Past and Future
I want to use this regular Letter to launcha new project. I will have retired fromthe post of Director of the IHR and takenup the position of Professor of MedievalHistory at the University of East Angliaby the time this magazine is published.This is effectively an enforced changebrought about by the invitation to give theFord Lectures in the University of Oxfordin 2009–10; many hours of hard thoughthaving convinced me that I just couldnot continue to do justice to the veryserious responsibilities of remaining as
Director and at the same time full what
is in practice a requirement to write anunanticipated book. These hours havealso involved deep thought about mylong, close association with the IHR, aninvolvement which began in 1967 andwhich will continue after I formally ceaseto be Director.Those with memories for such detail
will know that I often refer to that rst
1967 visit in the speeches of welcomewhich I give to postgraduates and thoseappointed to IHR fellowships. Theserepeated references are founded not justin a professional belief that working at theIHR in the Library, attending its seminarsand conferences, and becoming involvedin its many projects are of great valueto the vast majority of historians, but
in an unqualied personal attachment
to the place. The foundation of thatattachment is the knowledge that I wouldnot have had achieved what I believe Ihave achieved in my career from 1967to the present without the IHR. And inthe knowledge that that achievementwould not have been possible without thesupport I have received from some veryspecial friends made at the IHR and fromsome superb IHR colleagues.My IHR colleagues have many massiveachievements to their credit over theperiod that I have been Director. Someare described in this magazine; manyof them in previous issues and in our Annual Reports. It is a source of intensepride that I have been associated with
them as Director over the last ve years.
It is similarly a source of intense prideto have been the public representativeof this world-renowned Institute, to havemet with many of its Friends and friendsworldwide, and to have been involvedin the continuation of activities, someof which date back to the foundation in1921, and in the development of so manyexciting new projects.I hope that I may be forgiven for concluding this Letter by referring backto that visit of 1967 and exploring alittle further its personal implications. Icame to the IHR as a research studentat a provincial university (Exeter). For someone from what was then a smallpostgraduate community at some
distance from London, those rst visits
to the IHR represented my baptism intothe mainstream of the UK’s historical life.Over the years that have followed I didwork of fundamental importance at theIHR, above all towards the completionof the books and articles which I believeto constitute my chief contribution toscholarship. IHR seminars, above allthe Early Medieval, have suppliedintellectual stimulus and a necessarycritical examination of some at timeshalf-baked ideas. IHR publicationshave supplied information of crucialimportance. Friendships have been madein the Common Room and major projectsdeveloped there.This is a road which I want to help othersto follow quite simply because I believe
it to be a benecial one for all historians
involved in what we nowadays call ‘EarlyCareer Development’. I also believethat it is a highly desirable infusion intothe great intellectual powerhouse of thehistorical community of the Universityof London and its constituent Collegesand of the south-east of England asa whole. I am therefore forgoing thetraditional leaving present in favour of the establishment of a fund to supportbursaries for short visits to the IHR bypostgraduates and IHR junior fellowswhose universities are situated a
signicant distance from London. I shallbe making the rst payment into the
fund and I will set up a direct debit tomake regular further payments. I inviteall readers of this magazine to follow myexample.
For further information, please contactSamantha Jordan, email@example.com, 020 7862 8756.
Letter from the Director
Past and Future
Institute of Historical Research
University of LondonSenate HouseMalet StreetLondonWC1E 7HUwww.history.ac.uk020 7862 8740
Editorial and advertising contactEmily Morrell
firstname.lastname@example.org 7862 8780Cover image: Stephen of Bulmer’sbroken knife, date 1150 x 1170.Reproduced by permission of Durham University Library, ref. DCD3.1.spec.72.b. See p.6 for moreinformation.
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