Founded in 1948, English Local History helped to establish local history as a respected academic discipline in the UK. In 1988, ELH moved to Marc Fitch House at 3-5 Salisbury Road, which was shared with the Centre for Urban History. In October 2022, following a consultation process, and with a view to better the range of broad geographical and thematic interests, the Centre was relaunched under a new name and in new research and library space in the Attenborough Tower on the main University of Leicester campus.
The Centre for Regional and Local History now shares the eighth floor of the Attenborough building with colleagues in the Centre for Urban History, East Midlands Oral History Archive, and Leicestershire Victoria County History, all of whom have also relocated from Marc Fitch House.
The Centre for Regional and Local History has two new library spaces for use by research students and colleagues. Attenborough 802 holds the collections of the Centre for Urban History and part of the Centre for Regional and Local History collections, and there are study desks for library users. On the first floor of the Attenborough seminar block, room 101 houses the remainder of the library collections, as well as a ‘flexible use’ seminar/research space.
The new name reflects the Centre for Regional and Local History’s strategic purpose, which is to teach and research history at the highest academic level through the lens of local studies. Under the new name, the Centre will continue to extend its academic reputation as the leading interdisciplinary research unit in the UK for the study of comparative local history by maintaining broad chronological coverage (early medieval to modern), widening the geographical remit, and strengthening the commitment to landscape and environmental history, geography, archaeology, and social, cultural and gender history. The Centre is also developing more diverse approaches to regional and local history by supporting research into Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic local histories, as well as histories of rural racism and exclusion. The Centre is keen to hear from colleagues across the University whose research interests intersect with its own.
For more information visit the Centre’s webpage https://le.ac.uk/english-local-history