Information Studies


Andrew Flinn


Office Hours: Wednesday 1.00pm - 2.00pm 

I am a Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History and Departmental Graduate Tutor (Research). 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 in the Graduate School of Library and Information and Information Studies at Simmons College, Boston, MA.

I usually teach on the modules G059 Concepts and Contexts, G001 Access and Use of Archives and RecordsG058 Oral History: from creation to curation and the jointly delivered online module (with Simmons College Boston), G015 The Recordkeeping World: international perspectives on managing archives and records

My main areas of interest include:

  • community-based archives & memory;
  • diversifying and democratising heritage, including using technology to enable more participative & collaborative archival practice;
  • oral history, archives & public history;
  • documenting the activities of political movements and parties, particularly grassroots political activity 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;
  • documenting grassroots political activity and the use of history by political activists;
  • international co-operation and issues around migrated or displaced archives;
  • the records of migrants, refugees and exiles;
  • the promotion and development of international digitally focussed archival education.

I am happy to supervise students in any of the above or related areas. At present I supervise doctoral students researching archival issues surrounding archival and cultural property questions relating to identity and heritage, the use of social technology to encourage more participatory archival practice, especially with regard to description, appraisal and collection, and measuring the impact of Freedom of Information legislation.

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. An AHRC publication on the Research for Community Heritage strand (including Continuing to Dig, p7) is available here. 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 presently I am working with colleagues from the Universities of Toronto and Michigan on 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 (2012-2013) and also a new member of the steering committee of International Council on Archives Section for Archival Education and Training (ICA SAE) (2012-2016).

E-mail: a.flinn@ucl.ac.uk
UCL extension: 32479
Direct Line: 020 7679 2479020 7679 2479 (non-UK: +44 20 7679 2479+44 20 7679 2479)
Fax: 020 7383 0557 (non-UK: +44 20 7383 0557+44 20 7383 0557)
Office: G28 Foster Court

Twitter: @andyucl

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