'Make Do and Mend': A Publishing and Communication History of the Ministry of Information, 1939-45

Lead Research Organisation: University of London
Department Name: Inst of English Studies

Abstract

The Ministry of Information was set up by a democratic society at a point in history when its fundamental values were under serious and immediate threat. It not only dramatised the war of information but also made visible a whole series of networks in the culture of communication that were usually invisible in peace time. The MoI had to adapt rapidly to a series of internal pressures and external circumstances, and did so with limited resources. Its organisation was partly the product of employing what was to hand and, when necessary, improvising: 'Make Do and Mend', therefore, is particularly apt. Located in Senate House, the MoI created a vast amount of publicity material, employing artists, writers, journalists, researchers, and film directors to devise films, radio programmes, posters, books, and exhibitions. The MoI also assisted other ministries in the production and distribution of publicity materials, including the Ministries of Food, Health, the Board of Trade, and the War Office. The MoI also encouraged private firms to publish informational material. The control of paper supply gave the MoI considerable power over a publishing industry suffering from acute shortages. The MoI's Censorship Bureau was responsible for the censorship of newspapers, journals and books. The Bureau required significant intelligence-gathering capacity, and good working relationships with newspapers and publishers. All these procedures were fraught with practical and ethical difficulties created by the exercise of overt censorship in an open society at war with a series of closed societies. As the model for the Ministry of Truth in Orwell's 1984, the MoI's influence continued to reverberate, but not just as metaphor. The difficulties of striking a balance between openness and social cohesion are subjects of fierce debate to this day.
The project will address some of the historical and cultural problems raised by the MoI by using the discipline of publishing history which, for the first time, is being applied systematically to government institutions. Publishing history investigates the relationships between author and publisher; between publisher, printer and bookseller; explores the nature of the relationship between reader and book; and also describes the ways in which reading materials survive in libraries and archives to influence the next generation. The complexity and range of our subject however obliges the discipline to move up a gear and embrace the broader subject of which it is a part: communication history. This studies the transport of materials (e.g. pamphlets, posters, handbills, exhibitions) and the transmission of all sorts of information through a wide variety of media (e.g. radio and film).
The project will analyse an extensive array of primary resources including materials available at the National Archives (TNA), the Imperial War Museum (IWM), BBC Archives at Caversham, Senate House, and Mass Observation at the University of Sussex. Additionally, this decade is the last in which those who were actively engaged with, or affected by, the MoI during the period will still be alive in significant numbers. There is still the chance to interview them and create an oral history resource that will otherwise be lost to us.
In addition to a comprehensive, scholarly history of communication, the project will make all the materials from our investigation available on the Web in the form of 'MoI Digital' which will consist of a virtual archive, containing all the material we have worked on, and a museum that explains MoI by use of striking examples from the archive, 'guided tours', and the facility to create personal collections by 'drag and drop'. The project will thus present its findings in a highly accessible way that will interest teachers, students, journalists, broadcasters as well as large numbers of the general public. Additionally we shall organize a physical exhibition in either Senate House or the Imperial War Museum.

