Welcome to our website, the only dedicated port-of-call for all things related to historical pageants. Drawing on oral and written evidence, our project offers key insights into the role of heritage in leisure activities, the interaction between local, national and imperial identities, and the changing character of community life in twentieth and early twenty-first century Britain. Our project will reveal the stories that communities and institutions told about themselves through historical pageantry, an immensely popular and all too often overlooked way in which many people engaged with their pasts.
The main output of the project is our database, which is now live here. We'd be delighted to hear what you think about it, especially if you spot any errors or have any suggestions for improvements. We will keep adding to and correcting the database for many years to come! You can contact us about this on firstname.lastname@example.org
The project will lead to publications of various kinds, including an edited volume of essays drawn from those presented at our project conference, History in the Limelight: Performing the Past, c. 1850-Present (8-10 September 2016). Many of our publications have now appeared, including Tom Hulme's article on interwar pageants, published in Urban History (this can be downloaded here) and our recent articles on pageantry and the memory of the First World War (Historical Research), and pageantry and the medieval past (English Historical Review).
A key feature of the project is this website. We published a vivid series of 'Featured Pageants' - each offering a more detailed examination of an interesting pageant, complete
with pictures. On the Papers Presented page you can also find a record of all the talks we have given at a range of conferences and seminars, both here in Britain and further afield. Furthermore, you will see that bringing historical pageants to the attention of as many people as possible has been a very important part of our project, and to this end we have presented lots of talks, hosted film showings, hosted a study day and 'pageanteers' reunion event, and produced three major exhibitions in conjunction with our Project Partners. We have also been very keen to hear from people who know about historical pageants, and perhaps have photographs and other related ephemera - please do Get Involved if this applies to you, we would be delighted to hear from you.