFFERENT
COMMUNITIES WITHIN
THE BROADER HISTORICAL WORLD,
RANGING AS I NOTICED
LOOKING THROUGH OUR ANNUAL
REPORT FROM THE ANARCHIST
RESEARCH HISTORY GROUP
TO THE SOCIETY OF COURT
STUDIES, WHICH I THINK
PROBABLY COVERS
A FAIRLY BROAD SPECTRUM.
WE ALSO PROVIDE A WHOLE
ARRAY OF CONFERENCES
RANGING FROM ROYAL
HISTORICAL SOCIETY
CONFERENCE ON WINSTON
CHURCHILL
IN THE 21ST CENTURY WHICH
RECENTLY TOOK PLACE,
TO THE WOMEN'S ECONOMIC
HISTORY WORKSHOP.
WE HAVE INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCES.
WE HAD AN ANGLO-FRENCH
CONFERENCE.
WE HAVE AN ANGLO-JAPANESE
CONFERENCE EVERY TWO
OR THREE YEARS WHEN JAPANESE
HISTORIANS COME TO LONDON
AND WE TALK ABOUT THEIR
WORK ON BRITAIN
AND OUR WORK ON
JAPANESE HISTORY.
AND WE HAVE FLAGSHIP
CONFERENCE EACH YEAR
CALLED THE ANGLO-AMERICAN
CONFERENCE TO WHICH WE GET
AN AUDIENCE OF ABOUT 400
PEOPLE WHICH HAS A WHOLE
ARRAY OF PLENARY SESSIONS
AND OF SEMINAR SESSIONS.
RECENT CONFERENCES
INCLUDE MONARCHIES,
WAR AND PEACE, THE SEA.
NEXT YEAR IT'S THE
50TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE PERIODICAL
PAST AND PRESENT,
AND THE YEAR AFTER THAT
WE'RE GOING TO DO,
I THINK, THE BODY.
ALL OF THESE THINGS, THE
LIBRARY, PUBLICATIONS,
AND MEETINGS, HELP OTHER
HISTORIANS TO DO THEIR WORK
AND OTHER HISTORIANS
HERE VERY BROADLY CONCEDE,
NOT ONLY FELLOW
PROFESSIONALS,
BUT AMATEUR HISTORIANS,
LOCAL HISTORIANS,
AN AMAZING RANGE OF PEOPLE
COME AND USE THE LIBRARY,
BENEFIT FROM OUR
PUBLICATIONS
AND ATTEND MEETINGS.
THE SECOND BIT
HERE IS RESEARCH.
THAT IS PARTICULAR
RESEARCH ENTERPRISES
WHICH ACTUALLY GO ON AND
THERE ARE THREE OF THOSE.
THE FIRST OF THESE ARE
THE VICTORIA HISTORIES
OF THE COUNTIES
OF ENGLAND.
A GUIDE TO LOCAL PARISHES,
LOCAL COMMUNITIES,
A MODE OF HISTORY WHICH
HAS BEEN GOING IN FACT FOR
THE BEST PART OF 100 YEARS
BUT WHICH HAS BECOME
EXTREMELY RELEVANT AND
EXTREMELY FASHIONABLE
AGAIN TODAY AS PEOPLE
TALK ABOUT A SENSE
OF COMMUNITY, A
SENSE OF IDENTITY,
AND AS PEOPLE THINK ABOUT
HOW YOU CAN ACTUALLY
USE I.T. TO RENDER THE HISTORY
OF PEOPLE'S COMMUNITIES
MORE IMMEDIATELY
ACCESSIBLE TO THEM.
THE SECOND THING THAT GOES
ON IN TERMS OF RESEARCH
IS THE CENTRE OF
METROPOLITAN HISTORY.
THIS IS ABOUT
15 YEARS OLD.
IT'S RESEARCH INTO THE
HISTORY OF LONDON FROM,
AS IT WERE, MEDIEVAL
MARKETS TO MODERN
SUBURBIA, AND IT'S THE HISTORY
OF LONDON CONCEIVED OF
AS ONE OF THE WHOLE
NETWORK OF GREAT CITIES.
A NETWORK, OF COURSE,
WHICH CHANGES OVER TIME.
IN THE MEDIEVAL AND
EARLY MODERN PERIOD,
IT'S LONDON AS PART
OF A NETWORK INCLUDING
CONSTANTINOPLE, ROME,
VENICE, BOLOGNA, PARIS.
NOW IT'S LONDON AS
A GREAT WORLD CITY,
PART OF A WORLD NETWORK
INCLUDING TOKYO,
LOS ANGLES AND NEW YORK,
AND THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE
IN THE WHOLE OF LONDON
WHERE THE HISTORY OF
LONDON IS SEEN AS AN
INTEGRAL PART OF SCHOLARLY
INQUIRY AND IT'S THE
HISTORY OF LONDON BOTH
FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN LONDON
BUT ALSO THE HISTORY
OF LONDON MUCH MORE
BROADLY, GLOBALLY
CONCEIVED THAN THAT.
AND THE THIRD ELEMENT IN
RESEARCH ACTIVITIES WHICH
GOES ON IS THE INSTITUTE
FOR CONTEMPORARY
BRITISH HISTORY.
CONCERNED WITH RECENT
BRITISH HISTORY
OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS.
CONCERNED WITH
CONTRIBUTING
INTELLECTUALLY TO
THE ONGOING WORK
OF WRITING ABOUT THAT.
CONCERNED TO SAFEGUARD
THE ARCHIVES OF RECENTLY
INVOLVED POLITICAL
FIGURES TO ENSURE THEY
DON'T THROW THEM AWAY.
CONCERNED, IN PARTICULAR, I
THINK, TO PUT ON A SERIES
OF WITNESS SEMINARS
WHERE PEOPLE INVOLVED
IN IMPORTANT HISTORICAL
EPISODES DURING THE LAST
20 OR 30 OR 40 YEARS BE IT
THE BUILDING OF CONCORD,
PROBLEMS IN
NORTHERN IRELAND,
THATCHER AND THE POLL
TAX, THE POLITICIANS,
THE OFFICIALS INVOLVED IN
THAT SIT AROUND A TABLE
AND TALK ABOUT WHAT
REALLY WENT ON,
WHICH AS IT WERE
COMPLEMENTS THE WRITTEN
RECORDS SINCE AS WE KNOW
THE WRITTEN RECORD,
ESPECIALLY THE WRITTEN
OFFICIAL RECORD,
NEVER TELLS YOU
EVERYTHING THAT WENT ON.
NOW ALL OF THOSE RESEARCH
INSTITUTES ARE PIONEERING,
INNOVATIVE,
INTER-DISCIPLINARY
RESEARCH INTO DIFFERENT
ASPECTS OF THE PAST.