Planned Impact

Interest in the project will certainly stretch well beyond academic circles. We aim to serve the needs of the wider public through the creation of MoI Digital and an exhibition. The website will include a chronology of the MoI, an extensive prosopography, information about Senate House, and a catalogue of the productions of the MoI. The museum element of MoI Digital will present a number of examples of MoI pamphlets and posters, as well as clips of radio and film programmes.
Support for teaching: The project will benefit secondary schools and universities across Britain. Teachers will be able to draw on the website's biographies of notable authors or artists employed by the MoI, or direct students to war-time documentaries; they could illustrate their classes and lectures with posters created by the Ministry of Information and presented as part of the museum element of MoI Digital. Pupils will be able to use the website for their presentations and essays on the Second World War - always a popular subject - as well as for projects on individual authors or titles, or on art and artists. Additional local oral history projects could be undertaken by school pupils and university students which, posted on our blog, would help augment the project. Both schools and universities will be able to draw on the substantial resources available via the project's MoI Digital archive.
The third sector: The project will also benefit the archives and libraries which house collections related to the MoI or to WWII more generally. The scholarly history will make extensive use of the records of the MoI; the project will also explore the holdings of the British Library to uncover some of the publications of the MoI, and also the archives of publishing houses to illuminate the relationship between the Ministry and the book trade. The project will also draw on the records of Mass Observation, and the Reading Experience Database, hosted by the Open University. The history will therefore help to articulate a multitude of resources and make these collections more usable by academics in a wide range of disciplines. By displaying a significant collection of the MoI's publicity materials, particularly the posters and pamphlets in MoI Digital, the project will also extend the reach of TNA to researchers outside London, and, indeed, outside the UK. The project may also have an opportunity to provide material that will augment the digital collections of the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum, and thus support their efforts to conserve the originals.
The media: The Second World War is still vivid in the popular imagination, and interest in the Home Front is growing. Programmes on the subject on TV and radio are common, and feature films still frequently draw on WWII for plots or settings; and local newspapers and radio stations frequently feature older local residents who have a wartime story or experience to relate. For this reason the oral history project will generate a lot of interest both nationally and locally. MoI Digital will provide a wealth of textual and graphical material that could be used to contextualize this coverage.
Policy-makers: The MoI was controversial - nevertheless it had considerable impact both in the UK and abroad. Politicians, civil servants, and others currently concerned with explaining the decisions and acts of local and national government to the public will learn something through studying the successes and failures of the UK's first government-supported public relations unit.
Local communities and the wider public: The project will help support local museums and collectors wishing to put their collections of Second World War memorabilia into a broader and more intelligible context. The prosopographical study that will be part of MoI Digital will prove an invaluable resource for family and local historians. This will help to encourage the public to engage further with its cultural heritage.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Key findings so far:
1. The interpenetration of commercial organisations (such as publishers and advertising agencies) and the MOI, particularly in terms of the graphic style of printed outputs, public relations strategy, and the running of multi-media campaigns.
2. The size of its printed output both at home and abroad. The MOI was clearly one of the largest international publishing systems operating in the UK in the 1940s. Its most popular UK publications sold in their millions, and its most successful title sold over 14 million copies over a four-year period.
3. We are just completing a survey of its publications for a variety of markets abroad. This has made it abundantly clear that, if anything, its printed output for these markets was even larger and more diverse than for the home front.
4. Quite apart from the printed outputs, the MOI's creation of exhibitions (modest ones that were manufactured in multiple copies and toured throughout the UK; ones that were designed for foreign audiences, such as those shown in Paris after the Liberation; and huge ones that occupied thousands of square feet) was a vital way of communicating with the general public and helping to shape its opinions.
5. Another aspect of the MOI's activity that has emerged, to our surprise, as being of considerable importance to contemporaries is the running of tens of thousands of public meetings every year: some conducted by full-time MOI speakers, but most by a small army of volunteer speakers paid only meagre expenses. Although the quality of the talks was on the whole very good, it was the question and answer sessions afterwards that, being unscripted and aleatoric, often generated the most interest (and sometimes embarrassment or even outrage) - this was a society at war, but a society that on the whole remained remarkably and riskily open.
6. The partial but extensive occupation of many commercial premises in the UK by the MOI.
7. The speed with which feedback was available to the MOI through the Home Intelligence Reports (daily for the first six months of the War, then weekly to the end of 1944).
8. Its extensive use of Wartime Social Survey reports for longer-term planning of campaigns.
9. The number of London-based small-scale ministries of information created for various governments in exile (including the Polish and Chinese governments).
10. The discovery of the watershed year of 1942 during which the MOI consolidated its position, stabilised its relationship with the people and the government, and began to function with increasing success.
11. The remarkable level of public approval of the MOI by 1944-45.
12. We are exploring the substantial contributions made by commercial graphic artists to the extensive output of visual materials by the MOI, including posters, book covers, comics, and postcards.
13. We now understand the complicated system of film distribution and presentation delivered by the MOI both in the UK and abroad (particularly in the USA).
14. Our knowledge of the ways in which the MOI operated in Latin America has expanded hugely, particularly in relation to framing the anti-Nazi debate in terms of religious freedom. This was promoted by claiming the UK's tolerant and positive attitude towards Catholicism, and demonstrating that Catholics in the UK were part of a united front against the Axis Powers.
15. The ways in which the MOI helped mortgage the UK's political and cultural future by arguing, in many of its publications aimed at Latin America and Africa, that it favoured self-determination and the emergence of nation states (perforce tacitly accepting the anti-colonial argument).
Exploitation Route We intend to pursue these further; but it is already clear that we have mapped out a number of areas that will deserve further exploration, not merely by historians, but those interested in social policy, in communications, and the creative economy. The grant has now ended; in the next two years we intend to produce a monograph based on our research, and expand substantially the resources available on MOI Digital.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.moidigital.ac.uk/
 
