Chapter

Local history and national history, 1880–1945

John Beckett

in Writing Local History

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780719029509
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700679 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719029509.003.0006
Local history and national history, 1880–1945

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This chapter illustrates local and national history between 1880 and 1945. During this time, the subject matter of local history was recognised either as national history at the local level or the study of places through their economic history. Professional historians saw themselves researching and writing the history of the nation from the public records. Their interest in local history went only as far as searching for suitable examples to illustrate national history. The Public Record Office was their laboratory, and the English Historical Review was their scholarly journal. Local history stagnated intellectually, and its flag was kept fluttering only through the local societies. It was not until after the Second World War the great majority of counties had a record office, and it was only when a new range of material became available that local history took on new dimensions and began to escape the stigma with which it had been cursed since the late nineteenth century.

Keywords: local history; national history; economic history; professional historians; English Historical Review; Public Record Office

Chapter.  7806 words. 

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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