Welcome to Social History
Nicola Smith (Strand Leader)
The strand will enable you to develop as historians
Examine historical stories in newspapers or TV
think about how history is shown on television or in
Look around at the town in which you live & the
building you pass everyday for the clues they have
to the past
Most importantly enjoy history
Social History strand
Takes a social history approach English history from
c.1800-2000 studied from the perspective of southern
Small group of 10-15 students
Studied alongside either English Literature or
We encourage students to work with historical sources
from the beginning of the course
Concerned with every day life- society
How big historical events- wars, political changes
impact daily lives
Looks at change and development & its underlying
Considers how certain factors influence every day life
e.g.Class, ethnicity, gender, age, creation of identity.
Course Structure: Social History
HC410 Studying social history
HC111 Social & political change 1800-2000
UC401 Approaches to learning
UC402 Subject approaches
HC280 Personal Histories
HC281 Leisure in Southern
HC340 Public History
HC341 Conflict and change in
Social History & common modules
1915 Seven young
men pose in their
new uniforms in
Sutton Park ,
Sources for Social History
Local & national newspapers
An example of sources used for
‘Pets of the City’
Something might also be done if the authorities would
facilitate the raising of a battalion of non-manual
workers. Splendid material is available, and we do not
doubt that such a battalion, if associated with in some
way with the name of the city, would fill rapidly.
Birmingham Daily Post editorial 28 August, 1914,
[The army has been]…leavened ... immeasurably… in
the future the army must become a calling as highly
respected as it is at the present moment and to secure
this the friends of temperance and purity must bestir
themselves to clear the temptation out of the way.
Robert K. Dent, "Lecture on Temperance, c1916,"
Lecture notes and other manuscripts Vol. 1. [c.18901920], Birmingham City Archives,
Bearing in mind that the work of
public libraries is the very negation
of war….we are confident that
librarians will show as keen a
sense of patriotism and love of
country as those of other callings”
Library Assistant 11, 1914, p.183
Reading from left to right of the
(Standing: W. W. Howe, Assistant Constitution Hill Library;
enlisted 11 September 1914. promoted Lt. Reg No 922
Frank T. Izard enlisted 11 September 1914. Branch Assistant
Librarian, Handsworth. Died 4 October 1917 aged 27. Reg
Kneeling: Thomas Riley enlisted 11 September 1914.
Assistant Reference Library. Missing in action 22 July, 1916,
aged 24. Reg. no. 976
Frederick J. Patrick. Assistant Reference Library, . Enlisted 5
September 1914.. promoted Sgt. Reg.No 3
Sitting: G.H. Dyer, Birchfield Library; enlisted 11 September
1914. Reg. No 874
Henry W. Checketts enlisted 11 September 1914. Branch
Librarian Constitution Hill Library Died 3 September 1916,
aged 30. Reg. no. 873
Percy Albert Garner. Enlisted 5 September 1914. Assistant
Reference Library. Died 23 July 1916 aged 25. Reg, No 7
Poets or clerks?
She left the web, she left the
She made three paces thro' the
She saw the water-lily 
She saw the helmet and the
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated
The mirror crack'd from side to
"The curse is come upon me,"
cried The Lady of Shalott.
Lord Tennyson, The lady of
“A web was woven at the Loom
Enmeshed we were within its
Til torn asunder by War’s ruthless
Harry Checketts, 1915.
Perfect gentle knights or reliable
“Character: Good, A good clerk, honest, reliable and sober”.
Discharge report of William Howard Reeves, senior assistant, Reference Library,
enlisted in November, 1915 at the age of 40, and served with Royal Army Service
Corps in France until March 1917.
A“.. ‘verie perfect knight’... who laid down his life for England on the Western
W.C. Berwick-Sayers, Obituary of Henry Wilfred Checketts, The library world, 19,
Each strand contributes 40 CATs points on each level
of the degree
E.g. Two Social History+two Eng. Lit. or Sociology
+two common or one common in Level 6.
To progress at the end of each level a student needs
120 CATs points achieved by passing 6 modules
Important to work hard at each strand as all three
strands contribute equally to the final award.
First year (level 4): modules run across both
26 teaching weeks- two hour sessions
Informal lecture followed by seminar discussion or
Students prepare for each session by doing the
readings or preparing for the activity
Close to assessments we have sessions that focus on
what is required
Module staff are available for tutorial support
Level 5 & 6 one history module each semester
13 teaching weeks- three hour sessions
Everyone has a personal tutor
Staff will see personal tutees once a semester.
Students can request an appointment to see their tutor
at any point in the semester.
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