Title Bibliography of the MOI publications held by the British Library 
Description Using a spreadsheet, one of the research support staff that we recruited in 2015 via the LRBS course on the history of the MOI, has been recording the uncatalogued books deposited by the MOI with the British Library. This will be correlated with the Excel spreadsheet of MOI overseas publications derived from the INF Files in TNA - and with the material carrying an MOI imprint derived form COPAC - to produce the most comprehensive account of the MOI's UK and international publishing output ever made available. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Once completed, this will be made available to the BL and, by early 2018, will also be accessible via the MOI Digital website. 
 
Title Database of all feature- and short-length films produced by the MOI to 1946 
Description This is yet another part of the database of all MOI outputs. It has been constructed by Dr Hollie Price, our half-time postdoctoral fellow, during the first six months of her appointment. It will be made available via MOI Digital on the Web in 2018. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact As it is currently being analysed and has not yet been made public the impacts will come in 2018 and later. 
 
Title MOI Ouputs Database 
Description The MOI produced a very wide range of outputs: books, pamphlets, newspaper, magazines, comics, posters, sets of photographs, postcards, badges, toy construction kits, features films, documentaries, short films, cartoon films, window displays, touring exhibitions, mobile exhibitions, and exhibitions in underground stations - and it sent lecturers all over the country to give talks. We have spent a lot of time devising a field structure for a database that would be able to record all these diverse outputs. This has now been done, and we are in the process of populating it. Wherever possible individual output records will be linked to an image or a recording. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This will be the first time that the MOI's productivity both within the UK and beyond it will have been adequately mapped. The scope and scale of its outputs will come as a shock to social and cultural historians, and will provide a rich explanatory context for all those institutions (particularly local museums) and individuals who have collections of MOI, or MOI-inspired, materials. 
 
Title MOI: Introductory Files. 
Description The second additional initiative was the digitisation of a large number of files of textual material from TNA, the material in which would be useful for the Project itself, but would also provide a remarkable resource for all sorts of subsequent research undertaken by others. The files represent a large quantity of materials which together form an extensive collection of primary evidence acting as an introduction to the nature and workings of the MOI. We have a licence from TNA to make all these materials freely available through MOI Digital. The files digitised were: INF 1/69, 123, 132, 133, 153, 226, 228, 247, 249, 276, 279, 285, 288, 290, 291, 542, and 966. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact As the material will be made available by the end of 2018, there is yet no impact to report. 
 
Title MOI: Key Committees and Unpublished Histories 
Description In the last six months of the MOI Project we were able to undertake four major additional initiatives in terms of digitisation. The first was designed to parallel the digitisation and subsequent re-keying of the Home Intelligence Reports and the Wartime Social Surveys. This involved us in having several TNA files - which covered the meetings of two key MOI committees (Executive Board, Policy Committee), an unpublished history of the MOI by Director General, and a set of unpublished histories of the MOI's regional offices - re-keyed so that all the resulting text could be string-searched. The files involved were: CAB 102/373, INF 1/73, INF 1/297, INF 1/848, and INF 1/849. All these will be freely available on the MOI Digital website by the end of 2018. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This has yet to be published but will be available before the end of 2018. 
 
