History Day 2021

A day of online interactive events for students, researchers & history enthusiasts to explore library, museum, archive and history collections across the UK & beyond.

History Day 2021

A day of online interactive events for students, researchers & history enthusiasts to explore library, museum, archive and history collections across the UK & beyond.

Event dates
, 11:00AM - 4:30PM

This year the theme is environmental history. We will be exploring collections that capture the experiences of ordinary people, collectors and scientists, looking at nature, landscape, climate change and much more. 

SESSION 1 - Collecting Nature and the Nature of Collecting | 11:00 - 12:00 GMT

What can collecting nature tell us about how we have understood our natural and environmental histories? The panel session will examine how new perspectives on environmental history have made us rethink the history of collecting, what is being collected now and who it is being collected for. We will reflect on current collecting practices and ethics in libraries, archives and museums and how they have changed over time to respond to the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.  

The session will be chaired by Sophie Page(Opens in new window), Professor of Medieval History at UCL and a convenor of the Anthropocene Histories seminar at the Institute of Historical Research. 


  • Kat Harrington, Assistant Archivist, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 
  • Abby Hoverstock, Senior Archivist, Denver Public Library Conservation Collection 
  • Miranda Lowe, Principal Curator (Crustacea & Cnidaria), The Natural History Museum 
  • Dolly Jørgensen, Professor of History, University of Stavanger 

SESSION 2 - Collecting nature memories: an interactive workshop   | 15:00 - 16:30 GMT

This session will explore how our histories and memories are shaped by our natural environment and how they can help us find new approaches to natural history. We will explore how we make and collect memories from nature and how they are reflected in the historical collections of institutions or individuals.   

Catherine Clarke (Centre for the History of People, Place and Community, IHR) will open the session talking about the Natural History in the Victoria County History and introduce the idea of “nature memories”.  

This will be followed by a series of 4 lightning talks sharing “nature memories” from selected history collections and individuals. 

The session will then be opened up for the audience to share their own “nature memories” via social media and a crowdsourced Padlet.  


  • Rich Yates, Essex Wildlife Trust  
  • Rok Nezic, Armagh Observatory & Planetarium  
  • George Adamson, King’s College London Weather Memories project
  • Maxwell Ayamba, University of Nottingham, journalist and founder of the Sheffield Environmental Movement (Opens in new window)

At lunchtime we will be streaming contributions from libraries, archives and collections from across the UK on the theme of environmental history. 

Find out more at the History Collections(Opens in new window) website. More information about the contributions from other organisations are listed on the programme. 

To secure your place at History Day 2021, use the ‘book now’ button above. Don’t forget to indicate which sessions you will be interested in attending. 

History Day is a free annual one-day event that is created collaboratively between the Institute of Historical Research and Senate House Library(Opens in new window).


All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.

Image Credit: Auserlesene Schnecken, Muschelen und andre Schaalthiere by Franz Michael Regenfuss, 1758. Senate House Library