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2016-03-19T00:00:00.000Z

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Asa Lord Briggs

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Background Information

Employment History

Chancellor

The Open University

Affiliations

Official Broadcasting Historian
the United Kingdom

Founder
International Institute of Communications

Provost
Worcester College

Member of the Grants Committee
National University

Member
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Member
British Academy

Advisory Board
Redundant Churches

Trustee
The Civic Trust

Trustee
International Broadcasting Institute

Trustee
Glyndebourne Arts Trust

Trustee
The Heritage Education Group

Education

Cambridge

degrees

successive weeks one

Cambridge

Web References (6 Total References)


The West Pier Trust remembers ...

www.westpier.co.uk [cached]

The West Pier Trust remembers Asa Briggs, Lord Briggs of Lewes | Read more » The West Pier Trust remembers Asa Briggs, Lord Briggs of Lewes | West Pier Trust West Pier Trust

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The West Pier Trust remembers Asa Briggs, Lord Briggs of Lewes
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Lord Briggs of Lewes (Asa Briggs) by Geoff Lockwood
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Asa was the leading, and most prolific, social historian of his age, with a special interest in the Victorian period. He was also one of the most influential and innovative educationalists of his time.
His impact ranged from adult education (as a driving force in the creation of the Open University) to the highest levels of our universities, as the second Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex and, later, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford.
As a member of the National University Grants Committee he was instrumental in the birth in 1961 of Sussex as the first brand new university in England and especially its location in Brighton. Asa was fascinated by Brighton with its Victorian and Regency history and inheritance.
He was a great lover of the West Pier, which he came in direct contact with when he arranged with director Richard Attenborough to supply University of Sussex students as the bulk WW1 soldier extras for the movie Oh! What a Lovely War, which was filmed on the Pier.
When I was the Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the West Pier Trust in the decade from 1995, Asa was a major source of advice and support.


News | West Pier Trust

www.westpier.co.uk [cached]

The West Pier Trust remembers Asa Briggs, Lord Briggs of Lewes

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Lord Briggs of Lewes (Asa Briggs) by Geoff Lockwood The Trust lost one of its longest serving supporters when Lord Asa Briggs died peacefully at home in Lewes on 15th March.
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Asa was the leading, and most prolific, social historian of his age, with a special interest in the Victorian period. He was also one of the most influential and innovative educationalists of his time. His impact ranged from adult education (as a driving force in the creation of the Open University) to the highest levels of our universities, as the second Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex and, later, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford. As a member of the National University Grants Committee he was instrumental in the birth in 1961 of Sussex as the first brand new university in England and especially its location in Brighton. Asa was fascinated by Brighton with its Victorian and Regency history and inheritance. He was a great lover of the West Pier, which he came in direct contact with when he arranged with director Richard Attenborough to supply University of Sussex students as the bulk WW1 soldier extras for the movie Oh! What a Lovely War, which was filmed on the Pier. When I was the Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of the West Pier Trust in the decade from 1995, Asa was a major source of advice and support.


obituaries | freshzoo.com

freshzoo.com [cached]

Asa Briggs was born on May 7 1921 in Keighley, Yorkshire, in a district where moorland and industry meet. The Brontes were, he felt, almost neighbours, and he was always as fascinated by landscape as he was by books.

Briggs won a scholarship to Keighley Grammar School where he was inspired by stories of old boys who had made their way upwards, including the historian Herbert Butterfield, the son of a mill cashier. In later years, he disclaimed notions that he was the cleverest boy there, asserting that the best scholar had been the son of a local butcher who, after leaving school, took no further interest in academic matters and went into his fathers business.
Briggs became the first member of his family to go to university when he won a scholarship to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. There he attended GM Trevelyans lectures and had papers published in the Cambridge Journal under the editorial care of Michael Oakeshott. Trevelyans Social History, which Briggs reviewed, would inspire his own Social History of England (1983). In 1941, Briggs achieved the rare distinction of taking two degrees in successive weeks one in History at Cambridge and the other, an external degree in Economics, at London. He took Firsts in both.
From 1942 to 1945, Briggs served officially in the Intelligence Corps, but in reality as a cryptographer with the Ultra team at Bletchley Park, an intellectual environment he greatly enjoyed, describing it as his second university.
In 1944, still in uniform, he was given a fellowship at Worcester College, Oxford, where he turned to teaching PPE, often to students older than himself. Briggs soon established himself as one of the bright, radical new stars in the Oxford firmament. He became Reader in Recent Social and Economic History in 1950.
In 1955 he was appointed to a chair in Modern History at Leeds University, where he took the initiative in the appointment of a lecturer in the history of technology and introduced courses on the history of science. Briggss six years at Leeds were some of the most creative of his career. Apart from his growing involvement in the history of broadcasting, he wrote The Age of Improvement and prepared the ground for Victorian Cities (1963) the sequel to Victorian People (1954), which he wrote while still at Oxford.


obituaries | freshzoo.com

freshzoo.com [cached]

