Tag Archives: Geffrye Museum

Seminar: Domestic Advice Literature and Histories of Home

The Histories of Home Specialist Subject Network and the Modern Interiors Research Centre (Kingston University) are pleased to announce a one-day seminar on ‘Domestic Advice Literature and Histories of Home’.

The seminar will take place on Thursday 31 January 2013 at the Geffrye, Museum of the Home, London.

The event will bring together scholars from different disciplines to consider the role of advice literature in the study of the home, its design and interiors, recognising the significance of the source in shaping our perceptions and representations of the domestic sphere. Examples of home decoration and household management advice published from the second of half of the 19th century onwards will be discussed. Themes will include the problematic nature of the relationship between ‘ideal’ and ‘real’ interiors and the multiple agendas and influences which can inform the production of different types of domestic advice.

Speakers will include Professor Penny Sparke (Kingston University), Dr Grace Lees-Maffei (University of Hertfordshire), Dr Lesley Hoskins, Dr Rachel Ritchie (Brunel University), Dr Emma Ferry (Nottingham Trent University), Dr Nicholas Tromans (Kingston University) and Dr Patricia Lara-Betancourt (Kingston University).

The full programme for the day can be found here: Domestic Advice Literature Programme

Tickets for the seminar will be priced at £20 (£10 for students).

To reserve a place, please download the seminar booking form and email it to Hannah Brown.


Leave a comment

Filed under Events, SSN News, Talk/Lecture

SSN Study visit to Leeds

Abstracts of papers presented at the SSN Study Visit to Leeds (Friday 23rd March 2012) are now available under our Resources section here.

Archivist Liza Giffen gave delegates an overview of the University of Leeds’ Designated Cookery Collection at the Brotherton Library. The Collection now comprises printed cookery books from the 15thC to 1975, with some manuscripts. A donation in 2011 has brought the Collection up to date with a large number of recent publications (awaiting cataloguing). The Collection gives insights into the close links between health and food, publishing history – particularly women writing in a professional capacity, trade links and circulation routes of ingredients among others. The introduction was followed by a handling session, and some of the treasures brought out for the group included the first edition of Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management and the pocket-sized Widowes Treasure from 1585. Librarian Nicola Feggetter gave a paper about Mrs Beeton, the brand.

Delegates looking at M&S Archive collections

Delegates during handling session at the new M&S Archive in Leeds, 23 March 2012









Company archivist Katharine Carter traced the history of the M&S Company Archive from its beginnings in 1982, with the opening of the new Archive facility in March 2012. The Archive contains material on “every aspect of the company as a working organisation” including

  • reports and corporate records
  • advertising material
  • photographs
  • oral history recordings (including oral histories from food & textile technology R&D staff)
  • garments
  • food packaging
  • World War II material

An online collections catalogue gives access to the 70,000 items in the Archive.

Delegates were then given a tour of the permanent exhibition, Marks in Time, and a chance to find out more about the design concepts of the exhibition. The day ended with PhD student Josie Freear discussing her own work with the M&S Archive, and the challenges of using such a rich collection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, SSN News, Study visits

SSN event: Crime Scenes and Case Files – Sources for studying Domestic Interiors

Crime Scenes & Case Files – Sources for studying Domestic Interiors

Monday 2nd April, 10am-2pm

Geffrye Museum, London

Bookings are now open for the next SSN event,  which will take place on Monday 2nd April at the Geffrye Museum in London.

The seminar will look at crime scenes and material contained within criminal case files as sources for studying domestic interiors from the 18th – 20thC. These represent an underused and potentially rich source for researching domestic interiors of all social classes. Information in murder files where the crime was committed at home will often contain

  • plans and maps – sometimes with pieces and relative locations of furniture also sketched in
  • the full address of the crime scene
  • contextual information including rent; occupation of landlord and defendant; names, ages and relationships of others living within the property
  • crime scene photographs
  • witness statements – often describing objects and furnishings in relation to location and use within the property
  • psychological assessment and life history (including health & employment history) to determine whether defendant is of sound mind and fit to stand trial

Forensic photography itself is of 3 types: overviews of the entire property, mid-range shots of the room(s) where the crime took place and close-ups, and for researchers the first two categories will be of particular interest.

This seminar will introduce delegates to the wide range of material and sources available and will look at an examples where crime scene photos have been used to study changes in wallpaper design and taste.

Tickets: £10
To book please return the Crime Scenes Booking Form  by email, fax or post by Tuesday 27 March to SSN Co-ordinator Krisztina Lackoi at klackoi@geffrye-museum.org.uk, Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, SSN News

SSN Food Conference – abstracts available

Abstracts from the Fourth Annual Histories of Home Subject Specialist Network (SSN) Conference, What’s cooking? Food and eating at home (9/3/2012) have been uploaded under our Resources section here.

