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Hubert Hall (1857-1944): Archival endeavour and the promotion of historical enterprise

Procter, Margaret R (2012) Hubert Hall (1857-1944): Archival endeavour and the promotion of historical enterprise. Doctoral thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the career of Hubert Hall (1857–1944). Hall began work at the Public Record Office in 1879, ending his career there as an Assistant Keeper in 1921. At the same time, and until 1939, he was heavily involved with many organizations and institutions, most notably the Royal Historical Society, the London School of Economics and the Royal Commission on Public Records. His numerous activities as a ‘historical worker’ were aimed at the ‘promotion of historical enterprise(s)’. Before 1900 his writing, on historical topics, and his editorial work were carried out primarily independently. After that date much of his published work derived from his teaching work (most successfully from seminar-based collaborations); this included works which addressed archival science and archival management. The shift in the type of work produced can be attributed to the furore, orchestrated by John Horace Round, surrounding his edition of The Red Book of the Exchequer, a dispute which had a notorious public airing in the late 1890s, but a longer and more private genesis dating back to the previous decade. The context for this examination of Hall’s career is the professionalization of history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the period during which he also began and ended his PRO career. The consolidation of the professional infrastructure of history by the early 1920s also signalled the divergence of archival management and academic history as separate disciplines. As a result, archivists in particular lost sight of their professional antecedents, with received opinion now dating the start of British archival thinking to the appearance of Hilary Jenkinson’s Manual of Archive Administration in 1922. These antecedents include a rich seam of archival writing (both theoretical and practical) by Hall and his PRO contemporaries (notably Charles Johnson and Charles Crump) and the work of a generation of women historical workers, many of whom have been identified as benefiting from Hall’s teaching, and his support. The ‘disappearance’ of these women from university-based history after the 1930s has been well documented in the literature; it is anticipated that future research would identify their re-emergence in, or their transfer to, the post-World War 2 archival domain.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords:archives; historiography
Subjects:D History General and Old World > D History (General)
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Research Centres > Archive Studies, Centre for
Status:Unpublished
ID Code:6693
Deposited On:04 Sep 2012 14:18
Last Modified:04 Sep 2012 14:20

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