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Political History from the Ground Up: the Ron Heisler Collection in Context

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Lecture

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020 7862 8016

Each year, the Friends of Senate House Library host the Holden Lecture, which focuses on one of the Library’s unique scholarly collections. This year, we were honoured to be able to host the lecture with the collector himself as guest of honour in a panel discussion. Watch the recording below. 

Holden-Lecture 2023 Political History from the Ground Up

Each year, the Friends of Senate House Library host the Holden Lecture, which focuses on one of the Library’s unique scholarly collections. This year, we were honoured to be able to host the lecture with the collector himself as guest of honour in a panel discussion. Watch the recording below. 

Our sincere thanks to Ron Heisler for sharing his wonderful collection with us, and for taking the time to speak with us about his thoughts on the Collection.

Professor Claire Langhamer, Director of the Institute of Historical Research, organised a panel with a diverse take on the Collection and on the topic more broadly.  The panel were:

  • Keith Gildart, Professor of Labour and Social History at the University of Wolverhampton; 
  • Philip Murphy, Professor of British and Commonwealth History at the University of London and Director of History & Policy at the Institute of Historical Research;  
  • Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, Associate Professor of Twentieth-century British History at University College London;  
  • Amy Todd, public historian and member of The Class Work Project, and doctoral student at the University of Manchester and People's History Museum. 

The Heisler Collection on left-wing politics is an extraordinary resource for historians, social scientists and anyone interested in political cultures. Built up by Ron Heisler over many decades, and generously donated to Senate House Library, this capacious collection comprises books, pamphlets, journals and newspapers, as well as works of art, literature, drama and some wonderful ephemera. The collection is unified by its focus both on labour and radical political movements and on the cultural expression of radical ideas. It provokes conversations about form as well as about content.  A panel of experts spoke about the significance of the collection, exploring the broader challenges of political archiving, and discussing new approaches to the history of radical movements, ideas, texts and objects, before Ron spoke about his motivation for collecting and of his most prized acquisitions.  

Holden Lecture 2023 | Political History from the Ground Up: the Ron Heisler Collection in Context (YouTube video)

Holden Lecture 2023 | Political History from the Ground Up: the Ron Heisler Collection in Context (YouTube video)