Title MOI: The Graphic Impact. 
Description The third additional digital initiative involved the digitisation of graphic material (posters, book covers, pamphlets, badges, etc.) that illustrated the range of the MOI's design activities. This will be useful for the Project itself, for illustrating the planned monograph, and will also provide a remarkable resource for all sorts of subsequent research undertaken by others. We have a licence from TNA to make all these materials freely available through MOI Digital. Parts of the following files were digitised: INF 2/1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7. 60, 73; INF 13/1, 2, 42, 43, 122, 123, 124, 126, 140, 141, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 151, 171, 172, 173, 174, 182, 183, 188, 189, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 224, 225; MFQ 1/525. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact There is no impact as yet to report as this material will be made available only at the end of 2018. 
 
Title MOI: The Photographic Record 
Description The fourth additional initiative was in cooperation with the Imperial War Museum and involved the digitisation of some of it remarkable collection of MOI-produced photographs. As with the other digital initiatives the MOI Project undertook this year, this will be useful for the Project itself, for illustrating the planned monograph, and will also provide a remarkable resource for all sorts of subsequent research undertaken by others. We are allowed by the IWM to make the photographs freely-available on MOI Digital. The following photographs were digitised: D 2136, D 2137, D 2205, D 2207, D 3376, D 3483, D 7681, D 7688, D 7691, D 7744, D 7752, D 8500, D 8505, D 9079, D 9082, D 11419 and D 12065; D 2707 D 2709 D 2708 D 9143 D 9144 D 9146 D 9145 D 1200 D 7339 D 5390 D 4091 D 11116 D 12066 D 10662 D 13550 D 13551 D 20181 D 17945 D 14670 D 14682 D 1750 D 1762 D 16577 D 18597 D 20231A D 4076 D 11679 D 11684 D 4185 D 17477 D 17483 D 17499 D 17502 D 12690 D 14641 D 20375 D 17287 D 26912 D 26850 D 9449 D 9452 D 9828 D 11930 D 11940 D 11921 D 18025 D 13791 D 13800 D 13544 D 13552 D 13556 D 13557 D 13558 D 25877 D 25889 D 17942 D 17949 D 19268 D 19300 D 19304 D 19362 D 19372 D 10016 D 10020 D 10022. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact No impact as yet as this collection will not be available on the Web until the end of 2018. 
 
Title Mapping events and processes in the MOI 
Description We are collecting data about individuals and groups, the locations they occupied, the decisions they took, and the consequences of those decisions in terms of policy and products (such as pamphlets, books, posters, exhibitions, broadcasts, and films), and the reaction to these in terms of reports from Mass Observation and Home Intelligence weekly reports. These we hope to place in a virtual three-dimensional data space which will allow us to connect data points in a way which will illustrate the track of a process from inception to delivery to feedback. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is currently being developed. 
 
Title Materials from TNA 
Description We are in the process of digitising materials from TNA records which are then OCR'd, and then string-searched to produce an index which will prove a powerful tool for exploring large quantities of text speedily and comprehensively. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact These are early days so the impact is modest, but it will grow rapidly. 
 
Title Prosopography of those working in and for the Ministry of Information 
Description At its height the MOI was employing more than 900 people in Senate House, and many more in its various UK regional centres, and abroad (e.g. in the USA). However, it also employed people on part-time contracts, and brought others in as consultants. Unlike most other ministries and government agencies, the MOI was not exclusively run by civil servants: publishers, writers, poets, film directors, musicians, composers, exhibition designers, and commercial artists were employed extensively, and this created an extraordinary social and cultural mix. Apart from the most famous (e.g. Kenneth Clark, John Betjeman, Mervyn Peake), most are not known. We are in the process of creating a prosopography of all the names we come across in our work on the primary evidence. We have, for instance, discovered a telephone directory of August 1942 which has been transcribed, but more commonly names emerge from lists of departmental staff, management diagrams, and individual correspondence. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We shall be able to trace the career of named individuals as they moved across sections or rose (or fell) in the hierarchy. We shall also be able to locate them on the digitised version of the ground plans of Senate House. The dynamics of innovation, the driving force of individuals and groups - as they form alliances to push an idea or promote a campaign - will be more easily seen as we identify more people and locate them physically in the building and socially within the MOI's organisation. We shall be able to judge the relative success of sections as their staff numbers increase or decrease. We get quite a few enquiries from family and local historians about individuals and their possible links to the MOI. By the end of the project we shall be able simply to refer them to the on-line MOI Prosopography, which will be completely searchable. 
 