BUT THEY ARE ALL ALSO
ESSENTIALLY ENGAGED
IN OUTREACH TOWARDS
THE HISTORY OF LOCAL
COMMUNITIES FAR
BEYOND LONDON,
TOWARDS THE HISTORY OF
LONDON ITSELF FOR PEOPLE
WHO LIVE IN LONDON, AND
TOWARDS THE HISTORY
OF THE RECENT PAST
WHICH IS, I THINK,
A SUBJECT OF PARTICULAR
FASCINATION
FOR A BROAD GROUP OF
THE INTERESTED PUBLIC.
SO THAT'S WHAT
GOES ON IN THE IHR,
SIMPLIFYING AS I FEAR
I MUST INEVITABLY DO.
HOW THEN DOES IT
ACTUALLY OPERATE?
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I'M NOT ENTIRELY SURE I
UNDERSTAND THIS AFTER
NEARLY THREE YEARS, BUT
TO THE EXTENT THAT I DO,
THIS IS WHAT I'VE LEARNT.
CONSTITUTIONALLY
IT'S A VERY STRANGE
BUT RATHER
INTERESTING BODY.
IT'S PART OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
THE UNIVERSITY OF
LONDON, AS IT WERE,
OWNS THE INSTITUTE OF
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
AND ALWAYS HAS DONE.
MORE PRECISELY, IT'S PART
OF SOMETHING CALLED
THE SCHOOL OF
ADVANCED STUDY.
IT'S ONE INSTITUTE
AMONG SEVERAL.
IN ADDITIONAL TO THE
INSTITUTE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH, THERE'S THE
INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED
LEGAL STUDIES.
THERE'S THE WARBURG
INSTITUTE DEVOTED
TO THE HISTORY OF ART.
THERE'S THE INSTITUTE OF
COMMONWEALTH STUDIES,
OF CLASSICAL STUDIES, OF
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES,
AND SO ON.
THE IHR IS ONE OF THE
THREE LARGEST INSTITUTES,
BUT IT SHELTERS UNDER THIS
UMBRELLA OF THE SCHOOL
OF ADVANCE STUDY THROUGH
WHICH IN FACT
OUR GOVERNMENT FUNDING
ACTUALLY COMES.
I AM RESPONSIBLE AS
DIRECTOR OF IT TO THE DEAN
OF THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCE
STUDIES AND IN TURN
THROUGH HIM TO THE
VICE-CHANCELLOR AND
I HAVE ACCESS TO THE
VICE-CHANCELLOR AND
HE'S OFTEN BEEN EXTREMELY
HELPFUL AND SEES
THE FUTURE OF THE INSTITUTE OF
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
AND OF THE SCHOOL OF ADVANCE
STUDY AS BEING SOMETHING
HE'S VERY STRONGLY AND
HELPFULLY COMMITTED TO.
THE MANAGEMENT OF THE
IHR IS OVERSEEN
BY AN ADVISORY COUNCIL.
THIS CONSISTS OF 24 PEOPLE
AND THERE ARE ROUGHLY
SPEAKING THREE CATEGORIES.
ONE OF THOSE CATEGORIES
ARE REPRESENTATIVES
OF EACH COLLEGE OF LONDON
UNIVERSITY: BIRKBECK
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, KING'S
COLLEGE, QUEEN MARY'S,
ROYAL HOLLOWAY, AND SO
ON, BECAUSE SINCE
THE UNIVERSITY OWNS THE
INSTITUTE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH, THE COLLEGES ALL
FEEL THAT THEY MUST BE
INVOLVED IN ADVISING
ON ITS MANAGEMENT,
AND I THINK THAT'S RIGHT,
AND THAT'S HOW THEY DO IT.
WE THEN HAVE A GROUP OF
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE NEW
UNIVERSITIES IN LONDON -
GUILDHALL, WESTMINSTER,
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH
LONDON AND SO ON -
AND OF UNIVERSITIES
THROUGHOUT THE LENGTH AND
BREADTH OF BRITAIN AND WE
HAVE PARTICULAR SLOTS
FOR NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN
ENGLAND, FOR WALES,
FOR SCOTLAND, BECAUSE WE
ARE A PLACE OF NATIONAL
IMPORTANCE AND SO WE HAVE
ON THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE
NATION AS A WHOLE.
AND THEN WE HAVE A
SET OF, AS IT WERE,
EMINENT PERSONS, THE
GREAT AND THE GOOD.
WE HAVE THE CHAIRMAN
OF BARCLAYS BANK.
WE HAVE THE PRESIDENT
OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY.
WE HAVE THE DIRECTOR OF
THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT
GALLERY AND A SET OF
PEOPLE LIKE THAT.
AND THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
DOES EXACTLY THAT.
IT GIVE ME A LOT OF
ADVICE ON GENERAL ISSUES
THAT I'M CONCERNED WITH
TO DO WITH FUNDING,
TO DO WITH THE AMOUNT
OF SPACE WE'VE GOT,
TO DO WITH OUR PLANS
FOR THE FUTURE.
IF YOU BRING TOGETHER
AROUND A TABLE A GROUP OF
COMMITTED WELL-DISPOSED
PEOPLE FROM A WIDE VARIETY
OF BACKGROUNDS, YOU HAVE
A SENSE OF WHAT
THE IHR OUGHT TO BE
DOING AND DOES.
THEY ARE THE PEOPLE I TURN
TO FOR ADVICE ABOUT
HOW WE'RE DOING AND
WHERE WE OUGHT TO GO.
AND THEN AS IT WERE
SUBORDINATE TO THAT
ADVISORY COUNCIL ARE A SET
OF COMMITTEES WHICH
MANAGE EACH OF THE SECTIONS
I'VE JUST DESCRIBED.
SO THERE'S A COMMITTEE
FOR THE LIBRARY.
THERE'S A COMMITTEE
FOR PUBLICATIONS.
THERE'S A COMMITTEE THAT
PRESIDES OVER MEETINGS,
SEMINARS, AND OUTREACH.
THERE'S A COMMITTEE
FOR THE BCH.
THERE'S A COMMUNITY
FOR THE CMH,
AND THERE'S A COMMITTEE
FOR THE ICBH.
AND I OF COURSE EITHER
SIT ON THOSE COMMITTEES
OR AS DIRECTOR
I CHAIR THEM.
SO THAT'S THE WAY
IT'S BEEN ORGANIZED.
HOW DOES IT OPERATE
SUBSTANTIVELY?
WHAT SORT OF HISTORY DOES
ALL THIS ACTUALLY DO?
ON THE WHOLE IT'S FAIR TO
SAY THAT IT CONCENTRATES
ON THE HISTORY OF
BRITAIN AND THE HISTORY
OF EUROPE POST THE
ANCIENT WORLD.
PLUS I THINK THE
HISTORY OF AMERICA,
THE HISTORY OF THE
EMPIRE, THE HISTORY
OF THE COMMONWEALTH, THE
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS, AND THE
HISTORY OF RELIGION,
BOTH OF THOSE CONSTRUED
IN A EUROPEAN WAY.
