Four students – Siana, Imani, Max and Miruna – have been working with UCL’s Legacies of British Slave-ownership (‘LBS’) project for a week. They have just finished their AS levels in Year 12 at City and Islington College. The students spent their first four mornings working on the LBS database with Rachel Lang (Project Administrator), mostly looking for addresses in Britain for slave-owners who the team had already identified as probably living in Britain between about 1820 and 1860. They examined slave registers and censuses and the results of their work will be added to the address function in our online database.
In the afternoons they explored sites of interest with connections to slavery. On the Monday afternoon they went to the Golden Hinde to meet Miranda Kaufmann, a historian interested in Africans in Tudor and Stuart England. The following day Rachel Lang took them to Kenwood House in Hampstead. Then on the Wednesday Lenny Hodges gave the group a tour of UCL and spoke to them about the undergraduate history course as well as about student life in general. Thursday afternoon was spent with Dr Nick Draper, one of the project’s Co-Director’s, who accompanied the students on a visit to the London, Sugar and Slavery gallery at the Museum of London Docklands. Finally Friday morning involved a visit to Hackney Museum, working on an education pack that the LBS project is producing in conjunction with the museum. Then in the afternoon the team had a treat in store for their diligent helpers, a trip to the cinema to watch the film Belle, the story of a mixed-race woman who grew up at Kenwood House in the late 18th century.
It was a very busy week for the four students. The LBS team wanted them to make a valuable contribution to the project and also to gain an insight into the way history research is undertaken in universities. Staff were impressed by how hard they worked, how interested they were in the subject and how pleasant it was to have the students around in the department.