Hidden Histories: Gaps and Silences in the Archive

A joint event of the US-UK Fulbright Commission and the British Library.

How do you construct a historical narrative when you do not have all the facts? To celebrate the launch of The US-UK Fulbright Commission Archive at the British Library, join academics Tony Badger and Caroline Bressey, historian and author Kate Williams and British Library cataloguer Eleanor Casson, as they discuss archival research, the politics and practices of using archives and the purpose and value they have for historians, researchers and novelists.

Each member of the panel will speak on:
  • Their work and experience of archival research
  • The types of gaps and absences that can occur in a historical record
  • How gaps can occur e.g. the effects of time and deterioration of material or administrative error
  • The influence of current laws and legislation on the availability of modern records.

Event details

Date and time: Monday 19th November, 7:00pm-8:30pm

Location: Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Registration: Please book a ticket by visiting the British Library website.


Tony Badger

Tony is an academic and historian specialising in post-World War II Southern American political history. He was a Fulbright Scholar in 1984, the Paul Mellon Professor of American History at the University of Cambridge, and the Master of Clare College, Cambridge. He is now Professor in American History at the University of Northumbria and the President of the Historical Association at the University of Cambridge. He has also undertaken the role of Independent Reviewer for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office overseeing the release of previously closed records.

Caroline Bressey

Caroline is an academic and lecturer in the Department of Geography, UCL whose research focuses on the Black Presence in Victorian Britain, especially London, and ideas of race, racism, early anti-racist theory and identity in Victorian society. She has worked as a curator with the National Portrait Gallery and the Museum of London Docklands. In 2009 she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize and in 2013 Bloomsbury published her award-winning biography of Catherine Impey, Empire, Race and the Politics of Anti-Caste.

Kate Williams

Kate is a historian, author and broadcaster. She is the author of several acclaimed historical biographies the latest being Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon as well as historical fiction including The Storms of War and The Edge of the Fall. Kate has worked extensively on press, radio and television discussing social history, royal history and general politics and culture.

Eleanor Casson 

Eleanor is the cataloguer for the Fulbright Archive at the British Library and has been working on the collection for nine months. She is a qualified archivist and records manager, with experience working as a Heritage Assistant at a Local Borough Archive and has also volunteered at the Design Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.