NOW PARTLY, OF COURSE, AND
THIS IS WHAT I MEANT
WHEN I SAID THAT POLLARD IS
STILL A VARY FORMATIVE
INFLUENCE HERE, THAT
REFLECTS THE NOTION OF
WHAT HISTORY WAS ABOUT IN
THE TIME WHEN A.F. POLLARD
WAS DOING IT IN
THE INTER-WAR YEARS.
BUT IT PARTLY REFLECTS THE
FACT THAT OTHER PARTS
OF LONDON UNIVERSITY DO
OTHER PARTS OF HISTORY,
AND IT WOULDN'T BE
APPROPRIATE FOR US
TO INTERFERE WITH THEM.
THERE IS AFTER ALL A
SCHOOL OF ORIENTAL
AND AFRICAN STUDIES.
THERE'S AN INSTITUTE OF
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES.
THERE'S AN INSTITUTE OF
UNITED STATES STUDIES,
AND SO ON.
AND SO THE IHR FOCUSES IN
THE MAIN ON CENTRAL AREAS
OF BRITISH AND EUROPEAN
HISTORY AND ADDITIONAL AREAS
AND IT HAS, AS IT
WERE, A VALID CLAIM
TO BE CONCERNED WITH
THOSE PARTS OF THE PAST,
LEAVING OTHER PARTS OF
THE PAST TO OTHER,
AS IT WERE, SISTER AND
ADJACENT INSTITUTIONS.
BUT I SUPPOSE BEYOND THAT
WHAT I WOULD ALSO WANT TO
STRESS IS THAT IT ALWAYS
HAS BEEN AND VERY MUCH
IS NOW OPEN TO ALL SORTS
OF APPROACHES TO THE PAST
AND IT SEES ITSELF AS
PROVIDING A FORUM FOR
ALMOST ANY KIND OF HISTORY
THAT IS DONE TODAY.
I DON'T THINK - IN FACT
I'M SURE - WE WOULDN'T,
AS IT WERE, PROVIDE A
FORUM FOR DAVID IRVING
TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HE
THINKS HISTORY IS ABOUT.
I WOULD HAVE NO WISH
FOR US TO DO THAT.
BUT, AS IT WERE, BEYOND
THOSE SORT OF UNACCEPTABLE
MODES OF DOING HISTORY, IT
IS A PLACE WHICH WELCOMES
AND ENCOURAGES TO THE
EXTENT IT CAN BOTH
OLD METHODOLOGIES AND
NEW METHODOLOGIES,
TRADITIONAL AREAS OF
INQUIRY IN THE PAST,
AND INNOVATIVE ONES.
WELL THIRD IN TERMS
OF HOW IT OPERATES,
WHAT'S ITS AUDIENCE?
IT SEEMS TO ME THIS
CAN BE THOUGHT OF
IN A VARIETY OF WAYS.
IT'S GRADUATES, IT'S
POST-GRADUATES,
IT'S FACULTY, THAT'S
CERTAINLY TRUE.
IT IS THE HISTORICAL
PROFESSION.
BUT IT'S ALSO, AS
I'VE ALREADY SAID,
A BROADER PUBLIC BEYOND
THAT WHO USE THE LIBRARY,
WHO ATTEND MEETINGS, WHO
ARE INTERESTED IN KNOWING
AND BENEFIT FROM WHAT THE
VCH OR THE CMH OR THE ICBH
ARE UP TO, SO ONE CAN
THINK OF IT IN THOSE WAYS.
AND I THINK ON THE WHOLE,
AS I'VE ALREADY SAID,
THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN
THE PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCE
AND THE PUBLIC AUDIENCE
DOES IN PRACTICE VERY OFTEN
AND I THINK VERY
RIGHTLY BLUR AND BREAK DOWN.
WE HAVE AN ESSENTIALLY
LONDON-BASED AUDIENCE.
THE OLD TRADITIONAL
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON,
THE NEW UNIVERSITIES
OF LONDON,
A BROADER PUBLIC IN LONDON
INTERESTED IN THE CULTURAL
LIFE OF THE METROPOLIS,
AND THEY SEE THE IHR
AS AN ESSENTIAL
PART OF THAT.
WE HAVE A MUCH BROADER
NATIONAL AUDIENCE.
VIRTUALLY ANY PRACTISING
HISTORIAN AND MANY,
AS IT WERE, MEMBERS OF THE
GENERAL PUBLIC
COME TO LONDON IN PART
TO COME TO THE IHR
TO USE ITS FACILITIES, TO
MEET OTHER HISTORIANS,
TO FIND OUT
WHAT'S GOING ON.
AND ALTHOUGH IN FACT THE
IHR IS LOCATED IN LONDON
AND OWNED AS IT WERE
BY LONDON UNIVERSITY,
IT GETS MOST OF IT FUNDING
BECAUSE IT IS DEEMED
TO BE AN UNIQUE PLACE OF
NATIONAL IMPORTANCE
WHICH DOES THINGS FOR HISTORY
FOR THE NATION AS A WHOLE
WHICH NO PARTICULAR
HISTORY DEPARTMENT
ANYWHERE IN BRITAIN
IS ABLE TO DO.
WE ALSO HAVE AN
INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE,
ESPECIALLY HERE
IN NORTH AMERICA,
FOR MANY NORTH AMERICANS
WHO GO TO BRITAIN WHETHER
TO STUDY BRITISH OR
EUROPEAN HISTORY,
OR THE HISTORY OF
WORLDS BEYOND THAT,
THE IHR IS THEIR
FIRST PORT OF CALL.
WE HAVE PARTICULARLY
STRONG LINKS WITH EUROPE
AND WE HAVE PARTICULARLY
STRONG LINKS WITH JAPAN.
WE ALSO HAVE A
FRIENDS' PROGRAM.
WE HAVE FRIENDS OF THE
INSTITUTE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH IN LONDON AND
THEIR COMMITMENT TO
THE IHR AND THE MONEY THEY
GIVE TO IT IS VERY VALUABLE,
AND WE ALSO HAVE
A NORTH AMERICAN FRIENDS
OF THE IHR AND THE SAME
IS TRUE THERE AS WELL.
SO WE HAVE HERE A VARIETY
OF FUNCTIONS AND A VARIETY
OF AUDIENCES AND OF COURSE
FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES,
DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS, SEEM
MORE OR LESS IMPORTANT.
FOR PEOPLE IN LONDON, OUR
SEMINARS ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
FOR PEOPLE
OUTSIDE LONDON,
IT'S PROBABLY THE CASE
THAT OUR CONFERENCES
AND THE I.T. ACCESS
WHICH IS NOW AVAILABLE
IS MORE IMPORTANT
AND SO ON.
WELL WHAT HAVE
I DONE TO, WITH,
AND IN THIS PLACE SINCE
I BECAME DIRECTOR?
I TOOK OVER AN INSTITUTE
THAT HAD BEEN AROUND FOR
A VERY LONG TIME THAT
WAS ENGAGED IN MOST
OF THE THINGS THAT
I'VE JUST DESCRIBED,
THAT HAD THE SORT OF AUDIENCES
THAT I'VE JUST DESCRIBED.
