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The Survey of London's approaches to the history of East London

Guillery, P; (2018) The Survey of London's approaches to the history of East London. In: Proceedings of EAUH Rome 2018. European Association of Urban Historians: Rome, Italy. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The Survey of London began in East London in the 1890s. Its founder Charles Robert Ashbee had a strong socialist commitment to the advancement of equality through understandings of a common built environment. The Survey’s first monograph, subtitled an ‘Object Lesson in National History’, was devoted to Trinity Hospital, almshouses on the Mile End Road. It interwove architectural and social history in a preservation campaign that emphasised the social value of historic buildings. In 1910 the Survey was taken under the wing of the London County Council (LCC) where its purposes knitted well with the dominant Progressive party’s determination to raise historical consciousness as a counter to the interests of private property. After the Second World War the LCC took the Survey back to its roots to re-engage with development and destruction. An early fruit of this was a volume devoted to Spitalfields (volume 27, 1957). Not only did this bring attention to the district’s previously uncelebrated eighteenthcentury houses, but it also broadened to account for humble and recent buildings, even those of the inter-war period. In 2016 the Survey once again returned to East London, to work towards publication on Whitechapel, a place currently witnessing huge change. An innovation for the Survey is an interactive map-based website (‘Survey of London – histories of Whitechapel’ http://surveyoflondon.org). This allows the public to contribute knowledge, memories and images to research on the area, a melding of ‘official’ and ‘unofficial’ history that takes the Survey onto new methodological ground. It is also a reaffirmation of Ashbee’s original mission.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: The Survey of London's approaches to the history of East London
Event: European Association of Urban Historians (EAUH) Conference: Urban renewal and resilience cities in comparative perspective.
Location: Rome, Italy
Dates: 29 August 2018 - 01 September 2018
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://eauh2018.ccmgs.it/users/index.php?pagename...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Survey; London; Ashbee; documentation; public history; unofficial history; interactivity; Spitalfields; Whitechapel
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10057740
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