Her Majesty the Queen has graciously permitted the Victoria County History to rededicate its series of county volumes, in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee. The History keeps the name it was given in honour of Queen Victoria when it was founded in 1899 as one of great national projects of that time. It has remained one of the foundations of knowledge about English localities, publishing a remarkable series of encyclopaedic volumes, county-by-county, parish-by-parish.
This book is about the Victoria County History of today: how it developed in its early commercial years through the commitment of its General Editors and a team of experts, before becoming a great public project based at the University of London, and now a dynamic organisation reaching everyone interested in their locality through websites, paperbacks and events, as well as the ‘big red books’. Each VCH county retains its own personality and loyal following, as you will see from the pages created by the counties active in research now.
The ability of the VCH continually to reinvent itself, to adapt to changing historical questions and changing technologies, while remaining true to Gomme’s founding vision, is one reason amongst many for the University of London to value its long association with the VCH... I’m delighted to commend to readers this splendid publication.
Vice-Chancellor, University of London
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