Monday 8 July

Archival Education: What Can We Learn From History?

Dr Elizabeth Shepherd, University College London

Dr Elizabeth Shepherd has been Professor of Archives and Records Management in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL) since 2011. Her research interests are in rights in records, links between records management and information policy compliance, and government administrative data, including the UK Research Council-funded project, MIRRA. She is researching the life and work of pioneering women archivists in early 20th Century England, and is author of the monograph, Archives and archivists in 20th century England (Ashgate, 2009). See

Elizabeth Shepherd

Elizabeth’s keynote will consider the history of archival education, emerging alongside 19thcentury European national identity and national archives. It will focus on developments in England which led to the establishment of university programmes at the University of Liverpool and UCL in 1947 as part of the post-war rebuilding and the gradual shift from history to the information sciences. The paper will trace the spread of archival education across the Anglophone world in the later 20thcentury. How has archival education responded to societal issues in the past? Is archival education as an academic discipline in a university valid in an era of grass roots and community endeavour? Our doctoral programmes have expanded significantly, but is this sustainable in view of a profession sceptical of the value of higher qualifications for archival practice and shrinking funding for higher education?

Tuesday 9 July

The Nomad Project

Abira Hussein

Abira Hussein is an independent researcher and curator specialising in Somali heritage, digital archives, migration, and health. She recently completed a MRes in Clinical Research and Design Management at Imperial College London. In recent years she has worked with the British Museum, British Library, London Metropolitan Archives, Refugee Council Archive, and Somali Week Festival, to deliver many projects and workshops engaging with the Somali Community.

Abira photo

The Nomad Project ( is a Heritage Lottery and Nesta funded project. Since 2017 the project has explored ways to create, distribute, and engage a wider audience with community centered cultural heritage objects and stories. This has included the creation of a HoloLens Mixed Reality experience, WebAR object cards, and the development of an open-source community archive.

Nomad was recently selected by Nesta as part of its ‘Amplified’ cohort. Over the next six months it will undertake workshops with young people from London’s Somali community, providing them with the digital skills needed to capture, collect and digitise their own heritage. This will include workshops in photogrammetry, oral history recording and an introduction to web-based augmented reality. The aim of these workshops is to develop a sustainable community-led methodology which can be used more broadly to promote digital literacy and stimulate engagement with cultural heritage.

In this presentation Abira Hussein will touch upon the themes of digital equality, openness, education, and sustainability and invite discussion about how, as a community, we can create a more open and equitable space for sharing cultural heritage.

Wednesday 12 July


Ephemeral Provocations: Perverting the Archive

37838155_10157165900860839_460022071489986560_n (credit: Marinus Toorman, 2018).

This presentation takes as its starting point Professor Stuart Hall’s Constituting an Archive (2001). In this crucial text Hall states that the living archive is ‘present, on-going, continuing, unfinished, open-ended.’

This presentation converses with the text through a series of playful yet serious provocations which address the tensions and pleasures of Black and queer archiving and archival activism in contemporary Britain.

Ajamu is a fine art photographic artist, archive curator and radical sex activist who has exhibited work in museums, galleries and alternative spaces nationally and internationally.

His political-ethical -aesthetic concerns allude to a ‘playful yet serious’ philosophy of photography, which unapologetically celebrates the black body, sexuality, pleasure and difference.

He is the co-founder of the award-winning rukus! Black LGBTQ+ Archive and one of the few leading specialists on Black British LGBTQ+ history, heritage and cultural production in the UK.

He studied at the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht and is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art.

Thursday 11 July

An Education: History, the Law and the Archive

Emeritus Professor Carolyn Steedman, University of Warwick

Carolyn Steedman is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Warwick, UK. She  the author of Dust (2001), Poetry for Historians (2018) and many other books. History and the Law: A Love Story will be published by CUP later this year.


Carolyn Steedman will explore the idea of an archival education and suggest why the relationship between archive–history–law can be written as a kind of love story.