All posts filed under: From the Archives


Chronicles of a librarian’s librarian – a treasure of Senate House Library

John Evelyn, the 17th-century diarist whose Restoration diary is recognised as the most extensive and informative record of a momentous period, even advised Samuel Pepys on libraries. Dr Karen Attar, research fellow at the Institute of English Studies, looks at his legacy.


Britain’s lost megafauna and the extinction factor

About 50,000 years ago, Britain had great forests and populations of megafauna that most people would find it hard to believe inhabited this country, says Professor Keith Somerville, senior research fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies. They included the cave hyena, sabre-toothed cats, the cave lion, the woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros and Irish elk […]


You may begin: turning over the first ‘General Examination for Women’ 150 years on

May 2019 sees the 150th anniversary of the first examination sat by women students at a British university. Dr Philip Carter, of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), considers the challenges and the questions they faced. Over the week of 3–7 May, the IHR will be tweeting questions from each of the papers they sat. See how […]

Layers of London

‘Layers of London’: digitally peel back the layers of the city’s history to discover its people and places, and share your own stories

In September 2018, the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) launched Layers of London – a new website that enables the mapping and sharing of London’s history through community participation. The project is now engaging thousands of Londoners from across the city’s 32 boroughs, providing them with training and tools to explore and widely share their […]


London pioneers, in their own words

Rights for women: London’s pioneers in their own words is a free exhibition at Senate House Library (SHL), which runs from 16 July–15 December. It explores the famous and also lesser-known stories of more than 50 female pioneers who used London as a platform to campaign and advance equality for women in the areas of […]

Invoking Nello: a conversation on CLR James

American geographer, author and travel writer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro takes Adom Philogene Heron on a journey through the Caribbean while discussing his new book, Island People, and the late CLR James whose personal papers are housed in Senate House Library.  

Rediscovering the first film based on F Scott Fitzgerald’s work

During F Scott Fitzgerald’s lifetime, Hollywood released six films based on his works. Below, Martina Mastandrea, whose PhD thesis focuses on the complex relationship between Fitzgerald and these silent film adaptations produced between 1920 and 1926, explains how she rediscovered the first and only extant silent film entirely based on the author’s work.