BUT THERE WAS A
SENSE, I THINK,
WHEN I TOOK IT OVER THAT
IT HAD GONE THROUGH
A PERIOD OF LESS
CONFIDENT, LESS BUOYANT,
LESS ENERGETIC ACTIVITY
THAN MAYBE IT SHOULD,
THAT ITS PROFILE
NEEDED RAISING,
THAT MONEY
NEEDED RAISING,
THAT MORALE
NEEDED RAISING,
THAT IT NEEDED IN SOME
SENSES ENERGIZING
AND MOVING FORWARD
INTO THE NEW CENTURY
AND THE NEW MILLENNIUM.
AND I SUPPOSE TO THE
EXTENT THAT THERE WAS
A RATIONALE FOR APPOINTING
SOMEBODY RATHER YOUNGER
THAN MOST DIRECTORS
HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN,
AS SOMEBODY WHO HAD
EXPERIENCE OF TEACHING
HISTORY IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
AND IN PARTICULAR NORTH AMERICA
THAT I THINK WAS THE RATIONALE
FOR MY APPOINTMENT.
WELL WHAT HAVE I
DONE AND HOW WAS IT,
WHERE DO I CONCEIVE THE
ROLE OF DIRECTOR OF THE IHR
AND THEREFORE ALSO IN A SENSE
OF THE IHR ITSELF NOW?
I HAVE REFURBISHED LARGE
PARTS OF THE BUILDING:
THE BASEMENT,
THE GROUND FLOOR,
AND THE THIRD FLOOR.
THAT MAY SOUND VERY
PROSAIC BUT I THINK YOU'LL
ALL KNOW THAT BRITISH
ACADEME DOES TEND TO BE
RATHER MISERABLE AND DRAB
IN TERMS OF WHERE IT GOES ON.
AND ONE OF THE WAY I THINK
OF RAISING THE MORALE
OF THE PERMANENT STAFF, OF
PRODUCING A BETTER AND
MORE RATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
IN WHICH TO WORK,
AND OF SENDING OUT A
SIGNAL THAT SHOWS ON
THE ROAD IS ACTUALLY TO
GET THE PLACE REFURBISHED
AND I'VE STARTED ON THAT.
I'VE ALSO SUPPORTED
EACH OF THE PARTICULAR
ACTIVITIES IN PURSUIT
OF PARTICULAR GOALS
OF DEVELOPMENT AND
ENHANCEMENT WHICH THEY
HAVE ALL ENCOURAGED BY ME
SOUGHT TO WORK TOWARDS,
SO WE'RE DEVELOPING A BIT
OF THE WOLFSON FOUNDATION
TO REFURBISH THE FIRST AND
SECOND FLOOR WHERE MOST OF
THE LIBRARY IS, TO
HAVE MODERN SHELVING,
TO HAVE MODERN FURNITURE,
TO BE WIRED UP FULLY FOR
I.T. IN A WAY THAT AT
THE MOMENT WE'RE NOT.
I'VE ENCOURAGED THE
PUBLICATION SECTION
TO EXPAND IN TERMS OF
INCREASING THE NUMBER
OF ISSUES OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH A YEAR,
IN TERMS OF A BIG
DEVELOPMENT WHICH WE ARE
NOW ENGAGED IN DISCUSSING
WITH A PUBLISHER FOR
A LARGER I.T. USE OF THE IHR,
PROVIDING A MUCH MORE
COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE
TO WHAT'S GOING ON IN
HISTORY, AND WE'VE JUST
BEEN GIVEN MONEY
TO DEVELOP A PROJECT IN
COLLABORATION WITH
THE ROYAL HISTORICAL
SOCIETY FOR THE ANNUAL
BIBLIOGRAPHY OF
BRITISH HISTORY.
IN TERMS OF
MEETINGS, OUTREACH,
I'VE RAISED MONEY FROM THE
PENGUIN PRESS TO SPONSOR
A SERIES OF PUBLIC
LECTURES EACH YEAR.
LAST YEAR THEY WERE
GIVEN BY ROY PORTER
ON THE ENLIGHTENMENT.
THIS YEAR THEY'RE GOING TO
BE GIVEN PETER HENNESSY.
THAT DRAWS IN A LARGE
NON-PROFESSIONAL AUDIENCE
TO HEAR EXPERT HISTORIANS
WITH A PUBLIC PERSONA
TALKING ABOUT
BROAD ISSUES.
IN TERMS OF THE VICTORIA
COUNTY HISTORIES,
WE'VE RECEIVED A
DEVELOPMENT GRANT FROM
THE HERITAGE MEMORIAL FUND TO
SEE HOW WE CAN RE-THINK
THE PURPOSE OF THE VCH
IN THIS NEW CENTURY,
TO SEE HOW WE CAN
BROADEN ITS ACCESS
TO THE LOCAL COMMITTEES
WHOSE HISTORY IT PROVIDES,
TO SEE HOW WE CAN APPLY
I.T. TO IT IN A WAY THAT
PREVIOUSLY WE HADN'T, AND
HOW WE COULD PUT IN AND BID
FOR A MUCH LARGER SUM OF
MONEY OF ABOUT 5 MILLION pounds
WHICH WILL MOVE
THE VCH FORWARD.
IN TERMS OF THE CENTRE
FOR METROPOLITAN HISTORY,
I'VE DEVELOPED LINKS WITH
THE MUSEUM OF LONDON AND
WITH THE CORPORATION OF
LONDON AND I'VE RAISED
MONEY FROM THE LEVERHULME
TRUST TO ENDOW OR TO
FUND A PROFESSORSHIP IN
METROPOLITAN HISTORY.
AND IN TERMS OF THE
INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY
BRITISH HISTORY, I'VE DONE
THE SAME THING THERE
WITH THE LEVERHULME TRUST, TO
RAISE MONEY TO SUPPORT
FOR THE BEST PART OF 10
YEARS A PROFESSORSHIP
IN CONTEMPORARY
BRITISH HISTORY.
SO THOSE ARE SPECIFIC
THINGS I'VE DONE.
MORE BROADLY THAN THAT,
I'VE TRIED TO RAISE
ITS LOCAL NATIONAL AND
INTERNATIONAL PROFILE
BY GIVING AN INAUGURAL
LECTURE WHERE I TALKED
ABOUT THE STATE OF
UNIVERSITIES AND
OF HISTORY IN BRITAIN FROM A
TRANSATLANTIC PERSPECTIVE
WHICH RAISED - WHICH GOT
A LOT OF PUBLICITY
AND DISCUSSION.
I SEE IT AS IMPORTANT TO
VISIT UNIVERSITIES
AROUND BRITAIN TO
TELL THEM WHAT WE DO,
TO FIND OUT WHAT
THEY'RE DOING,
TO ENHANCE THE KIND OF
NATIONAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN
THE IHR IN LONDON AND OUR
BROADER NATIONAL COMMUNITY.