Title Re-keying the Home Intelligence Reports and Wartime Social Surveys of the MOI 
Description The MOI's Home Intelligence reports (daily for the first few months of the War, afterwards weekly to the end of 1944) gave an account of public opinion, current rumours, and morale; on occasions they provided direct evidence of the public's response to the MOI's activities. The information was gathered from each of the MOI's regional centres, and from London. This almost real-time feedback was augmented by a series of longer-term, more analytical reports in the form of 'Wartime Social Surveys'. The daily reports were reprinted [Paul Addison and Jeremy A. Crang, _Listening to Britain_ (London: The Bodley Head, 2010)] but no other part of this extraordinary exercise in collective self-consciousness has been made readily available. After extensive negotiations with TNA, we have been given permission to have all this material re-keyed. This will mean that it will be completely string-searchable. At first this resource will be mounted on the project's intranet but, by the end of 2017, it will be publically available via the MOI Project's website. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Access to such a substantial amount of contemporary reporting will allow historians of the mid-twentieth century, local historians, family historians, and the general public the chance to search for people, events, publications, regional matters, and crazy rumours speedily and accurately - something that would not be the case had we simply digitised the typescript. We think that this will do for the mid-twentieth century what the records of the Old Bailey did for those interested in the social history of the country in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 
 
Title Senate House groundplans and directory 
Description Employing 1930s plans of Senate House, and a 1943 telephone directory of the building, we are reconstructing the layout, the location of various divisions of the MOI, and the location of key individuals within the building. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is in its early stages but we hope eventually to make all this information freely available using a graphic interface on the Web. 
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death - a podcast. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A BFI Podcast interview conducted on 23 October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bfi.org.uk/bfi-podcast-powell-pressburger-matter-of-life-and-death
 
Description 'Being Human' Festival in November 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact All four London-based members of the MOI Project were involved over the whole length of the 'Being Human' Festival in November 2016. Each conducted at least one tour of Senate House, and each delivered a talk on their own special interests in the Project (including the MOI outside London, the MOI and South America, the MOI and Film, the MOI as a publishing house). All the events were well-attended, and the talks provoked a lot of questions and some debates - particularly on the moral problem of how a liberal society reconciled itself to government-sponsored propaganda.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 'Dig For Victory' in Leeds. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In September 2016 Dr Henry Irving, our associate fellow, organised a public engagement event at an allotment site in Leeds. The event was based on Ministry of Information material produced for the 'Dig for Victory' campaign. The event was aimed at the general public and had 40-50 visitors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description 'Talking Humanities' blog post. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In October 2016, the associate fellow wrote a blog post for the 'Talking Humanities' blog about public engagement and the Ministry of Information project (https://talkinghumanities.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2016/10/20/bringing-public-engagement-to-life/).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://talkinghumanities.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2016/10/20/bringing-public-engagement-to-life/
 
Description A lecture on official war books 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving presented a paper on the MOI's publishing activities at a conference in London entitled 'Communication and Dissemination'. He focused on a series of 'Official War Books'.
Impact Description: The talk stimulated a large number of questions and the audience expressed a general wish to be kept informed. Dr Irving has responded by writing a blog post on the subject.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description A presentation to the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact There was considerable discussion and suggestions that links might be made to colleagues working in similar areas in Italy and Germany.

These are still in progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description A public presenation at the University of Sussex 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving gave a talk on the relationship between the MOI and Mass Observation at the Mass Observation Archive, Sussex.
Impact Description: The talk stimulated a large number of questions and the audience expressed a general wish to be kept informed. One member of the audience has since contacted the project to volunteer additional information about the topic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description A public talk - Measuring Morale in the Second World War 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The aim was to share information about the MOI project.
Dr Henry Irving delivered a talk that explained how the MOI measured morale during the Second World War.
The talk led to a broad discussion of the 'Home Front' and stimulated interest in the forthcoming release of Home Intelligence material on the MOI Digital website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/events/faculty-events/lcc-henry-irving/
 
