Versions of several of these essays were first presented at the British World Conference held in Bristol in July 2007. That conference, which saw 140 delegates from fourteen different countries, was jointly hosted by the (then) British Empire and Commonwealth Museum, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, Bristol. The conference would not have been the success it was without the hard work of many people who laboured tirelessly behind the scenes. There are simply too many to acknowledge individually, but two people deserve special mention. Dr Rob Skinner at the University of Bristol, where the conference was hosted, was the link person in the Department of Historical Studies who provided invaluable liaison work between the department and the conference organising committee. Dr Jayne Gifford, then a doctoral candidate at UWE (Bristol), proved indispensable in providing vital support and a cheeky sense of humour at critical stages during final preparations.
Generous financial support was also bestowed in 2007 by a number of agencies which provided timely funds in the form of conference subventions, monies which were used to allow over forty post-graduates and early career researchers to participate. The editors would therefore like to express their gratitude to the Economic History Society, the Royal Historical Society, and the British Academy for their support. Departmental funds were also tapped as were monies from the Vice-Chancellors of each of the host institutions. Writing space and quiet reflection were also provided by residency and visiting fellowships which allowed Dr Fedorowich to revise the manuscript in 2010–11. He would like to acknowledge the generosity of the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at the Victoria University (Wellington), and the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University (Canberra). An Australian Bicentennial Fellowship awarded through the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King’s College, London, was extremely beneficial in tapping into crucial Australian-based material.
The editors would also like to extend a heartfelt appreciation to the support and friendship of a number of people who have been instrumental while this project was unfolding: Professor Robert Bickers (Bristol), Professor Carl Bridge (King’s College, London), Dr John Darwin (Oxford), Professor Saul Dubow (Sussex), and Professor John M. MacKenzie (Lancaster). Drafts of the introduction were also aired at a number of research seminars during the final preparations on the manuscript. The editors would like to acknowledge the convenors and participants at the Humanities Research Centre (ANU), the Department of History and Art History at the University of Otago (Dunedin), the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies at the Victoria University (Wellington), and the Department of History at the Rijk Universtait, Groningen, in the Netherlands. In particular, the editors would like to thank Dr Debjani Ganguly and Professor Paul Pickering (ANU); Dr Vanessa Ward, and Professors Angela McCarthy, Tony Ballantyne, Tom Brooking, and John Stenhouse (Otago); Professors James Belich, Richard Hill and Lydia Wevers (Stout Research Centre, Wellington); and Professor Raingard Esser (Groningen). Earlier drafts of the introduction were also kindly read by Professors Dane Kennedy (George Washington University), Paul Pickering (ANU), Philippa Mein Smith (Canterbury, Christchurch), and Angela Woollacott (ANU). Their comments and constructive criticisms were both helpful and much appreciated. Finally, the editors would like to thank Palgrave/Macmillan for granting us permission to publish substantially reworked elements from chapter 6, ideas of which first appeared in Kathrin Levitan’s A Cultural History of the British Census (2011).
Colleagues at Exeter, Leeds and UWE (Bristol) have also been very supportive of our efforts and to them we would like to express our gratitude. Equally important, the editors would like to thank the contributors. So, too, are we appreciative of Emma Brennan and her production staff at Manchester University Press. Finally, it is to our respective wives who have borne the brunt of the editorial process and dealt with numerous phone calls, editorial meetings over dinner and extended periods away from home. Our thanks and love to Gudrun Fedorowich and Sarah Lenton who with their quiet support were always there for us. This book, however, is dedicated to our fathers; men from blue collar/working class backgrounds who were steadfast in their belief that a good education was invaluable. This book honours that commitment and their memory.
Kent Fedorowich and Andrew S. Thompson April 2012