I SEE IT AS IMPORTANT
TO STRENGTHEN
OUR INTERNATIONAL TIES.
I COME EVERY AUTUMN TO THE
NORTH AMERICAN CONFERENCE
ON BRITISH STUDIES
ANNUAL MEETING.
I ATTEND THE ANNUAL
GENERAL MEETING
OF THE NORTH AMERICAN
FRIENDS OF THE IHR,
AND I'VE JUST RAISED MONEY
FROM THE ANDREW MELLON
FOUNDATION TO FUND A
SET OF FELLOWSHIPS FOR
GRADUATE STUDENTS IN NORTH
AMERICA TO COME TO LONDON
TO DO PRELIMINARY RESEARCH
FOR THEIR DISSERTATIONS
AND THEN TO SPEND A
DISSERTATION YEAR THERE.
I'VE ALSO RAISED MONEY.
I'VE LAUNCHED AN APPEAL.
I'VE SET UP A CHARITABLE
TRUST WHICH IN BRITAIN
IS ESSENTIAL IF YOU'RE
TO RAISE MONEY,
NOBODY WILL WRITE OUT
A LARGE CHEQUE TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
BECAUSE IT'LL JUST
GET LOST IN THE
UNIVERSITY BRAND TUB.
THEY WILL WRITE OUT
A CHEQUE TO THE IHR
CHARITABLE TRUST.
I GAVE MY INAUGURAL
LECTURE WHEN I LAUNCHED
THE APPEAL AND, ROUGHLY
SPEAKING, I'VE RAISED
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN
2.5 AND 3 MILLION pounds TO DATE
THOUGH THERE'S STILL, OF
COURSE, A LOT TO DO.
I'VE ALSO INCREASED
COLLABORATION BETWEEN
THE IHR AND THE GREAT CULTURAL
ORGANIZATIONS OF THE CITY
OF LONDON TO AS IT WERE
POSITION THE IHR AS
A CENTRAL PLAYER AND, AS IT
WERE, MEDIATING FORCE
WITH THE BRITISH MUSEUM, THE
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY,
THE ROYAL ACADEMY,
THE NATIONAL GALLERY,
AND THE BBC, AND WE'VE
DONE VARIOUS COLLABORATIVE
ENTERPRISES WITH THOSE.
THEY ARE GRATEFUL FOR
THE HISTORICAL INPUT
WHICH WE PROVIDE.
THEY'RE GRATEFUL FOR THE
CLOSER COLLABORATION
WITH THE UNIVERSITY,
WITH ACADEMIC HISTORY,
AND THAT'S WHAT
WE HOPE TO DO.
AND I ALSO, I SUPPOSE,
FULFILL A KIND OF
PRO-CONSULAR AND
AMBASSADORIAL ROLE,
IF IT ISN'T TOO
POMPOUS TO DO THAT.
BECAUSE BEING DIRECTOR
OF THE IHR IS ONE OF THE
THREE SENIOR POSITIONS IN
HISTORY IN BRITAIN ALONG
WITH THE REGIUS PROFESSORS
IN OXFORD AND CAMBRIDGE.
SO I'M INVOLVED OFTEN
AS A CONSULTANT
FOR PROFESSORIAL
APPOINTMENTS ELSEWHERE.
I GIVE SOME ADVICE TO
THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT
ON VARIOUS ASPECTS OF
ITS INTEREST IN HISTORY.
I'M ON THE ADVISORY
COUNCIL OF THE PUBLIC
RECORD OFFICE, THE EASTERN
REGIONAL COMMITTEE
OF THE NATIONAL TRUST.
I'M A TRUSTEE OF THE
NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY
AND I'M A TRUSTEE OF THE
KENNEDY SCHOLARSHIPS.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, I'M
SUPPOSED TO PUBLISH AND
WRITE A LOT OF BOOKS
AND AS YOU KINDLY SAID,
I SHALL BE PUBLISHING
ONE BEFORE VERY LONG.
SO WHAT I SEE MY JOB AS
BEING AT A PERSONAL LEVEL
IS IN A SENSE TO MAKE
ACTUAL AND INDIVIDUAL WHAT
I SEE THE ROLE OF THE IHR
BEING AT AN INSTITUTIONAL
LEVEL, THAT IS, TO
PROVIDE LEADERSHIP.
TO PROVIDE LEADERSHIP IN
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
MORE BROADLY IN BRITAIN
AND INTERNATIONALLY
FOR, AS IT WERE, SCHOLARLY
PROFESSIONAL HISTORY.
BUT ALSO TO PROVIDE
LEADERSHIP IN A BROADER WAY
IN TERMS OF PUBLIC
INTEREST IN HISTORY
AS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF A
BROADER INTELLECTUAL LIFE
AND A CULTURAL LIFE, AND
THE IHR INVOLVES ITSELF
INSTITUTIONALLY AND I
INVOLVE MYSELF PERSONALLY
IN THAT BROADER
PUBLIC REALM.
AND I THINK THOSE TWO
ROLES ARE MUTUALLY
RE-ENFORCING AND
IN A SENSE AND
RIGHTLY INSEPARABLE.
LET ME THEN COME TO MY
THIRD AND FINAL POINT HERE
WHICH IS IN THE LIGHT
OF THESE GENERAL
CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT THE
IMPORTANCE OF HISTORY,
IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT I'VE
LEARNED FROM CONVERSATIONS
WITH MANY OF YOU IN
THESE LAST 24 HOURS,
AND IN THE LIGHT OF MY
OWN EXPERIENCE FROM BEING
DIRECTOR OF THE IHR, WHAT
SUGGESTIONS DO I HAVE TO MAKE
TO YOU HERE NOW AS YOU
THINK ABOUT - AS YOU DISCUSS,
AS I HOPE VERY MUCH YOU
MOVE FORWARD ON
THE ISSUE OF CREATING SOME
SORT OF RESEARCH INSTITUTE
FOR HISTORY HERE NOW
AT YORK UNIVERSITY.
AGAIN AND AS
ALWAYS, I THINK,
I'VE GOT THREE HEADINGS
UNDER WHICH THESE
COMMENTS ARE GROUPED.
FIRST OF ALL I'VE GOT A
SET OF LOGISTICAL ISSUES
WHICH I'M SURE YOU DON'T
NEED ME TO TELL YOU,
YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT, BUT
LET ME JUST SAY IT ANYWAY.
HOW ARE YOU GOING
TO FUND THIS THING?
WHERE'S THE MONEY
GOING TO COME FROM?
CLEARLY THE ENTERPRISE I
HAVE DESCRIBED DOESN'T
COME CHEAP, ALTHOUGH WE
THINK WE'RE PRESSED FOR MONEY.
YOU CAN'T RUN A RESEARCH
INSTITUTE WITHOUT MONEY.
IS IT GOING TO
BE NATIONAL?
IS IT GOING TO BE LOCAL?
IS IT GOING TO PUBLIC?
IS IT GOING TO
BE PRIVATE?
ABOVE ALL, AND I DON'T
MEAN THIS DISCOURAGINGLY,
BUT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS,
HOWEVER YOU FUND IT,
YOU SHOULD BE IN NO DOUBT
THAT RAISING MONEY
IS VERY HARD WORK.
YOU CANNOT DO
IT OVERNIGHT.
YOU CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT
VERY CAREFUL THOUGHT.
YOU CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT
WORKING EXTREMELY HARD
TO CULTIVATE
POTENTIAL DONORS,
AND YOU CANNOT DO IT
UNLESS YOU HAVE SERIOUS
BACKUP IN TERMS OF GIVING
YOU THE SORT OF DETAILED
INFORMATION YOU NEED IF
YOU ARE TO PURSUE
SERIOUS DONORS.
WHAT SORT OF SCALE IS THIS
ENTERPRISE GOING TO BE ON?
IDEALLY IT OUGHT TO BE A
LARGE ENTERPRISE BECAUSE
WE ALL LIKE RUNNING
LARGE ENTERPRISES.
LARGE ENTERPRISES WE HOPE
HAVE VIABILITY, A FUTURE.
IT'S EASIER TO RAISE THE
PUBLIC PROFILE OF
A LARGE ENTERPRISE THAN
A SMALL ENTERPRISE.
IT'S EASIER TO ATTRACT
PEOPLE TO COME TO IT.
BUT THE LIKELIHOOD I
SUPPOSE IS THAT YOU'LL
START SMALL AND
HOPE TO GET BIG.
YOU PROBABLY SHOULD START
SMALL BECAUSE IF YOU
DON'T START SMALL, YOU
WON'T START AT ALL,
AND IT SEEMS TO ME THE
SOONER YOU GET STARTED,
THE BETTER, AND THAT
MEANS YOU'LL NEED TO
GET STARTED IN A FAIRLY
SMALL-SCALE WAY.
FROM LITTLE ACORNS,
BIG TREES DO GROW,
AND YOU SHOULDN'T
LOSE SIGHT OF THAT.
ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU
ALSO NEED TO BE CLEAR THAT
YOU DO RUN A RISK IF YOU
START SMALL THAT YOU MAY
REMAIN SMALL AND THAT
IN THE LONG RUN IS NOT,
I THINK, A GOOD IDEA.
SMALL INSTITUTES WHICH
SENSE THAT SOMEHOW THEY
HAVEN'T MADE IT, WHICH
FEEL THEY'RE LIVING A
HAND-TO-MOUTH EXISTENCE,
WHICH DON'T HAVE A HIGH
PUBLIC PROFILE ARE INEVITABLY
PLACES WHERE MORALE
IS LOW AND WHERE A SENSE OF
MISSION AND EXCITEMENT
AND POSSIBILITIES IS VERY
DIFFICULT TO SUSTAIN.
SO START SMALL BECAUSE YOU
MUST START AND BECAUSE
THAT'S THE WAY YOU
PROBABLY ARE GOING
TO START, BUT DON'T BE
SATISFIED WITH BEING SMALL.
WHAT SORT, IF ANY, FACULTY
ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE?
ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE
PEOPLE SECONDED
ON A KIND OF
TEMPORARY BASIS?
OR ARE YOU GOING TO
HAVE PERMANENT FACULTY?
OR ARE YOU GOING
TO HAVE VISITORS?
THERE'S A WHOLE VARIETY
OF DIFFERENT MODELS
HERE THAT ARE
AVAILABLE.
PERMANENT FACULTY,
AS WE HAVE THEM,
OR AS THE SCHOOL OF
HISTORICAL STUDIES
AT THE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCE
STUDY AT PRINCETON
HAS THEM HAVE THEIR
ADVANTAGES:
BIG NAMES,
PERMANENTLY THERE,
WHO WILL ATTRACT MONEY,
ATTRACT STUDENTS,
ATTRACT PUBLIC INTEREST.
ON THE OTHER HAND, IF
YOU'RE LOCKED IN WITH
A SMALL NUMBER OF PERMANENT
FACULTY FOR A VERY LONG TIME,
THAT GENERATES A WHOLE
SET OF DIFFICULTIES.
DO YOU WANT
TEMPORARY VISITORS?
THERE'S A LOT TO
BE SAID FOR THAT,
A CONSTANT TURNOVER OF
PEOPLE FROM OTHER PARTS
OF CANADA, OTHER
PARTS OF THE WORLD,
PROVIDES A GREAT SENSE
OF DIVERSITY,
ENERGY, AND ENRICHMENT.
BUT IF YOU ONLY HAVE
TEMPORARY PEOPLE,
THERE'S NO KIND OF
SENSE OF STABILITY,
WHICH PERMANENT PEOPLE
DO OF COURSE PROVIDE.
ARE YOU GOING TO SECOND
PEOPLE FROM THE HISTORY
DEPARTMENT HERE?
PROBABLY, I SUSPECT IN
THE FIRST INSTANCE YES,
BUT IF YOU DO SECOND THEM,
THEN TAKE CARE THAT YOU
REALLY SECOND THEM BECAUSE
THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO
ARE GOING TO HAVE TO GET
THE THING STARTED AND IF
YOU WANT THEM TO DO THAT,
THEN GIVE THEM LOTS OF
TIME TO GET ON WITH IT.
DON'T JUST GIVE THEM ONE
COURSE RELIEF BECAUSE
THAT REALLY WON'T
BE ENOUGH.
WHAT SORT OF PROJECTS ARE
YOU GOING TO UNDERTAKE?
IF YOU HAVE SPECIFIC
RESEARCH ENTERPRISES
LIKE THE ICBH, THE
VCH, THE CMH,
WHAT ARE THOSE
GOING TO BE?
YOU NEED, I THINK, TO GIVE
SERIOUS THOUGHT TO THAT.
YOU NEED A WISH LIST, AS
IT WERE, OF WHAT IDEALLY
YOU'D LIKE TO DO.
I THINK SPECIFIC RESEARCH
ENTERPRISES ARE VERY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE JUST AS THE
LIBRARY ROOTS AN INSTITUTE
IN AS IT WERE
THE RAW MATERIALS OF OUR
PROFESSION, SO SPECIFIC
RESEARCH PROJECTS MEANS
THAT RESEARCH IS ACTUALLY
GOING IN THE PLACE
BY PEOPLE THERE.
WHAT SORT OF HISTORY
WILL YOU DO
IN SUCH AN INSTITUTE?
OF COURSE YOU MUST
DO CANADIAN HISTORY,
BUT YOU MUSTN'T, IT SEEMS TO
ME, JUST DO CANADIAN HISTORY.
THINK ABOUT WHAT OTHER
KIND OF HISTORY
YOU WANT TO DO.
PERHAPS, AS I SUGGESTED
ALREADY, TRANSATLANTIC,
TRANSPACIFIC,
TRANS-AMERICAN,
AND ALWAYS STAY OPEN TO
LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS
OF DOING HISTORY.