Description A series of public tours of Senate House and associated talks. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving gave a series of short talks on the history of the MOI and then lead a series of tours of Senate House. The talk was featured by the 'Being Human' festival and a recording made available as a podcast. Those who attended expressed interest in the project, and commended the ability to interact with the topic within its historical context.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description A talk on libraries and reading in wartime at Leyton Library 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving gave a public talk on the importance of libraries and reading in wartime to a diverse audience in Leyton, East London. The talk was featured by Waltham Forest council and an interview with Dr Henry Irving was written up by the local newspaper.
Impact Description: Those who attended expressed a considerable amount of interest in the subject, and the project's work. Dr Irving has been invited by Leyton Library service to participate in future events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Bloomsbury Festival - Autumn 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As part of the Bloomsbury Festival, our new postdoctoral fellow, Dr Marc Wiggam, was involved in leading guided tours around Senate House. He also gave a talk as part of the Speaker's Corner event addressing the subject of power and propaganda, which contextualised the project's work within current debates on information and security. Dr Wiggam also gave an introductory talk for the art installation 'Hacking the Archives', which projected archive imagery related to the Ministry's work onto the façade of Senate House.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Bombing, Civilians and Voluntary Observers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a working paper delivered at an academic symposium on wartime voluntarism. It explored the role of voluntary observers in Home Intelligence. The paper has led to a potential collaboration with one of the symposium's co-organisers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Books and the People's War, 1939-45 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a formal conference paper delivered at the international conference 'Books, Readers, Reading: Celebrating 250 Years of the Leeds Library' in September 2018. It situated the MOI's publishing activities within the wider history of reading during the Second World War.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Branchage Festival, Jersey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The lecture was given by Dr Henry Irving to a very mixed audience at the Branchage Festival in Jersey. It sparked a considerable amount of interest in an audience still sensitized by the German occupation of the Channel Isles.

We have received an invitation to return to explore the subject further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Britain's MOI and its Printing Offensive - a paper at 'Modernist and Twentieth-Century Publishing Houses' conference Reading University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Simon Eliot's talk was an attempt to explain the size, scope and impact of the MOI not just to academics but to professionals and past-professionals in the publishing and printing industries. Most of the discussions during the day were about small literary publishing houses, so the MOI's huge output of non-literary, non-fictional, and highly popular publications came as a bit of a shock to many in the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, "The War of Words in the River Plate - Propaganda in Argentina during the Second World War" delivered at Humboldt University Berlin. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper discussed the interaction between British and German propaganda in Argentina during the Second World War and was aimed at
broadening understanding of the international history of the Second World War in Latin America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, "Divergent Neutrality in Iberia: The Ministry of Information in Spain and Portugal, 1939-1945, Information and its Communication in Wartime Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This paper discussed the different approaches taken by the MOI in Spain and Portugal during the Second World War, and was aimed at broadening understanding of the international history of the Second World War in Spain and Portugal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, "Hope and Fear Abroad - The Ministry of Information in Latin America" lecture in the Being Human Festival. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A public lecture on the work of the MOI in Latin America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, "The Ministry of Information and the Question of Empire in Latin America: 1939-1946" , London School of Economics Conference Paper. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was designed to share the work of the MOI project with an academic audience many of whom were historians working on similar topics within the UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, 'Postcard' in BBC Free Thinking series. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A broadcast on Winston Churchill, including sharing my research on the use of the former PM's image in Latin America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, BBC The Essay Broadcast , A broadcast on the MOI in Argentina, with a particular focus on the work of Press Attach├ęs. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This provided the listener with an overview of the work of the MOI in Latin America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, Free Thinking Broadcast 'New Generation Thinkers' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A broad outline of Dr Bannister's research and how it fiited into the BBC New Generation Thinkers scheme.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, The Ministry of Information in Latin America 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This lecture offerred a broad overview of the work of the MOI in Latin America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Christopher Bannister, Wartime Propaganda that ran its own Cool Britannia. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "Wartime Propaganda that ran its own Cool Britannia" was part of the "Talking Humanities" series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://talkinghumanities.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/05/25/wartime-propaganda-that-ran-its-own-cool-britann...
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, Citizen's Cinemas: Delivering Information and Promoting Communication with the MoI Mobile Film Units' - conference, School of Advanced Study, 25-26 July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was designed to alert historians of the period to the extraordinary scale and geographical extent of the MOI's film production and distribution 1939-45.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, Shown by Request?: Organising the British Ministry of Information's Mobile Film Shows - a lecture. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This lecture was delivered at the Histories of Movie and Media Distribution Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, 22-24 June 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, The Lost Film Shows: Screening Films on the Home Front - presentation and talk. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was delivered at the Being Human Festival, Senate House, London, 25 November 2017
Talk and curated film screening (in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum), followed by tea & cake reception hosted by the Gothic Valley Women's Institute. Funded by a School of Advanced Study Public Engagement Innovators Award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, The Ministry's Women: Wartime Propaganda Work in the MoI Films Division - a lecture. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was presented at the Missing Women Study Day, held at the University of Southampton, 24 May 2017. It helped to raise an awareness of the substantial contributions made by women to the activities of the Ministry of Information during WWII.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Hollie Price, The MoI Films Division and Their Finest i and ii 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Available on the MoI Digital site and produced in May 2017 to link to and explain the context of the newly-released feature film 'Their Finest'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.moidigital.ac.uk/blog/moi-films-division-and-their-finest/
 
