Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Address:Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU, UK

About Institute of Historical Research, University of London

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR) is a British educational organisation providing resources and training for historical researchers. It is part of the School of Advanced Study in the University of London and is located at Senate House. The Institute was founded in 1921 by A. F. Pollard.Appointed Professor of Constitutional History at University College London in 1903, his inaugural address, a year later, argued for the need for a postgraduate school of historical research. With a generous and anonymous donation of £20,000 from Sir John Cecil Power in 1920 towards the founding of the institute, Pollard's dream was realised. The Institute was formally opened by H. A. L. Fisher on 8 July 1921.

The IHR was directly administered by the Senate of the University of London, rather than being part of one of the federal colleges. It was the first organisation to be administered under such an arrangement, and as such provided the model for other Institutes, many of which later joined the IHR in the University of London's School of Advanced Study.

The IHR's first premises were in "temporary" huts on Malet Street, on a site now occupied by Birkbeck College. Despite the supposedly temporary nature of this accommodation, the IHR was not to move until 1947, when it took up residence in the north block of Senate House. The new location was built by architect Charles Holden, along with the rest of the University, at a projected cost of £3,000,000 and duration of 30 years for the whole project. Still occupying this position, many rooms in the IHR overlook the grass lawn in between Senate House and SOAS, which is where Senate House's unbuilt fourth court would have been.

With the start of World War II in September 1939 the Institute's work and construction of its permanent building were disrupted, with the Ministry of Information occupying Senate House, and closing the Institute in May 1940. The IHR was struck by a bomb on the night of 22–23 September 1940. The impact resulted in "the destruction of six books and almost the entire collection of London maps, as well as of furniture".

The IHR's role comprises the following:
- To promote the study of history and an appreciation of the importance of the past among academics and 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 in the UK, by means of its library, seminars, conferences, fellowships, training and publications (both print and digital)
- To further high quality research into particular aspects of the past by its research centres – the Centre for Metropolitan History and the Victoria County History of England
- To provide a welcoming environment where historians at all stages in their careers 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



Institute of Historical Research, University of London

Phone:+44 20 7862 8740
Address:Senate House, Malet St, London WC1E 7HU, UK
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