German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050





Researchers at the German Historical Institute London pursue a wide range of topics on British, German, colonial, and global history, and on Anglo-German relations, from the Middle Ages to the present day. Most fellows focus on their first or second book, while others work on scholarly editions and digital humanities projects. The Institute concentrates its activities on arranging conferences and acquiring external funding in current staff members’ areas of expertise. Our research is organised in three clusters: History of Politics and the Political, Colonial and Global History, and History of Social Structures, Practices and Experiences. Additional overarching themes cut across the clusters – namely, processes of medialization, histories of kinship and gender, and the history of knowledge. The Institute’s Digital Humanities Strategy emphasizes projects that involve the historical analysis of social-science-generated or state-created mass datasets, using digital tools and methods such as statistical software and text mining.

Research Cluster

Research Cluster

History of Politics and the Political

Engraving of a portrait of Sir Edward Malet in his study at the British embassy, Berlin, 1893

This area of research is inspired by a cultural understanding of politics. Projects at the GHIL are committed to a broad and dynamic notion of politics and the political, encompassing themes such as gender, class, knowledge, medialization, emotions and time.

Research Cluster

Colonial and Global History

Research on imperial history and the history of colonialism has been an integral part of the work of the GHIL since its establishment in 1976. This research interest is due not least to the fact that London, as the former political centre of the British Empire, is one of the most important sites for archival studies in the field. See also India Research Programme.

Research Cluster

Social Structures, Practices and Experiences

Black and white image of two female librarians carrying out stack maintenance at the New York Public Library in 1948

This cluster explores societal dynamics and the perception and negotiation of social change. The projects draw on a variety of methods, including social data analysis, corpus linguistics, and concepts such as intersectionality, kinship and inequality. They span chronologically from the Early Middle Ages to modern times and geographically from European case studies to global comparisons.


Cross-Cutting Research Themes

Our research fellows study British, German, and global history, often with an emphasis on transnational, transregional, and comparative approaches, global entanglements, and legacies of empire. Cross-cutting themes include processes of medialization, histories of kinship and gender, the history of knowledge, and digital humanities methods.


Collaborative Projects


Collaborative Project


Medialization and Empowerment

The International Standing Working Group; in cooperation with the India Branch Office, the GHI Rome, the GHI in Washington DC, and the Orient Institute Beirut

Collaborative Project


History as a Political Category

M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies: ‘Metamorphoses of the Political’

Collaborative Project

Education and the Urban

Research group in cooperation with India Branch Office, Delhi

Collaborative Project

Pauper Letters

Pauper Letters and Petitions for Poor Relief in Germany and Great Britain, 1770–1914

Prof Andreas Gestrich (University of Trier/GHIL) and Prof Steven A. King (University of Leicester)

Collaborative Project

Prize Papers

Cataloguing – Digitization – Presentation

University of Oldenburg in co-operation with The National Archives, Kew, and the GHIL

Collaborative Project


Bilderfahrzeuge – Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology