British academy

Between 1500 and 1800, documentary records proliferated on an unprecedented scale. Bringing together historians, literary scholars and archivists, this interdisciplinary conference explored the incentives behind this surge in record-keeping in a range of global contexts. It investigated not only the processes by which records and archives were created, preserved, managed and used, but also their relationship with the religious, political, intellectual and cultural transformations which defined the early modern era. The conference encouraged critical reflection on the ways in which these developments have shaped and constrained historical knowledge and scholarly interpretation.

Speakers include:
Ms Jennifer Bishop (University of Cambridge)
Professor Arndt Brendecke (Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich)
Dr Frederik Buylaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Ms Liesbeth Corens (University of Cambridge)
Dr Markus Friedrich (University of Hamburg)
Dr John-Paul Ghobrial (University of Oxford)
Professor Jelle Haemers (University of Leuven)
Mr Tom Hamilton (University of Oxford)
Professor Randolph Head (University of California, Riverside)
Professor Ann Hughes (Keele University)
Dr Arnold Hunt (British Library)
Dr Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge)
Dr Mary Laven (University of Cambridge)
Dr Kiri Paramore (Leiden University)
Dr Kate Peters (University of Cambridge)
Professor Judith Pollmann (Leiden University)
Dr Jason Scott-Warren (University of Cambridge)
Professor Jacob Soll (University of Southern California)
Dr Adam Smyth (University of Oxford)
Dr Filippo de Vivo (Birkbeck, University of London)
Professor Alexandra Walsham, FBA (University of Cambridge)
Dr Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, DC)
Professor Andy Wood (Durham University)

Please click here for a copy of the conference programme.

Picture credit: Archivo Historico Provincial de Cadiz

This British Academy Conference is supported by:



Admission to this event is Free but you are required to register on the British Academy website in order to book online. If you haven’t previously registered on our website do so now using the link below.


If you are already registered on our database please book your place using the link below.

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Please note that lunch will not be provided at this conference, but there will be time allowed for participants to get lunch outside of the venue.  If you have any questions about this event please call the Events Team on 020 7969 5317 or email

Also note the panel discussion on Archives and Society: Recording Keeping in Historical and Contemporary Perspective held in connection with this conference.