Research by two postgraduate students at Sussex will benefit from new awards set up to honour eminent historian Asa Briggs.
Asa Briggs, now Lord Briggs of Lewes, was one of the founders of the University of Sussex in the early 1960s and its second Vice-Chancellor from 1967 to 1976. His main field of interest is the social and cultural history of the 19th and 20th centuries, on which he has written widely.
To celebrate Lord Briggs' 80th birthday in 2001, the University set up an endowment fund to establish the Asa Briggs History Awards. With the support of alumni from around the world, the fund is designed to help history postgraduates with research expenses.
The first of the inaugural Asa Briggs History Awards will enable Elisa Capdevila, a student on the MA in Contemporary History, to finance a research trip to Barcelona to look at the archives of the Catalan photographer Agusti Centelles. The photos that Centelles took in Barcelona from 1936 to 1939 were lost until the 1980s. Since their rediscovery they have become a vital source for the history of the Spanish War and revolution, although they are little known outside Spain.
The second of this year's awards will subsidise the cost of sending out a directive to contributors to the social research organisation Mass-Observation. The questionnaire from Sandra Koa Wing, a student on the MA in Life History Research, will ask contributors about humour in everyday life and the autobiographical writing that is generated will be deposited in the Mass-Observation Archive at Sussex.