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The University of Southampton
The Parkes Institute


The Parkes Institute has unique expertise in the practical engagement with and academic study of Jewish heritage.

This has led to a range of initiatives, conferences and publications in this field. Its expertise is at many levels. Through the connection with the Special Collections in the Hartley Library (which include the Parkes Library itself), we hold one of the largest repositories of Jewish records in western Europe, with hundreds of collections totalling millions of items. The Special Collections team are at the forefront of archive preservation whether in locating materials or making sure they are safely stored for future generations. This role has led it to playing a role beyond the UK in an advisory capacity and the University of Southampton has hosted several international conferences and workshops on Jewish archives.  Indeed, Dr Karen Robson who oversees the Jewish archives was the Jewish advisor to the National Archives' Religious Archives Survey in 2010 and is serving in the working party subsequently set up emerging from it.

The Parkes Institute also has deep interest in the built Jewish heritage and Professor Tony Kushner, the director, is chair of Jewish Heritage UK, a charity that safeguards religious and secular buildings and cemeteries. The Parkes Institute also has strong relations with the world of Jewish museums. It works closely with Jewish museums in the UK, Germany and Israel and the appointment of a postdoctoral fellow, Dr Kathrin Pieren, who is studying the usage of Jewish museums and the Ben Uri Art Gallery, reflects that growing role in the public sphere.

James Jordan

My work takes me across a number of different fields that intersect with an interest and research expertise in Holocaust studies and education, Post-war Britain, museums and public history, film and television studies, history, race and racism.

Tony Kushner

My main research area is British Jewish history in the late 19th and 20th centuries covering the social history of British Jewry, immigration issues and responses to the Jews. I also have strong interests in the Holocaust (especially liberal democratic responses and post-war representation), refugee movements, immigration and ethnicity in modern British history and general issues of history, representation and the heritage industry.

Kathrin Pieren

Joachim Schlör

My interests are wide ranging from urban studies (the history and perception of cities such as Berlin, Tel-Aviv, or Odessa), topography (the role and meaning of space in history and culture, the history of Jewish forms of settlement), migration (the history of German Jews in Palestine/Israel, but also in Britain and the United States), and archives (the study of connections between historical events and the archival collections in a European context).

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