86 delegates attended the day at the Brunei Gallery in London, with a good mix of academics, PhD students at various stages of their research, artists, museum professionals, food historians, cooks and food policy officers. The event was organised in association with the Wellcome Library.


Leave a comment

Filed under SSN News

Research Register on home

The Centre for Studies of Home is developing an online research register to provide a useful resource for people engaged in work relating to home.

If you would like to be included in the register, please send your name, institutional affiliation/job title (where applicable), contact details and 100 words about your research interests, together with 6 keywords, to studiesofhome@qmul.ac.uk by the end of January 2012..

The Centre is a partnership between the Geffrye Museum of the Home and Queen Mary, University of London.

Leave a comment

Filed under Knowledge Exchange

PhD Studentship on Space and Time at Home in the Eighteenth Century

Applications are invited for a Queen Mary, University of London funded PhD studentship on ‘Space and time at home in the Eighteenth Century,’ to start in October 2012.

The studentship will be jointly based in the School of Geography and the School of History, as a joint studentship between the Centre for Studies of Home (in partnership with The Geffrye Museum of the Home) and the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Potential supervisors include Prof. Alison Blunt (Geography), Eleanor John (Geffrye Museum), Prof. Colin Jones (History), Prof. Miles Ogborn (Geography), Dr Alastair Owens (Geography) and Prof. Amanda Vickery (History).

Applicants should develop their own detailed research proposal relating to the general theme of ‘Space and time at home in the Eighteenth Century.’  This might include, but need not be limited to, the following subjects:

  • space, time and the work of home
  • spaces, rhythms and routines of domestic life
  • space and time at home in relation to gender, class and/or age
  • space and time in different dwellings
  • and space, time and material domestic cultures.

Proposals that will develop European or imperial / colonial comparative research are welcome.

Applicants should discuss their research proposal with Prof. Miles Ogborn (m.j.ogborn@qmul.ac.uk) and/or Prof. Amanda Vickery (a.vickery@qmul.ac.uk) before submitting their application.

For further details on eligibility and how to apply, please see: http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/admissions/phdadmissions/funded2011/59557.html

The deadline for applications is Monday 30 January 2012.

Leave a comment

Filed under Job Opportunity

“Family life makes Tories of us all”: Love and power at home in Georgian England

Tuesday 22 November 2011, from 6pm

The Octagon, Queen’s Building, Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS

First Annual Lecture of the Centre for Studies of Home

Amanda Vickery, Professor of Early Modern History

To see the state in miniature one need only go home. Husbands were to govern wives, masters and mistresses to rule servants, and parents to discipline children. The years after 1688 saw the acceptance of new ideas about political authority and social manners, but the household hierarchy endured regardless. ‘Family life’, it was observed in 1779, ‘makes Tories of us all… see if any Whig wishes to see the beautiful Utopian expansion of power within his own walls’.

Nevertheless, the content and meaning of domestic life was transformed over the eighteenth century. New ideals of politeness revolutionized domestic manners and interactions amongst the modestly propertied, while the vogue for sensibility in novels and paintings inflated expectations about affection and happiness at home. What then was the balance of love and power in eighteenth-century marriage and family life? And how did dependents live with the contradictions? ‘Do you not admire these lovers of liberty!’ snapped Elizabeth Montagu in 1765 ‘I am not sure that Cato did not kick his wife.’

Amanda Vickery is the author of Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (Yale, 2009) and The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England (Yale, 1998) which won the Wolfson, the Whitfield and the Longman/History Today prize. She is the editor of Women, Privilege and Power: British Politics 1750 to the Present (Stanford, 2001) and Gender, Taste and Material Culture in Britain and North America (Yale, 2006). In 2011, she judged the BBC Samuel Johnson prize. Her next project for BBC2 is a documentary on the readers of Jane Austen to be broadcast this autumn.

Centre for Studies of Home
The home has become an important focus of research, spanning work on the domestic sphere, including everyday life, architecture, interior design and material cultures, to the significance of home beyond the domestic, including broader ideas about dwelling, belonging, privacy and security. Launched in February 2011, the Centre for Studies of Home is a partnership between The Geffrye Museum of the Home and Queen Mary, University of London and is directed by Alison Blunt (Professor of Geography, Queen Mary, University of London) and Eleanor John (Head of Collections and Exhibitions, Geffrye). The centre aims to create an internationally important hub of research, knowledge transfer and dissemination activities on past and present homes.

As well as its annual lecture, the centre also convenes a CSH seminar programme 2011 at the Institute of Historical Research, postgraduate study days, and a range of workshops. Research projects affiliated with the centre include an AHRC project on ‘Living with the past at home: domestic prehabitation and inheritance’ (Catherine Nash, Principal Investigator). Please email: studiesofhome@qmul.ac.uk for further information about the centre’s activities and to join its research register.

Booking information

The lecture is free to attend, but booking is required. Book your place here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Talk/Lecture