The Magna Carta in the 21st Century


Event Date: 23 January 2013
Royal Holloway University of London
Egham, Surrey
TW20 0EX

The Centre for Public History, Heritage and Engagement with the Past, Royal Holloway University of London, presents:

“Magna Carta is not primarily significant for what it was, but rather for what it was made to be”

Erwin Grinswold, Dean of Harward Law School, June 1965

What are we making Magna Carta to be in the 21st century? How is the present shaping how we interpret and promote this medieval event and its legacy? What are the challenges facing those attempting to engage a modern public with a medieval document? This panel discussion aims to explore these and other questions facing those doing public history in the context of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Dr Claire Breay is the Lead Curator of Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts at the British Library, where she manages a team of four permanent and five fixed term curators responsible for the British Library’s collection of western manuscripts produced between antiquity and 1600. She is currently working, among other things, on the British Library’s Magna Carta exhibition, which will open in Spring 2015.

Olivia Nelson is the Magna Carta 2015 Project Officer for the National Trust. Her role is to help the National Trust develop plans to celebrate the 800th anniversary at the NT owned sites at Runnymede and Ankerwycke. Prior to that she was a Senior External Affairs Officer for the National Trust and lobbied on issues covering transport, planning, energy and the historic environment.

Dr Matthew Smith is the Curator of Egham Museum, where he heads up the ‘Magna Carta in Egham’ project. This three-year HLF supported project is designed to enable and encourage community participation in events and activities to mark the 800th anniversary and to build and develop links between the museum, the wider community and other heritage and education institutions.

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