The History Faculty established a Centre for the History of Childhood in 2003. This was the first centre for the history of childhood in the United Kingdom, and continues its goal of fostering interest in this burgeoning area of historical research within and without the University.
The Centre exists both to promote research into the history of childhood and to encourage links between historians and childcare professionals in the belief that close association between the two will be of mutual benefit. Its first directors were Laurence Brockliss and George Rousseau. At present the directors are Laurence Brockliss and Sian Pooley. They are assisted on the one hand by an internal committee of Faculty postholders interested in the history of childhood and on the other by an external committee of childcare professionals from different backgrounds.
In the immediate future, the Centre’s main role will be to provide an institutional focus for a seminar on the history of childhood and an annual cross-disciplinary colloquium on a particular theme. In the longer term, it is intended that the Centre should contribute a course on the history of childhood to the University’s master’s programmes and promote doctoral study. With this intention, the directors with the help of members of the external committee are exploring ways of seeking outside funding to give the Centre the necessary financial security.