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Picture of Georgian volumes in the Royal Archives

Transforming access, knowledge and understanding

Research and discovery

The central aim of the Georgian Papers Programme (GPP) is to transform access to the papers from the period 1714 to 1837, held in the Royal Archives and Royal Library. The project has involved not only digitising the documents to put them online, but also creating and enriching catalogue records to allow users to find items of interest.

This process is all the more important and challenging for the Georgian Papers because they have not previously been catalogued. Furthermore, this grouping includes several different sets of papers of varying provenance, which have been pooled together. Our team is working to make sense of the arrangement of these papers, to find connections between disparate documents and to provide clear information for users by following international standards for archival description.

The publication of the Georgian Papers offers a major opportunity to shed new light on numerous aspects of Georgian history. The papers themselves cover a wider range of topics including high politics and diplomacy, agriculture and the military, court life, finances, art, science and the Enlightenment. Fewer than 15 per cent of the Georgian Papers had been published prior to the GPP, and scholars have only used a small selection the unpublished documents in their research.

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The GPP has set out from the start to bring the new material to the attention of researchers. There are two key benefits from this research: Firstly, the insights gained from hitherto unused documents can feed into academic and public debate sooner. Secondly, the expertise offered by scholars supports the Royal Archives and Royal Library in understanding the nature and significance of the collections. A number of essays about particular documents can be found below.

Programme partners have set up a number of fellowship schemes, which will provide financial support for over 50 scholars to visit the Royal Archives and Royal Library by 2020. The National Society, Sons of the American Revolution sponsor an annual visiting professorship, based at King's College London. The Omohundro Institute (OI), King's College London and the Ladies' Association of Mount Vernon have each established fellowship schemes. Information about how to apply for these schemes can be found on the GPP websites of King's and the OI.

Georgian Papers Programme Fellows Symposium, Windsor, 2017

Overview of the Windsor symposium, 4 September 2017

Creating the Georgian Archive

An essay about the Georgian Papers Programme by Karin Wulf

George I and II and the Royal Archives: The missing monarchs?

An essay by Andrew C. Thompson on George I and George II in the Royal Archives

'America is Lost!'

What George's essay might tell us about his attitudes to the American Revolution, an essay by A. O'Donnell

George III and the 'German Empire'

George III and the 'German Empire' by Dr Michael Rowe

George III: Notes on agriculture

George III: Notes on agriculture, an essay by James Fisher

George III and the commemoration of Handel

George's notes reveal tension over the limits of royal influence

Reflections on an 'Essay on Public Opinion'

Dr Emrys Jones looks at the understanding of public opinion

The Abdication Speech of George III

George considered abdication several times during his reign