Description Dr Hollie Price. Rolling out the celluloid circus': wartime film shows in the village halls of Britain, a blog post. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was an MOI Project blog in 'Talking Humanities' series - School of Advanced Study, October 2017 https://talkinghumanities.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/10/17/rolling-out-the-celluloid-circus-wartime-film-shows-in-the-village-halls-of-britain/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://talkinghumanities.blogs.sas.ac.uk/2017/10/17/rolling-out-the-celluloid-circus-wartime-film-s...
 
Description Dr Marc Wiggam, Senate House and the MOI's Work within it. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was an invited lecture for the "Coetzee and the Archive" conference, which addressed the MOI's work within Senate House, and the creation of the MOI Project's digital archive of domestic wartime intelligence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Marc Wiggam, George Orwell's 1984 and his relationship with the MOI. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A blog post for Talking Humanities and project's website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Marc Wiggam, Ministry of Information's Far Eastern propaganda. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This was a paper presnetde to the Second World War Research Group's conference in London, June 2017. The paper contextualised the Ministry's Far Eastern propaganda and the problems of conveying a clear and consistent message to a range of audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Marc Wiggam, The Beveridge Plan as a element of the MOI's propaganda. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a paper at the Project's conference held in London, July 2017. The paper focussed on the importance of the Beveridge Plan to the MOI but also on the political difficulties involved in presenting it domestically and internationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Dr Marc Wiggam, The MOI's interference in the management of the Reuters news agency. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog post for the project's website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Giggleswick Women's Institute group based in North Yorkshire 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An invited talk and screened a selection of MoI films - recreating one of the Ministry's mobile film shows.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Home Intelligence and Mass Observation - A formal conference paper at the Mass Observation 80th Anniversary conference in July 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving delivered a paper focusing on the relationship between Home Intelligence and Mass Observation. The paper generated much discussion and interest in the forthcoming release of Home Intelligence material on the MOI Digital website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.massobs.org.uk/about/news/148-anniversary-conference-celebrating-80-years-of-the-mass-obs...
 
Description How to Pack a Hall 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Building non-theatrical film circuits for the Ministry of Information, 1940-45' at NECS European Network for Cinema and Media Studies conference: Media Tactics and Engagement, Amsterdam.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Lessons from the Blitz - A talk at the Home Office organised by History and Policy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Main Purpose: To demonstrate how the lessons of wartime communication can be applied to contemporary policy-making. Dr Henry Irving delivered a talk demonstrating how the British government's response to the Blitz was undermined by poor communication. This was applied to contemporary debates in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. The talk involved a hands-on element with primary sources provided by the Home Office's library. The talk was very well received and led to a wide-ranging discussion about government communication. 97% of feedback responses said that the topic was presented in a way that was suitable to the audience's needs and 81% said they had learnt things that would be useful to their work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description London Rare Books School course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The LRBS offers full MA courses, usually taught over whole term, as intensive five-day courses undertaken in the context of a summer school. 'Communicating with the Public in WWII: The Ministry of Information 1939-1946' was taught by Dr Henry Irving and used the resources of the MOI Project and the Sound Archives of the British Library. Its students were delighted and enthused, and the course was regarded as a great success. One of the students turned out to have an interest in the publications of HMSO, and volunteered his help to the Project. We have subsequently negotiated with the BL special access to its MOI publications housed in boxes at Boston Spa; all this material is uncatalogued. The student will catalogue much of this, thus benefitting his collection, the BL's, and the Project's database of MOI Outputs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description MOI Project Work in Progress - a seminar series 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Dr Hollie Price was the organiser of MoI seminar series - School of Advanced Study, Jan-April 2017. This was a public seminar series which introduced the MoI project's work in progress, featuring guest speakers from other institutions and archives, and independent researchers speaking on related topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description MOI and Press Censorship 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving presented a paper on the early months of the MOI's work on newspaper censorship and its consequences at a conference in London entitles 'Forbidden Access' in November 2014.

