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Strategic Research Fund awarded to Prof. Robert Bickers and Prof. Simon Potter

12 October 2017

Prof. Robert Bickers and Prof. Simon Potter have been awarded a grant from the University’s Strategic Research Fund, to lead a project entitled Global Challenges and the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection in Bristol. In this exciting new initiative a team from HUMS, the Faculty more generally, and the Brigstow Institute will work together to explore the research potential of the British Empire and Commonwealth Collections (BECC) at Bristol Archives and Bristol City Museums. This material, inherited from the former British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, represents one of the richest single bodies of evidence concerning Britain’s social and cultural engagement with empire and the global South. It also sheds light on the economic and environmental impact of imperialism. The project aims to strengthen collaboration between the University of Bristol and the Bristol City Council Culture Team. The four strands of the project will focus on: Photographs; Film; Oral History; and Commonwealth literature – all key BECC strengths. A pilot digitisation project will target the ‘at risk’ Charles Trotter collection of photographic negatives, which provide a unique insight into the last years of British rule in Kenya. The project will also produce a preliminary catalogue of the amazing resource that is the Commonwealth Writers’ Library. A series of workshops over the coming year will draw out possibilities for future collaborative research and relate the collection to a range of current global challenges.

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