NEVER GET IN THE POSITION
WHERE SUCH AN INSTITUTE
BECOMES IDENTIFIED WITH
SOME WAYS OF DOING HISTORY
BUT NOT OTHERS.
AND PERHAPS ABOVE
ALL, I THINK,
THIS ISN'T JUST
LOGISTICAL,
IT'S PHILOSOPHICAL AND
IT'S BROADER EVEN THAN THAT.
NEVER FORGET THAT THERE
IS THIS SEAMLESS WEB
WHICH CONNECTS AS IT WERE
PROFESSIONAL HISTORY AND
PUBLIC HISTORY, AND NEVER
FORGET THAT THE PURPOSE
OF SUCH AN INSTITUTE MUST
BE, AS IT WERE, TO ENHANCE
PROFESSIONAL HISTORY BY
MAKING MORE OF IT POSSIBLE
AND HAPPEN, BUT NEVER
LOSING SIGHT OF THE FACT
THAT NOT ONLY IS THAT
INTRINSICALLY IMPORTANT,
BUT THE BEST WAY TO APPEAL
TO A BROADER PUBLIC IS TO
HAVE AN ENERGIZED GROUP
OF PROFESSIONAL COMMITTED
HISTORIANS GIVEN THE
SPACE, THE OPPORTUNITY,
THE SUPPORT TO REACH A
BROADER PUBLIC AUDIENCE
IN ALL SORTS OF WAYS.
WELL WHO'S GOING
TO FRONT THIS,
TO TURN TO THE
DIRECTOR?
WHAT KIND OF PERSON
IS HE OR SHE TO BE?
IT DEPENDS IN PART I
THINK ON THE SCALE OF THE
OPERATION HERE, AND I CAN
ONLY OF COURSE SPEAK
FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE
OF THE IHR.
BUT WHAT I THINK YOU'RE
MOST IMPORTANTLY GOING TO NEED
HERE IS SOMEONE WHOSE
IMAGINATION IS CAPTURED
BY BOTH THE SUBSTANCE AND THE
POSSIBILITIES OF THE JOB,
OF THE INSTITUTE, OF
WHAT IT'S FOR AND
WHAT IT MIGHT BECOME.
YOU WANT SOMEONE,
IN OTHER WORDS,
FOR WHOM THIS IS A GREAT
OPPORTUNITY AND CHALLENGE,
RATHER THAN SOMEONE
COASTING TOWARDS RETIREMENT
OR WHO SEES IT AS JUST
AN EXTRA LINE ON
THEIR RESUME BUT ISN'T
PREPARED TO DO VERY MUCH
SUBSTANTIVELY TO
THE JOB.
YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO CAN
BRING A GREAT DEAL TO THE JOB.
YOU ALSO IDEALLY WANT
SOMEONE WHO HAS THE
COMMITMENT AND VERSATILITY
TO DO A WHOLE RANGE
OF VARIED THINGS.
THEY NEED TO BE
A PRACTISING,
RESEARCH-ACTIVE,
CONSTANTLY PUBLISHING SCHOLAR.
YOU CAN'T HAVE SOMEONE
PRESIDING OVER AN INSTITUTE
OF OR FOR
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
IF THEY'RE NOT DOING
HISTORICAL RESEARCH
AND MAKING IT
PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.
IDEALLY I THINK YOU WANT
SOMEONE WHO HAS A NAME,
WHO HAS RECOGNITION, WHO
IS A PUBLIC INTELLECTUAL
AS WELL AS A
RESPECTED SCHOLAR,
WHO WILL BE ABLE TO ENSURE
THAT THIS SENSE OF BOTH
PROFESSIONAL HISTORY
AND PUBLIC HISTORY
ARE DONE EQUAL
JUSTICE TO.
IDEALLY YOU WANT SOMEONE
WHO IN ADDITION TO THAT
IS AN ADMINISTRATOR
WHO CAN RUN THINGS,
AN ENTREPRENEUR WHO
CAN PROMOTE THINGS
AND ENERGIZE THINGS
AND LIKE A.F. POLLARD,
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN.
AND YOU WANT SOMEONE
WHO CAN RAISE MONEY.
ABOVE ALL THEN IT SEEMS TO
ME YOU WANT SOMEONE WHO
WILL BE ABLE TO KEEP THE
SENSE OF THE BIG PICTURE,
THE GREAT CHALLENGES,
THE GREAT PROSPECTS,
THE GREAT OPPORTUNITIES,
WHILE BEING ABLE TO COPE
WITH ALL THE DETAIL OF THESE
DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES.
THAT I THINK SEEMS TO
ME TO BE A DEFINITION
OF LEADERSHIP.
PUT MORE PROSAICALLY, YOU
WANT SOMEONE WITH THICK SKIN,
STRONG NERVES, A VERY,
VERY HEALTHY LIVER,
INCORRIGIBLE OPTIMISM, AND
SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T
NEED EVER TO SLEEP.

[chuckling]

David continues THIRDLY HERE,
FUNCTIONAL.
WHAT SORT OF THINGS SHOULD
YOU BE THINKING ABOUT HERE?
YOU NEED TO THINK
POSITIVELY AND CREATIVELY
AND AS IT WERE
SYNERGISTICALLY I THINK
THAT THE THINGS THAT GO ON
HERE SHOULD COMPLEMENT
THE HISTORY DEPARTMENTS OF
ALL UNIVERSITIES
IN CANADA AND NOT
COMPETE WITH THEM.
YOU SHOULDN'T COMPETE
WITH THEM BECAUSE
THAT WON'T GET THEM
ON YOUR SIDE.
YOU WANT THEM
ON YOUR SIDE.
YOU WANT THEM TO THINK
WELL OF WHAT'S GOING ON HERE,
AND THE BEST WAY TO
DO THAT IS TO DO THINGS
THAT THEY APPRECIATE,
WHICH THEY WILL BENEFIT FROM,
HENCE THE POINT
ABOUT FACILITATION.
YOU ALSO WANT TO DO THE
PUBLIC STUFF WHICH AGAIN
IS SOMETHING THAT WON'T COMPETE
WITH HISTORY DEPARTMENTS.
YOU NEED TO TAKE A
NATIONAL VIEW OF
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THIS
ENTERPRISE AND OF
THE SUBJECT AND NOT A
LOCAL AND PAROCHIAL ONE.
YES, YOU'RE HERE
IN TORONTO.
YES, THERE ARE SPECIFIC
TORONTO THINGS.
BUT YOU'RE HERE TO THINK
ABOUT AN INSTITUTE
FOR PROMOTING HISTORY
TO ACADEMICS AND
TO THE PUBLIC ACROSS
THE WHOLE OF CANADA.
THE FACT THAT IT'S BASED
IN TORONTO WILL GIVE
YOU LOTS OF ADVANTAGES
AND OPPORTUNITIES,
BUT YOU SHOULD NEVER
LOSE SIGHT OF THIS
NATIONAL MISSION.