This generated much debate and encouraged those from English Literature to broaden their definition of what 'censorship' might cover.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description MOI at Leeds Beckett University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact In January 2017, Dr Henry Irving spoke about the Ministry of Information project at a departmental seminar at Leeds Beckett University. The talk was for a primarily academic audience, but one that had not addressed either this sort of subject or the methodologies employed to understand it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Middlesex East Women's Institute annual group meeting (representatives of a number of WI groups were present). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact The talk introduced the work of the Ministry of Information Films Division and its mobile film show scheme, and the postdoctoral fellow introduced a selection of MoI films on a variety of home front issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Morale in Second World War Leeds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving delivered a talk based on Home Intelligence findings to illustrate changes in morale in Second World War Leeds.The talk led to a broad discussion of the 'Home Front' and stimulated interest in the forthcoming release of Home Intelligence material on the MOI Digital website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to a high-level delegation of publishers from China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a presentation of the work of the MOI as a very large-scale international publisher and communications system to senior delegates from the following organsiations in China: China Democracy and Legal System Publishing House
People's Literature Publishing House Co., Ltd.
The Commercial Press
Zhonghua Book Company
Encyclopedia of China Publishing House
China Fine Arts Publishing Group Co., Ltd
People's Music Publishing House
SDX Joint Publishing Company
Xinhua Bookstore Headoffice
Rong Bao Zhai
China Translation Publishing House
China Translation Publishing House
World Publishing Shanghai Corporation Ltd.
Daylight Publishing House
China Publishing Group
Singing Grass Consultancy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Professor Simon Eliot, Letters, Leaflets, and Lectures: Before and Beyond the Book 1840-1945, a public lecture. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was the inaugural Iain Stevenson Lecture, delivered at Stationers' Hall on 23rd October 2017. It used the MOI and it multifarious activities as a major example of complexity in communication history.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Recasting book history - an open public keynote talk at 'Dissemination and Production: The Progress of Information' conference in London in July 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A lecture by Simon Eliot which argued for book history being a subset of a much large discipline - 'the history of communication'. The argument used many examples from the MOI project. These made it clear that the MOI's global output of books, newspapers, magazines, comics, posters, postcards, music, films, exhibitions, talks and lectures required a much larger and more powerful intellectual model than those currently available. This talk was designed to be combative and provoking, and it succeeded. I was surprised only by the fact that many more agreed with the new proposals than I had expected. The talk will be published in _The Book Collector_ and, in an expanded form, in a collection of published essays.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Senate House and the MoI in the Second World War 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The tour was part of the Bloomsbury Festival; it was concluded with a talk on the impact of the MoI on the public's reading habit during the Second World War. There were many questions asked during the tour and in the Q&A session after the talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description The Early Development of the MOI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving gave a seminar paper on the early months of the MOI to the History Department of the University of Leeds, which stimulated a large number of questions.

A generally-expressed wish to know more and to be kept informed of progress.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description The MOI: Pasts and Futures - A formal conference paper at the Information and Communication in Wartime conference in July 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dr Henry Irving delivered a paper providing an overview of the MOI and its functions during the Second World War. The talk led to a broad discussion of the MOI and stimulated interest in the forthcoming outputs from the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017