Lord Briggs, historian - obituary Leave a reply

In the late 1940s he had been planning to write a history of Joseph Chamberlain, a Victorian social reformer he much admired. He never wrote it, but the desire to do so led to an invitation by the Birmingham Corporation to write the second of two volumes on the history of the city from 1868 to 1938. Urban history was terra incognita at the time and Briggss study, published in 1953, was an ambitious attempt to, as he put it, deal with all identifiable relationships in a great industrial city and not with particular aspects of life treated separately.
From this, he was drawn into urban studies and he went on to write a study of Victorian Cities (1963). But he soon became convinced that it was not enough to look at the history of particular cities to understand the Victorian environment. It was equally if not more important to understand the role of public and expert opinion in forcing through change in public health and other areas. Through this he became interested in more general questions of social and cultural history.
Lord Briggs, historian - obituary
Victorian People (1954) his first book on the mid-Victorian years, set out to trace the development of values and opinions through the experience of different individuals and groups of people as expressed for example, through the work of voluntary associations, in public policies and in the literature of the period. These were themes he explored further in The Age of Improvement (1959). Later, his interest in ephemera would find expression in Victorian Things (1988), a book lovingly devoted to consumer trifles, ranging from the mundane to the bizarre.
Briggs often quoted George Eliots observation that to live over other peoples lives is nothing unless we live over their perceptions, live over the growth, the varying intensity of the same since it is by these they themselves lived.
Until the 1960s and 1970s, social and cultural history was a relatively neglected sub-branch, derided by the political and constitutional historical establishment. Briggs was one of a group of post-war historians who moved the discipline into the academic mainstream and institutionalised it in university courses in urban or labour history for example bringing to bear other disciplines such as demography, anthropology, archaeology and geography.
Lord Briggs, historian - obituary
Briggs became involved in broadcasting in 1958 when he was asked by General Sir Ian Jacob, the then director-general of the BBC, to write its history. Briggss colleagues sometimes regretted his commitment as they thought his energies would be better employed on something less trivial. But he never regretted it as he saw broadcasting as in the forefront of social and cultural changes which it both registers and influences. To write the history of broadcasting in the 20th century, he believed, was in a sense to write the history of everything else.
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Though Briggs was a firm believer in the BBC and tended to be critical of independent television, this last volume, paradoxically, demonstrated the galvanising effect of competition on the creativity and diversity of the corporations output.
Lord Briggs, historian - obituary
Characteristically, too, it contained a wealth of fascinating out-of-the-way detail. He revealed, for example, that the Daleks curious gait was determined not by mechanics but by finances. They had to be cheap, and for this reason the first notion that the men inside them had to be mounted on tricycles to enable them to move more efficiently, was abandoned.
The values underpinning Briggss work on Victorian England resonated through his work as university administrator, both at Sussex University and at the Open University where he was Chancellor from 1979 to 1994. Briggs worked to widen access to education drawing new maps of learning, as he called it. Indeed, some argued that his greatest contribution to British broadcasting may not have been his history books but his stewardship of the Open University in a period when it grew to become a major educational institution.
Lord Briggs, historian - obituary
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Lord Briggs, historian - obituary
In 1960 Briggs attended the annual conference of the Workers Educational Association of which he was president for nine years. Knowing he was going to be there, John Fulton, principal-elect of the planned new University College of Sussex as it was then called, came to invite him to visit the site and ask whether he would like to serve as his deputy. In 1961, after a sabbatical in Australia, Briggs left Leeds to become Professor of History and Dean of Sussexs new School of Social Studies.
At Sussex Briggs became increasingly involved in the two cultures debate and inaugurated an arts/science programme at the university. But his promotion to vice chancellor in 1967 coincided with an outbreak of student unrest and agitation at universities around the country. Though Briggs anticipated fashion by introducing a measure of student participation, this did not stop protests and in the late 1960s and 1970s, Sussex gained a reputation as a hotbed of Left-wing radicalism. Briggs was firm when necessary, though he won widespread admiration for his tolerance and sense of humour.
Briggss position at Sussex brought him into the centre of public debate about education. In 1966 he was asked to serve on the planning committee of the new Open University of which he eventually became chancellor in 1979. In the early 1970s he was appointed to chair a committee on the future of nursing, which recommended improvements in nurses pay and conditions and a reform of nursing training. After retiring from Sussex in 1976, Briggs returned to Oxford as Provost of Worcester College, combining this with his responsibilities as chancellor of the Open University.
In 1985 Briggs was commissioned by the independent television companies to write, with Joanna Spicer, an account of the way the Independent Broadcasting Authority organised awarding franchises in 1980.
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Cynics pointed out that Briggs had been a director of Southern Television, one of only two companies whose franchise was removed in 1980.
Briggs was as catholic in his leisure as in his academic interests. He was steeped in literature, poetry and music, enjoyed sport and travel, good food and wine, and loved long convivial arguments over lunch or dinner in clubs and restaurants.
He sat on or chaired many committees and his eminence was attested by numerous prizes and honorary degrees. He was, at various times, president of the Social History Society; the Society for the Social History of Medicine; the Victorian Society; the Ephemera Society; the British Association for Local History and the Association of Research Associations. He chaired, variously, the Standing Conference for Study of Local History; the European Institute of Education and Social Policy; the Heritage Education Group; the Commonwealth of Learning and the Advisory Board for Redundant Churches.
He was also a governor of the British Film Institute, a trustee of the Glyndebourne Arts Trust, the International Broadcasting Institute, the Heritage Education Group and the Civic Trust, and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy.
He was created a life peer in 1976.
His last book, Loose Ends and Extras (2014), was the third in a trilogy published after his 90th birthday in 2011, in which he meditated on the relationship between memory and history in the context of his long career.
He married, in 1955, the historian Susan Banwell, who survives him with their two sons and two daughters.
Lord Briggs, born May 7 1921, died March 15 2016


Asa Briggs ...

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Asa Briggs (1995) Cyber Law in the United Kingdom

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