YOU NEED TO
WELCOME, I THINK,
ALL SORTS OF HISTORY AND TO
BE A FORUM FOR ALL OF THEM.
YOU NEED TO STRESS
THE ESSENTIAL
INTERCONNECTEDNESS AND
MUTUALLY SELF-REENFORCING
NATURE OF PROFESSIONAL
HISTORY AND PUBLIC HISTORY.
YOU NEED TO WORK VERY
HARD ON OUTREACH,
ON PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT, ON
CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING,
PARTLY BECAUSE THAT'S
SOMETHING DEPARTMENTS
OF HISTORY DON'T DO, PARTLY
BECAUSE IT WILL RAISE
THE PROFILE OF THE PLACE, AND
PARTLY BECAUSE I SUSPECT
IT'S THE BEST ROUTE YOU'VE
GOT TO LARGE AMOUNT
OF PUBLIC FUNDING THAT
YOU'RE GOING TO NEED.
AND YOU NEED TO BE AS
INTERNATIONAL IN ADDITION
TO BEING NATIONAL AS
YOU POSSIBLY CAN.
RESEARCH PROJECTS
THAT GO BEYOND CANADA,
CULTIVATING INSTITUTIONAL
LINKS WITH UNIVERSITIES
AND RESEARCH INSTITUTES
OUTSIDE CANADA AND SO ON.
WELL, THAT'S PRETTY MUCH
ALL I THINK I'VE GOT TO SAY.
LET ME REMIND YOU OF WHAT
I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
TALKING ABOUT AND I HOPE I
HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT.
THE ROLE OF HISTORICAL
RESEARCH INSTITUTES
IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY.
I'VE TRIED TO TALK HERE,
AS I THINK THAT ISSUE
OBLIGES ONE TO DO, ABOUT
THE ROLE OF HISTORY
IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
BECAUSE IF YOU'RE NOT CLEAR
ABOUT THAT, THEN
WHAT'S THE POINT
IN THINKING ABOUT AN
INSTITUTE DEVOTED
TO THAT ENTERPRISE.
I'VE TRIED TO TALK A
BIT ABOUT THE IHR
AS AN EXAMPLE OF THAT,
OF WHAT ITS ROLE
IS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY,
WHICH IS AS VARIED AND
I THINK AS VALUABLE AND AS
BUOYANT AND AS HOPEFUL
AS I TRIED HERE
TO SUGGEST.
AND I'VE TRIED TO GIVE
SOME MORE PARTICULAR
THOUGHTS AND SUGGESTIONS
THAT IT SEEMS TO ME WILL
BE HELPFUL FOR YOU TO
BEAR IN MIND AS YOU
MOVE FORWARD WITH
THIS SCHEME OF YOURS.
WHAT IS THE WORTH
OF ALL THIS, THEN?
TO GO BACK EVEN EARLIER TO
THE QUESTION THAT I POSED.
WELL, THE WORTH OF ALL
THIS IT SEEMS TO ME
IS THAT HISTORY MATTERS
IN TERMS OF EDUCATION
AND IN TERMS OF GENERAL
CULTURAL ENRICHMENT.
NO NATION CAN BE PLAUSIBLE
IF IT DOESN'T GIVE
ATTENTION TO HISTORY.
NO PEOPLE ARE GROWN UP
IF THEY ARE HISTORICALLY
ILLITERATE AND IT'S HARD
TO THINK ONE NEEDS ANY MORE
POWERFUL ARGUMENTS THAN THOSE
FOR THE CASE OF HISTORY,
THOUGH MAKING THOSE ARGUMENTS
AND CARRYING THOSE
ARGUMENTS IS, I
ACCEPT, DIFFICULT.
BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT
THERE IS NO BETTER WAY
OF SHOWING HOW
HISTORY MATTERS,
WHY IT'S IMPORTANT, HOW
IT CAN BE MADE TO MATTER,
THAN IN FACT TO CREATE
RESEARCH INSTITUTES
DEVOTED TO DOING ALL THE
SORT OF THINGS THAT ONLY
I THINK RESEARCH INSTITUTES
BEYOND HISTORY DEPARTMENTS
CAN ACTUALLY DO.
LET ME END THEN WITH TWO
QUOTATIONS APPROPRIATELY
ENOUGH FROM A.F. POLLARD
WITH WHICH I SHOULD
LIKE TO LEAVE YOU
THIS AFTERNOON.
HERE'S THE FIRST ONE.
"A UNIVERSITY SHOULD
BE A FOCUS OF NATIONAL
INTELLECT AND A SOURCE
OF NATIONAL INSPIRATION,
AND IT FULFILLS ITS
FUNCTION BADLY IF IT
DOES NOT HELP TO EXPAND
THE NATIONAL MIND."
SEEMS TO ME THAT EVERY
UNIVERSITY LECTURER
AND PROFESSOR, AND
IN SOME SENSES,
EVEN MORE EVERY UNIVERSITY
ADMINISTRATOR SHOULD HAVE
THOSE WORDS, AS IT WERE, ON
EVERYTHING THAT THEY DO
ON THEIR WORD PROCESSOR, AT THE
TOP OF THEIR HEADED NOTEPAPER,
AND THEY SHOULD BE
REMINDED OF THOSE WORDS
EVERY TIME THEY
SIT ON A COMMITTEE.
THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL FOR.
AND HERE'S MY SECOND
QUOTATION FROM A.F. POLLARD.
"IT IS OFTEN MADE A
REPROACH TO YOUNG PEOPLE
THAT THEY DREAM DREAMS
AND SEE VISIONS,
BUT IF IT IS
COMMONLY A REPROACH,
IT BECOMES ONCE
AGAIN A PRIVILEGE,
FOR A VISION MAY BE
ONE OF THE FUTURE
AND A DREAM DOES
SOMETIMES COME TRUE."
WELL, POLLARD MADE THAT
DREAM HAPPEN IN LONDON
BY CREATING THE INSTITUTE
OF HISTORICAL RESEARCH.
I HOPE VERY MUCH
THAT YOU WILL MAKE
THAT DREAM HAPPEN HERE.
I SALUTE WHAT
YOU WANT TO DO.
I'M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE
TO APPLAUD HOW FAR YOU'VE GOT
WITH THAT SO FAR, AND
I HAVE EVERY CONFIDENCE
THAT YOU WILL
MAKE IT SUCCEED.
THIS IS A BIG,
BOLD, BRAVE IDEA.
GO TO IT.
GET ON WITH IT.
MAKE IT HAPPEN.
MAKE IT HAPPEN AS
SOON AS YOU CAN.

[applause]

Classical music plays as the end credits roll.

Comments and queries, email: bigideas@tvo.org

Telephone: (416) 484-2746.

Big Ideas, TVONTARIO, Box 200, Station Q, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. M4T 2T1.

Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Associate Producer, Mike Miner.

Sound, Rod Chicorli.

Executive Producer, Doug Grant.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2001, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: David Cannadine on promoting historical research