Philip Riden is the Derbyshire county editor for the Victoria History of the Counties of England, a long-term local history research project founded in 1899 and managed since 1933 by the Insititute of Historical Research of the University of London.
In Derbyshire the History is at present working mainly under the auspices of an award made by the Heritage Lottery Fund to London University in 2005 to fund the preparation of a series of popular paperback histories of particular places, together with associated material for use in schools and for publication on the World Wide Web. Another important aspect of this project is encouraging the involvement of volunteers in VCH research. In Derbyshire there will be two books in this series, one on Bolsover and the other on the Hardwick Hall estate, the first of which is due to go to press in the autumn of 2007.
Some work is also continuing in assembling material for traditional, hardback VCH volumes, mostly through work by volunteers in a series of research groups, run on the lines of university continuing education classes, held in various places in Derbyshire.
Mr Riden's own research interests lie in the field of British economic history between 1660 and 1914, and the history of Derbyshire. He has published a number of books and articles on the history of the British iron industry in this period, while in Derbyshire his work has been focused mainly on the Derbyshire Record Society, of which he has been general editor since the society was established in 1977 and for which he had edited or co-edited about a dozen of its 33 hardback volumes. He is also the author of two general textbooks on the study of local history.