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Society & Culture
History

The National Archives Podcast Series

Updated 3 days ago

Society & Culture
History
Read more

Listen to talks, discussions, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Read more

Listen to talks, discussions, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
9
9
3
2
1

British Bobby to Hong Kong Copper

By ArcherLoo7 - Mar 19 2016
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My favorite episode. I'll be honest history does put me to sleep, but I learn 10 to 15 minutes of history before I go. The next night I'll just forward about 10 mins to catch up until I finish. Thanks for doing all that you do.

Something to Learn Everyday

By quibblegirl - Feb 14 2015
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I love this channel! There are always interesting lectures and programs available for download.

iTunes Ratings

24 Ratings
Average Ratings
9
9
3
2
1

British Bobby to Hong Kong Copper

By ArcherLoo7 - Mar 19 2016
Read more
My favorite episode. I'll be honest history does put me to sleep, but I learn 10 to 15 minutes of history before I go. The next night I'll just forward about 10 mins to catch up until I finish. Thanks for doing all that you do.

Something to Learn Everyday

By quibblegirl - Feb 14 2015
Read more
I love this channel! There are always interesting lectures and programs available for download.
Cover image of The National Archives Podcast Series

The National Archives Podcast Series

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Listen to talks, discussions, lectures and other events presented by The National Archives of the United Kingdom.

Rank #1: The personal story of Holocaust survivor John Dobai

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John Dobai was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1934. To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, John delivered a talk at The National Archives on 25 January 2019 about his personal story and the plight of Hungarian Jews.

Feb 19 2019

1hr 11mins

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Rank #2: Big Ideas Series: Entity disambiguation in digital cultural heritage

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To enable people to explore a digital collection, the platform that hosts that collection needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the information it is presenting. However, the level and quality of assistance that can be provided to a user by a computer is largely dependent on the amount of information that the system has about the collection. While such information can be provided by a process of manually tagging and annotating archive contents, this can be expensive, time-consuming or even infeasible if the collection is too large.

This talk will explore the challenges involved in the automatic identification and disambiguation of entities within digital cultural heritage collections.

Seamus Lawless is Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin.

Our Big Ideas seminar series is funded by the Friends of The National Archives.

Jul 23 2018

58mins

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Rank #3: Summer Lecture Series 2019: Information at War – the Ministry of Information, 1936-1946

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The Ministry of Information was established by a government which recognised that the understanding and morale of the civilian population in the UK – and elsewhere – was critical to a successful outcome. To this end the Ministry used every form of communication available to it, including newspapers, comics, radio, films, even model aeroplane kits.

Join Professor Simon Eliot, Professor Emeritus of the History of the Book, University of London, as he explores the difficult early years of the Ministry and its bid to win public confidence.

This talk is part of The National Archives’ Summer Lecture Series, exploring the theme ‘State and Society: Cultures of Communication’.

Aug 07 2019

45mins

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Rank #4: The Cold War and UFOs

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There is more to the Ministry of Defence UFO files than reports on strange sightings in the sky. They provide insight into the public’s perception of the Cold War and technological advances, as well as extra-terrestrial life, through an increase in sci-fi-related television, publications, and media reporting.

In this podcast, recorded as part of The National Archives’ Cold War season, Keith Mitchell, a specialist in our UFO records, delves into this fascinating topic.

May 23 2019

48mins

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Rank #5: The scandalous case of John Vassall

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In 1962, while working as a clerk in the British Embassy in Moscow, homosexual civil servant John Vassall was caught in a ‘honey trap’ sprung by the Soviet Secret Service. He was blackmailed into passing secrets to the Soviet Union and as a result sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for espionage.

Our contemporary records specialist Mark Dunton delves deeper into this scandal – one of a series that rocked the Macmillan government in the early 1960s, feeding into a national obsession with spy culture at the time.

This podcast was recorded as part of The National Archives’ Cold War season, a programme of events to coincide with the exhibition, ‘Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed’.

May 23 2019

1hr 5mins

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Rank #6: Big Ideas Series: The role of archives in addressing refugee crises

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This presentation provides an overview of a project called ‘Records and ICT at the Boundaries of the State: Refugee Needs, Rights and Uses’ which looks at the ways in which archivists  in affected countries might use digital systems design to identify, protect and certify the records of refugees. 

It’s presented by Anne Gilliland (UCLA Center for Information as Evidence, University of California) and James Lowry (Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies, University of Liverpool).

Our Big Ideas seminar series is funded by the Friends of The National Archives.

