As the week before teaching officially commences, this has been a week of meetings for Freshers Week as well as other activities linked in various ways to the Centre. For example, Dr Diane Heath and I used her quiz based on Bethany Brown’s internship work on the St Mildred’s church and parish history posters for the new BA History and Medieval & Early Modern History Studies students.
Stop press – Tudors and Stuarts History Weekend moved to the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 March 2021, and, as I said last week, it will be a virtual affair, and our speakers will include Professor Alec Ryrie, an expert on the Reformation, and Professor Andy Wood, a brilliant ‘history from below’ early modernist. This week I have also been in talks with Craig Dadds at the Canterbury Christ Church University bookshop, and even though we don’t know exactly what form it will take, Craig does want an online bookshop in some form for the History Weekend.
This is the Centre’s 300th blog! To mark this splendid milestone, I thought I would reflect on the Centre’s achievements since the blog started almost six years ago in October 2014 when I highlighted Dr Martin Watt’s forthcoming lecture on the WWI War Memorial in what had been St Gregory’s church (now CCCU’s St Gregory’s Centre): https://blogs.canterbury.ac.uk/kenthistory/war-memorial-lecture/
As well as being the feast day of St Calimerius – a 3rd-century bishop of Milan, persecuted and killed by being flung head first into a well, and invoked against drought; and that of several other saints, the 31st July also marks the end of the academic (financial) year. Consequently, amongst those leaving (retiring) from Christ Church are Professor Jackie Eales, co-director of the Centre, Professor Peter Vujakovic, from Geography and someone we at the Centre have worked with on several projects, and Dr Lesley Hardy, who as readers of the blog will know is one of the leaders of the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project. We at the Centre wish them all the best for the future.
As a follow up to last week, I thought I would just mention that my hard copy of The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds 1400–1800, edited by Claire Jowitt, Craig Lambert and Steve Mentz, has now arrived. There look to be lots of fascinating chapters from ‘Global Networks’ to ‘Piracy and Privateering’, ‘Sea Music’, ‘Ottoman Seafarers’ Tales’ and ‘Nautical Manuals’. If anyone is interested, please see further details at: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Marine-and-Maritime-Worlds-1400-1800-1st-Edition/Jowitt-Lambert-Mentz/p/book/9780367471842 and in due course it is hoped there will be a paperback edition.
I thought I would begin by reporting that we sent our roundup of pre-modern Kent and Canterbury online resources to Dr David Rundle on Monday and hopefully soon it will be on the Kent MEMS Lib. As a further development of this idea, Dr Diane Heath and I, in conjunction with Michelle Crowther (CCCU Learning and Research Librarian), will start adding modern sources to form the CKHH Lib. In this we will have a section on museums in Kent that have a virtual presence with useful material for researchers, including a virtual tour of the Folkestone Museum compiled by a team at the museum with Martin Crowther. This all looks very exciting! As does the CCCU Bookshop’s new online facility: https://bookshop.canterbury.ac.uk/
This week I thought I would start with a collaboration between the Centre and MEMS at Kent as part of their new online initiative. Led by the Kent team comprising a Taught MA student and four PhD students (one has just completed), this new website will provide information about freely available online resources arranged thematically in the fields of medieval and early modern studies; with a forum so that researchers can raise questions, seek assistance or notify others about newly discovered resources. This exciting development ‘Unchaining the library’ was launched this week and is already receiving rave reviews. If you want to check it out, please go to: https://www.memslib.co.uk/
This week I thought I would catch up with what Dr Diane Heath has been doing recently, as well as where I and my fellow editors are with Maritime Kent. In some ways the later stages towards publication are more feasible at the moment, compared to the earlier part of completing research and writing where access to archives and libraries is extremely important. However, before I come to these developments, the CCCU Kent History Postgraduates met again this week.
Although not quite changing decisively hour by hour, things do seem to be doing that on a daily basis as national leaders scramble to keep abreast of this pandemic in various ways. This is such a tough time for so, so many across the world, including a whole host of groups and individuals in this country, and it is vitally important that everyone supports those working in health and care services wherever they are who are doing a brilliant job.
Currently CCCU is open, however, we have been informed that the higher powers will be making a decision about the fate of university events, including the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2020 and other CKHH events, early next week. Moreover, with the UK government’s statement today, things are moving swiftly. Consequently, I’ll keep you informed as and when I have some concrete news.