Writing our History:Digging our Past
Connected Communities

Community group consultants

If you are a member of a local historical or archaeological community group, you may wish to consult one of our academic members of staff below on potential project ideas and collaborations. Alternatively you may use our generic contact form.


Prof. Liz Harvey, Principal Investigator and Head of School of Humanities - expertise in comparative cultural and gender history of the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Liz has an established collaborative project with Nottingham City Museums and Galleries focused on the Museum’s holding of the John Player Advertising Archive and exploring the advertising and promotional activities of Player’s in the 1960s and 1970s. One aspect of this project has been to work with ex-Player employees and record their experience working for John Player. The project has been funded through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) (Technology Strategy Board/Arts and Humanities Research Council (TSB/AHRC) and latterly an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDA) (Daniel O’Neill as CDA award-holder, registered September 2011).


Dr David Amos, recent research student in the Department of History – expertise in the history of the coal mining industry and of miners’ organisations.

David held a bursary award to explore the cultural heritage of the Nottingham coal mining industry through engagement with the ex-mining community and mining heritage museums. The project is funded by The University of Nottingham's (UoN) Centre for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Social Sciences (CAS) and Renaissance East Midlands (REM). David completed his doctoral studies in December 2011 and is now working with colleagues at UoN to develop a project on the ending of an industry focused on coal mining in the region. He has extensive experience of working with community groups and school groups.


Prof. John Beckett, Professor of English Regional History, expertise in 18th and 19th century history, English local and regional history and rural and agricultural history.

John was Director of the Victoria County History (2005-2010); he runs the MA in Local and Regional History and  regular Saturday schools at the University for non-professional local historians. His books include Writing Local History (2007). He is currently Research Group Chair and History Editor for the HLF ­funded Southwell and Nottingham Church History project, in partnership with the Diocese (established in 1999), and is chairman of the Thoroton Society.


Dr Will Bowden, Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology – expertise in Roman and late antique archaeology.

Will is the Director of an established collaborative project with Norfolk Museum Service, Norfolk Archaeology Trust, Norfolk Archaeological Society and South Norfolk District Council: the Caistor Roman Town Project. The project is supported by a community group who undertake large sections of the project’s archaeological field work and finds processing. The project has been running since 2008 and has been funded through a British Academy (BA) Small Grant, British Academy Research Development Awards (BARDA) and a variety of partner sponsorships and philanthropic donations. Will also collaborates with Southwell Town Council and co-founded the Southwell Community Archaeology Group and co-directs the Southwell Archaeological Project (working with Chris King, Naomi Sykes and Richard Jones [University of Leicester]).


Dr Paul Carter, was part-seconded from The National Archives as Research Fellow, Department of History - expertise in 19th--century history, especially the history of poverty and the history of popular protest and radical politics.

In 2001 Paul co-formed The National Archives Local History Group (initially the Public Records Office Local History Group) which undertook work cataloguing particular record series (judges’ reports and petitions for clemency) but also developed their historical and research work on the history of criminal justice: several members of the group have seen work published in magazines and journals. Between 2003 and 2007 Paul co-managed the work of a group of local historians in Southwell (Southwell Workhouse Research Group) listing poor law union correspondence and engaging in their own research on the history of poverty. From 2008 to 2010 Paul was director of The National Archive’s Living the Poor Life project, developed out of the Southwell Workhouse Research Group project and extending the research to cover 22 Poor Law unions across England and Wales.

As Research Fellow on the National Trust Southwell Workhouse project he has undertaken an (ongoing) newspaper project with the Southwell Workhouse Research Group. Most recently he has co-written the Midlands section of a bid to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) via the British Association for Local History which if successful will involve c. 100 people researching from mid-Victorian poor law papers on questions relating to poverty, public health, mental health, employment and unemployment.


Dr Richard Gaunt, Associate Professor in the Department of History - expertise 19th--century British political history.

Richard has worked extensively with Further Education colleges and local history groups as part of the public engagement activities developed to accompany his recent exhibition on Gladstone and Nottinghamshire. Richard is currently working with a team of UoN academics on the Raleigh Project: this aims to engage local communities and former workers at a project focused on the ex-workforce of the Raleigh Factory, which was located on what is now UoN’s Jubilee Campus.


Dr Chris King, Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology (PhD 2006) - expertise in medieval and post-medieval archaeology.

Chris held a British Academy post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Leicester 2007-10. He is leading the Southwell Archaeological Project (with Will Bowden, Naomi Sykes and Richard Jones [University of Leicester]). The project was formally launched in 2011 and will run for 5 years. It involves the UoN student body and the Southwell Community Archaeology Group, and aims to understand and record the buried and built heritage of the town and its immediate surroundings viewed against the historic record. The Southwell Workhouse project complements the Southwell Archaeological Project.


Mr Philip Riden, Lecturer in the Department of History.

Philip was Victoria County History (VCH) Editor for Northamptonshire (1996-2001) and is currently VCH Editor for Derbyshire (since 2001) and Nottinghamshire (since 2009). The Department of History’s decision to host VCH for Derbyshire and more recently for Nottinghamshire reinforced the UoN’s longstanding involvement with local history in the region of which Nottingham is the centre. Philip has written handbooks for non-academics researching local history (including Local History: A Handbook for Beginners) and ) and notably through the England’s Past for Everyone project (designed to take the VCH project to a wider audience) has developed the expertise of a wide spectrum of local volunteers in researching local history.