Jul 23 2018

42mins

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Rank #7: The Annual Digital Lecture: Semantic Capital: what it is and how to protect it

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In this talk Luciano Floridi presents new research on ‘semantic capital’, which he defines as the capital of ideas, knowledge, meaning and culture, and how it can be protected and fostered by the digital. What may digital ethics do to ensure its care, protection, and development?

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, where he directs the Digital Ethics Lab (DELab) of the Oxford Internet Institute. He is also Faculty Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and Chair of its Data Ethics research Group, and Chairman of the Ethics Advisory Board of the European Medical Information Framework. He sits on the EU’s Ethics Advisory Group on Ethical Dimensions of Data Protection, on the Royal Society and British Academy Working Group on Data Governance, and on Google Advisory Board on ‘the right to be forgotten’. His areas of expertise include the philosophy of information, digital ethics, and the philosophy of technology. His recent books include ‘The Fourth Revolution – How the infosphere is reshaping human reality’ (2014), ‘The Ethics of Information’ (2013), and ‘The Philosophy of Information’ (2011).

Jul 10 2018

1hr 2mins

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Rank #8: Big Ideas Series: Archives and Linked Data

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Is linked data an appropriate technology for implementing an archive’s catalogue? Dr Jean-Luc Cochard from the Swiss Federal Archives presents the results of two studies conducted to explore the potential of linked data in supporting archival information systems.

The Big Ideas talks series is supported by the Friends of The National Archives.

Jul 04 2018

51mins

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Rank #9: West Africa and the First World War

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The First World War had a great impact on West Africa, as Britain ordered the invasion of German colonies in Cameroon and Togoland, using its own colonies as base. The West African Frontier Force, drawn from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Gambia played a key role in the campaign. War had also had a great impact on the civilian population, as the British drew off workers and resources. How did African soldiers experience the campaign, and what did the war mean for West African societies as a whole?

Jun 18 2018

21mins

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Rank #10: Big Ideas Series: Datafication, Distribution and the Future of Archival Science in the Age of Homo Deus

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Victoria Lemieux examines how we can ensure and establish authenticity in a world of increasing datafication of records. Where and how do we create, find and preserve records and the archives in an increasingly distributed world? Will the preservation of human history and human collective memory be the main concern of archival science in the age of AI, robotics and, possibly, post-humanity as we know it?

Dr. Victoria Lemieux is an Associate Professor of Archival Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her current research is focused on risk to the availability of trustworthy records, in particular in blockchain record-keeping systems. She holds a doctorate from University College London (Archival Studies, 2002), and, since 2005, has been a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). She is also the winner of the 2015 Emmett Leahy Award for outstanding contributions to the field of records management, a 2015 World Bank Big Data Innovation Award, and a 2016 Emerald Literati Award for her research on blockchain technology.

Our Big Ideas seminar series is funded by the Friends of The National Archives.

May 17 2018

47mins

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Rank #11: UFO files at The National Archives

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Originally set up at the request of Winston Churchill, the Ministry of Defence’s UFO Desk ran for over 60 years, collating mysterious sightings and records of strange objects in the sky.

In this talk, Dr David Clarke, Principal Lecturer in Journalism at Sheffield Hallam University, discusses the remarkable stories behind some of the images from his book, ‘UFO Drawings from The National Archives’.

May 01 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #12: Suffrage 100: Did militancy help or hinder the fight for the franchise?

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By 1912, militancy associated with the Suffragette movement hit its peak, with regular arson attacks, window-smashing campaigns and targeting of MP’s houses. In retrospect, these tactics are often what the movement is famed for. But did they help or hinder the cause?

Hear from Dr. Fern Riddell (BBC’s Suffragettes Forever!) and Professor Krista Cowman (University of Lincoln). Due to technical issues, we unfortunately were not able to capture Elizabeth Crawford’s participation in this discussion.

Apr 27 2018

20mins

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Rank #13: Reformation on the Record: Suzannah Lipscomb on Henry VIII and the break with Rome

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Reformation on the Record was a two-day conference which brought together research using original records of Church and State from our collection to explore this period of religious, social and economic turmoil.

In this talk, historian, broadcaster and award-winning academic Dr Suzannah Lipscomb explores one of the fundamental turning points of the 16th century Reformation: Henry VIII's separation from the Roman Catholic Church.

Jan 26 2018

47mins

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Rank #14: Big Ideas Series: In Their Own Write: Welfare, Discipline and Pauper Agency in the Nineteenth Century

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In this seminar, Dr Paul Carter introduces his new research project which he is undertaking in collaboration with Professor Steven King, University of Leicester, after receiving a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Paul examines the correspondence between paupers and the state, focussing on the nature of complaints in the context of welfare, and the importance of Victorian records management in producing a history 'from below'.

