Workshop: Institute & Society Publishing in the 2020s

Institute and society publishing in the 2020s: what can historians do for themselves?

A joint event from the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and the Omohundro Institute. With additional contributions from the American Historical Association, African American Intellectual History Society, and Sussex Humanities Lab.




All welcome

This event is free, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.

The event will begin at 11:00 am – 12:30 pm EDT/4:00 – 5:30 pm BST, but you will be able to join the event’s online waiting room from 10:30 am EDT/3:30 pm BST, with admittance to the event from 10:45 am EDT/3:45 pm BST.

  • Karin Wulf, Executive Director of the Omohundro Institute and Professor of History, William & Mary
  • Philip Carter, Director of Digital and Publishing, Institute of Historical Research, University of London
  • Catherine E. Kelly, Editor of Books, Omohundro Institute, and Affiliated Professor of History, William & Mary
  • Tyler D. Parry, Senior Editor of Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, and Assistant Professor of History at University of Nevada Las Vegas
  • James Grossman, Executive Director of the American Historical Association
  • James Baker, Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives (University of Sussex and Sussex Humanities Lab), and Director of ProgHist Ltd (chair)

This event brings together two of the leading historical research centers in the US and UK: the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture (OI) and the Institute of Historical Research (IHR).

Both the IHR and the Omohundro Institute perform a wide range of activities, including research, training, events, libraries, fellowships and advocacy.

Both too are well-known scholarly publishers responsible for an academic journal (respectively, the William & Mary Quarterly and Historical Research) and highly-respected book series. They are also small-scale publishing enterprises that look to digital opportunities to extend reach, raise their profile, and fulfill a commitment to experimentation regarding research and its communication.

This event showcases two recent digital initiatives that combine the traditional values of scholarly publishing with new forms of content creation and communication: the Omohundro’s OI Reader platform, and the IHR’s Digital Humanities Library project as a home for its ‘New Historical Perspectives’ book series with the Royal Historical Society.

Both are simple and relatively low-cost solutions to the OI and the IHR’s publishing ambitions for the 2020s. Short presentations present these new resources as a means of addressing broader questions:

  • what (at this time more than ever) can historians do for ourselves to create and communicate high-quality history as widely as possible?
  • should digital always be scalable?
  • what are the smaller scale digital innovations that institutes and societies can undertake?
  • what considerations do we need to take when designing new resources?
  • what’s the relationship between digital publishing and new forms of historical research and writing?
  • how do we best intersect the rigors of scholarly publishing with digital tools?
  • what do we learn from innovations like these; what are the positives, and the frustrations, of working digitally at a smaller scale?

The event includes short contributions from publishers at the OI and the IHR, as well as commentaries and observations from several other UK and US innovators, working digitally in history publishing within the university and (small-scale) publishing sectors. These include the American Historical Association, African American Intellectual History Society and Sussex Humanities Lab, UK.

‘Institute and society publishing in the 2020s’ is the first in a series of Anglo-American partnership events between the IHR and the Omohundro Institute to run in 2020-21. This programme is in response to the immediate challenges historians, and especially Early Career Researchers, face as a consequence of the COVID pandemic.