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Research in urban history: a review of recent theses

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2009

Extract

The annual number of completed theses which can be reasonably described as having urban themes has remained quite steady in recent years. In the lists of the Institute of Historical Research, for example, it is possible to identify 58 theses as having urban themes in the return for 1985, 41 theses in the 1986 return and 50 theses in that for 1987. It is true that in many cases such theses are not written as contributions to urban history specifically, but nevertheless they can provide much useful information and new insights on urban processes and town life even when the urban aspect of the study is incidental to the main theme. This is especially true of the selection made for this year's review which focuses more than usually on theses concerned directly or indirectly with aspects of urban society and politics in the past, and with a particular emphasis on the history of the urban working class. The review covers mostly theses completed in 1986–7 with some late additions from earlier years. It is based necessarily on the abstracts except for about a third of the theses noticed where it has been possible to examine the text. However, the aim of the review is to indicate the interest which a thesis might have for urban historians rather than to give a comprehensive assessment – which is probablynappropriate for unpublished work.

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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1988

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