Dr Paul Carter is the Principal Records Specialist for Domestic Records here at The National Archives. His research and publication interests include early labour movements, popular political, and poor law records.

Our Big Ideas seminar series is funded by Friends of The National Archives.

Jan 12 2018

47mins

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Rank #15: Sylvia Pankhurst: suffragette, socialist and ‘scourge of the empire’

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From militant suffragette at the beginning of the 20th century to campaigner against colonialism in Africa after the Second World War, Sylvia Pankhurst dedicated her life to fighting oppression and injustice. Katherine Connelly will examine Pankhurst's role at the forefront…

Dec 11 2017

39mins

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Rank #16: Unfolding the court case that banned a 1920s lesbian novel

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In 1928 Radclyffe Hall wrote 'The Well of Loneliness', a novel that featured female characters in same-sex relationships. Shortly after it was published, the Sunday Express called for the book to be suppressed and urged the Home Office to censor it. Despite attempts by writers including Vera Brittain, T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf to defend the novel as a book of literary, sociological and psychological significance, it was banned later that year.

In this podcast, we look at files from the obscenity trial to find out why a lesbian novel that lacked any lewd imagery or language was classed as obscene. Hear what the novel meant to sexologists such as Henry Havelock Ellis; which side of the trial Rudyard Kipling offered to stand on; and the alternate plot lines that the magistrate believed would spare a novel with gay characters from censorship.

Sep 11 2017

16mins

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Rank #17: Tudor trials: Confessions from the Star Chamber

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Medieval records specialist Euan Roger gives us a taste of the kinds of disputes dealt with by the Star Chamber, one of the highest Tudor courts.

The tens of thousands of Star Chamber records kept at The National Archives reveal a wealth of information about Tudor life. In this podcast, we uncover a few of the more unusual cases put before the King's council, including a murder cover-up, a child maintenance complaint, and a marital dispute.

Credits: this podcast uses an excerpt from 'Stabat Mater', performed by the Tudor Consort.

Aug 15 2017

45mins

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Rank #18: Jane Austen: from beginning to end

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To commemorate the bicentenary of Jane Austen's death in 1817, Professor Fiona Stafford delivered a talk on Austen's life and work at the The National Archives, where Austen's original will is held.

Fiona Stafford is a professor of English Language and Literature at Somerville College, Oxford, specialising in Romantic literature from Keats and Wordsworth to Austen. She is editor of 'Emma' for Penguin and 'Pride and Prejudice' for Oxford World's Classics, and has written on many aspects of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century literature, including 'Brief Lives: Jane Austen'.

Aug 09 2017

45mins

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Rank #19: A tormented Tudor queen's treasonous 'love letter'

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In this episode, Neil Johnston and Christopher Day discuss a letter written by Catherine Howard, the fifth wife of Henry VIII, to Thomas Culpeper, a groom of the King's Privy chamber. The document was part of a body of evidence collected against Catherine and Culpeper that ultimately led to their execution. It is now preserved at The National Archives.

Here Neil Johnston explains how it is crucial to examine this letter in the context of Catherine's sexual past in order to understand how the queen accused of living "an abominable, base, carnal, voluptuous, vicious life" was effectively blackmailed into a path of action that led to her untimely death.

Aug 01 2017

14mins

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Rank #20: 'A Bit of a Scratch', a radio drama about the battle against Venereal Disease during the First World War

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'A Bit of a Scratch' explores the first recorded prosecution under the Venereal Diseases Act 1917. The legislation was introduced due to the large numbers, roughly 5%, of UK troops returning from the First World War with venereal diseases and to ensure that treatment was undertaken by qualified medical professionals. The last century has seen remarkable developments in sexual health, however with rising numbers of sexually transmitted infections and the emergence of antimicrobial resistant disease, the provision of high quality sexual health services are more important than ever.

This podcast was produced jointly with the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). More information on the issues contained within this podcast can be found on the BASHH website and @BASHH_UK.

By: Debbie Manship

Cast (in order of appearance):

  • Narrator: Stephen McGann
  • Billy: Louis Cardona
  • Edie: Lowri Amies
  • Chemist: David Jarvis
  • Doctor: Peter Wickham
  • All other parts were played by members of the cast.
  • Composer: Chris Madin
  • Studio Engineer: Holly Parris
  • Director: Paul Dawson

Produced by Role Call and iD Audio in association with M & F Health Communications"The British Army's fight against Venereal Disease in the 'Heroic Age of Prostitution'" by Richard Marshall is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Jun 16 2017

19mins

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