Latest post

KURF Students Visit Royal Archives at Windsor: Treasures of the Round Tower

Dr Anna Maerker, Senior Lecturer in the History of Medicine, King’s College London and a member of the GPP Academic Steering Committee

At the Round Tower of Windsor Castle: Harrison Cutler, Ayesha Hussain, Lloyd Ross (left to right).
At the Round Tower of Windsor Castle: Harrison Cutler, Ayesha Hussain, Lloyd Ross (left to right).

This summer, three undergraduate students from the History Department visited the Royal Archives at Windsor, joined by members of staff Dr Angel-Luke O’Donnell and Dr Anna Maerker. Ayesha Hussain, Harrison Cutler and Lloyd Ross received summer fellowships through the King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship scheme (KURF) which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to learn alongside leading academics by pursuing guided research. The students worked on a range of projects related to Georgian history:
– “Marginalised Indians: Native Americans in British Archives, 1763 to 1795” (Harrison Cutler, supervisor: Dr Angel-Luke O’Donnell),
– “Beyond the Madness of King George: Reassessing Medicine and Healing at the Hanoverian Court” (Ayesha Hussain, supervisor: Dr Anna Maerker),
– “The concept of ‘internal police’ in late eighteenth-century discourse” (Lloyd Ross, supervisor: Dr Max Edling).

The students’ visit to the Royal Archives was made possible through King’s partnership with the Royal Household on the Georgian Papers Programme, a major project to digitise and interpret the archives of the Georgian papers held at Windsor Castle. The five year programme, officially launched by Her Majesty the Queen on 1st April 2015, will digitise some 350,000 pages of original archives. With academic leadership provided by King’s College London and international partners, the Programme also supports research and interpretation of this material.

Students and staff were introduced to the archives, digitisation, and conservation lab by project manager Dr Oliver Walton and archivist Rachael Krier. They greatly enjoyed their encounters with this unique collection of historical documents which provided insights into the everyday life of King George III and his household, from the gathering of political intelligence to concerns about the health of the family. The visit also highlighted the challenges of cataloguing and digitising historical archives.

It was good to finally have a chance to practically implement some of the elements I’ve been taught during my degree, as primary sources are always alluded to through photocopies or webpages, and so to read through a variety of actual eighteenth-century pieces was a welcome addition. It was also good to go behind the scenes of Windsor Castle when accessing the collection!” (Lloyd Ross)

Going to the Royal Archives was a fascinating opportunity to visit one of the more unique collections in the UK. Rachael Krier and Oliver Walton showed off the work that goes into cataloguing and digitising the collections in the archive. The morning began with an enlightening introduction about the organisation of the material. Both Oliver and Rachael provided insights into the origins of the collections (from the cellar of the Duke of Wellington) and the relatively good condition of all the materials. The introduction also included a visit to the conservation room and a chance to discuss the cleaning and conservation practices of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century documents. I was particularly interested in the treatment of the leather bindings and mounting practices. These small considerations have a dramatic effect on the lifespan of important documents. Overall, the visit provided insights into the work of archives and helps a researcher better understand and design their own project in the archive.” (Dr Angel-Luke O’Donnell)

‘Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’: Announcement of AHRC-funded Network Project and Call for Papers

Announcement of Joseph Banks AHRC-funded Network Project


The National Maritime Museum (NMM), together with University College London (UCL), the Royal Society, the National Portrait Gallery  (NPG) and other project partners, is delighted to have been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network Grant on ‘Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World’, which commenced on 1 June 2016.


The Network will bring together interdisciplinary and international groups of scholars from universities, libraries, museums and galleries to build on recent scholarship and to discuss new avenues for research in the build-up to the 200th anniversary of Sir Joseph Banks’s death in 1820.


A programme of events will include three academic workshops: the first will take place at UCL,  focusing on the historiography of Banks; the second workshop, at the  NPG, on  Science, Self-fashioning and Representation in Joseph Banks’s Circle; and the third, at the NMM, will focus on Banks and the Maritime World. A  larger, open conference at the Royal Society, will form the culmination of the network project in September 2017.


More details on the project including the steering committee, research outline, and the event programme, including  dates of the workshops and lists of workshop speakers, can be found at More details, including paper abstracts and blog posts, will be added to the webpage as the project develops.

Joseph Banks, Science, Culture and the Remaking of the Indo-Pacific World

This Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research network project will bring together international, interdisciplinary scholars to discuss new avenues of research on Joseph Banks and the Indo-Pacific World



Call for Papers


The final  conference at the Royal Society, entitled ‘Joseph Banks: Science, Culture and Exploration’, will  take place on 14-15 September 2017 and will explore the intersections of Enlightenment science, culture, commerce and empire through the figure of Joseph Banks, his correspondents, circles and networks.  We are delighted that Professor David Igler, University of California, Irvine and Professor Kapil Raj, Centre Alexandre-Koyré, Paris  have agreed to give keynote addresses at the conference. We hope that the conference will attract speakers from a range of historical disciplines – including the histories of science, culture, art, anthropology and the maritime world – and will reflect the global contexts of Banks’s interests, influence and legacies.  We are particularly keen to receive proposals that see Banks as a starting point for new scholarly understandings of the worlds in which he moved. We anticipate that the conference will bring a broader and more nuanced appreciation of this energetic and powerful figure, and that it will play an important part in the development of a larger research project.  We encourage proposals from both the heritage and HE sectors and we anticipate that at least a selection of the papers given at the conference will be published.

Proposals including a title and abstract of no more than 500 words should be emailed to Sally Archer at no later than 16 October 2016

Contact us


To submit a proposal or to find out more about how you can be part of the Network, please contact the project coordinator Sally Archer at the National Maritime Museum at:


We would be grateful if you could please circulate this announcement, including the Call for Papers for the conference, to anyone you think would be interested. Thank you.