Information Studies


Andrew Flinn


Office Hours: Wednesday 4.00pm - 5.00pm 

I am a Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History, Departmental Director of Research and Arts and Humanities Faculty Deputy Vice-Dean for Research (Impact). I lead on research ethics in the department and I am member of UCL Research Ethics Committee. Until September 2015 I was the Director of the Archives and Records Management (ARM) in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL). In 2011 I was the Allen Smith Visiting Scholar at Simmons College, Boston, MA and have also been a Visiting Research at Monash University (2015) and University of Gothenburg (2017). I am a member of the management group of the joint UCL / University of Gothenburg Centre for Critical Heritage Studies and one of the leaders of the Centre’s Archives Cluster.

I usually teach on the modules INST0041 Concepts and Contexts, INST0008 Access and Use of Archives and Records and INST0040 Oral History: from creation to curation.

My main areas of interest include:

  • community-led archives & memory;
  • diversifying and democratising heritage, including using technology to enable more participative & collaborative archival practices;
  • oral history & public history, including digital oral and public histories;
  • documenting the activities of social movements and political parties, particularly grassroots political activism and the use of history by political parties and activists;
  • archives and social justice; 
  • archives, arts and activism; 
  • widening access to cultural heritage & the impact of archives and heritage on identity;
  • the impact of Freedom of Information and other information legislation on access to records;
  • international co-operation and issues around migrated or displaced archives;
  • the records of migrants, refugees and exiles

I am happy to supervise students in any of the above or related areas. At present I supervise doctoral students researching:

  • Black-led archives in London,
  • digital cultural heritage and commemoration,
  • archiving D-I-Y music cultures,
  • Chilean arpilleras as archives and memory objects,
  • micro-heritage bodies and OpenGLAM,
  • digital cultural heritage and diasporic memory,
  • GDPR and organisational change,
  • the politics of Blackness and South Asian heritage activism in West London in 1970s & 1980s,
  • digital dance archives and dance researchers.

At present I jointly lead the ‘Digital heritage. The future role of heritage and archive collections in a digital world’ work package (WP3) of the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN CHEurope - Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe (2016-2021) and recently I was a Co-I on the AHRC funded ‘Navigating the public information rights ecology’ MIRRA (Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access) project (2017-2019). Between 2011 and 2013 I was Principal Investigator on AHRC funded research teams at UCL, Dig Where We Stand and Continuing to Dig which were part of the AHRC's Connected Communities Research for Community Heritage strand. Before that I was Principal Investigator on the AHRC funded Community Archives and Identities: documenting and sustaining community heritage research project (2008-2010).  

I have a background in social and labour history research and publication (in particular labour, communist, trade and cooperative activists) and recently I worked with colleagues from the Universities of Toronto and Michigan in exploring the impact of archives (and archivists) on struggles for social justice. I am also researching how political organisations and activists construct 'useful' challenging histories, particularly via independent archives and libraries and through oral history approaches, and employ historical research and narratives in their political struggles.

I am member of the Community Archives and Heritage Group executive committee and Vice-Chair (2012-present (2021)), a member of the steering committee of International Council on Archives Section for Archival Education and Training (ICA SAE) (2012-2020) and a Trustee of the National Life Stories at the British Library.  

E-mail: a.flinn@ucl.ac.uk
UCL extension: 32479
Direct Line: 020 7679 2479
Office: G28 Foster Court

Twitter: @andyucl

Address correspondence to:
Dr Andrew Flinn
Department of Information Studies
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT