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Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership launches at UCL History

28 September 2016

LBS artwork

The department is delighted to announce the launch of the new Centre for the Study of the Legacies of Slave-ownership, jointly funded by UCL and the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. The establishment of the new Centre provides a long-term home for the highly acclaimed Legacies of British Slave-ownership research project which was funded by grants from the ESRC (2009-2012) and ESRC/AHRC (2012-2015).

Under the leadership of Professor Catherine Hall, as Principal Investigator, the Legacies of British Slave-ownership (LBS) project team won a BAFTA TV Award for the BBC programme 'Britain's Forgotten Slave-owners', and were also awarded the History Today Digital History Prize and the RHS Public History Prize for Broadcasting. The team produced numerous outputs including a project book (published by Cambridge University Press). LBS' work has already surprised academic communities and the wider public by highlighting the overwhelming extent of slave-ownership in Britain.

The new Centre launches on the evening of Wednesday 28 September, when an audience comprising of invited guests, academics, journalists, students and members of the public will learn more about the Centre and see LBS’ new database of British slave-ownership 1763-1833, which contains 20,000 newly researched slave-owners and over 8000 estates. 

Dr Nick Draper, the Director of the new Centre, commented: “Our aim has always been to re-inscribe slave-ownership in the history of Britain, from which it has been elided for almost two centuries. The new Centre will underpin the deployment of our recent research, promote the generation and communication of new material and allow the establishment of further collaborative relationships both in Britain and internationally. It is a privilege to be leading this next phase of LBS’ work.”

Professor Catherine Hall, who led the two LBS projects and remains as Chair Emerita of the Centre after her retirement, added: “I am delighted that we have succeeded in securing a permanent future at UCL for the work of LBS. The support of the Hutchins Center has been critical to the establishment of the new Centre, and we much appreciate it.”

This new research has already attracted substantial media coverage, including the following:

Visit the LBS Centre's website