Lloyds Register Foundation Forum

This project, based at King’s College London and led by Dr Andrew Blick, will commission professional historians to provide historical context and insight to contemporary safety challenges, in order to deepen understanding of the issues and provoke creative solutions. Working with the materials in the Lloyds Register Foundation Heritage Education Centre (HEC), historians will produce five “Hindsight reports” within the scope of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


“Natural experiments”: archival researchers reveal insights into contemporary maritime challenges

Four interns on the Hindsight Perspectives project unlock insights from the Lloyds Register Foundation archives on containerisation, supply-chain bottlenecks, decarbonisation and more

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Call for historians to write papers for Hindsight Perspectives

Moving into the project's second phase, we are looking to commission three more reports, with particular focus on the history of ports and of engineering education

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Pod 2: From sail to steam… to zero carbon. Dr Elin Jones on maritime innovation and change in the nineteenth century

Dr Elin Jones, Lecturer in Maritime History at the University of Exeter, on her research into the social contexts of maritime life in the period roughly 1750 to 1850, years of enormous technological transition. We range over how maritime work and the life of coastal communities changed with the sail-steam transition, working as a historian with colleagues in fields like marine ecology, how fact-finding commissions of the 1850s smoothed over fishing communities' concerns about fishing stocks, and the public response to various maritime disasters of the nineteenth century. The thread running through our chat is perhaps how technological change disrupts ideas about labour, skills, safety, and economically driven decision-making - all topics still at the core of the challenges faced by the shipping industry today. 25 minutes 45 seconds with transcript.

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Pod 1: What’s in the Lloyds Register Foundation archive?

The Lloyds Register Foundation's Heritage Education Centre has a rich archive covering the 260 years of Lloyd's Register history. I spoke to Dr Louise Sanger, Applied Research and Heritage Manager at HEC about what researchers on the Hindsight Perspectives project (and others) could expect to find, how the archive has changed over the years, and a couple of her personal highlights - probably relatively few archives carefully preserve an envelope of rust. 13 minutes 40 seconds with transcript.

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Project overview

History & Policy at King’s College London is delighted to be working with the Lloyds Register Foundation on the Hindsight Perspectives for a Safer World project to create a body of reports based on materials in the Foundation’s Heritage Education Centre. We are actively seeking historians interested in participating in the project, which has a wide scope – you may have a specialism in histories of shipping, engineering, energy and environment, safety regulations, innovation or industrial policy to name just a few, and the topics are by their nature global so a wide range of period and location specialisms might be relevant.

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About Us


H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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