About this site

Our Migration Story: The Making of Britain is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded collaboration between the Runnymede Trust and academics based at the universities of Cambridge and Manchester. Drawing on the words and research of over 60 historians based in universities and historical institutions – including the National Archives, the Imperial War Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Historical Society – this website presents the often untold stories of the generations of migrants who came to and shaped the British Isles. 

While this website is primarily designed to support teachers and students studying migration to Britain, its aim is to be a useful resource for anyone interested in Britain’s migration history.  

This site is organised through stories of individuals and groups. These stories are told through a diverse range of historical source material and are arranged into four time-period categories: AD43-1500; 1500-1750; 1750-1900; 1900-2000s. Across each period, you will find images, quotations, newspaper clippings, Parliamentary reports, videos, poems, extracts from novels, and many other materials that present the successes, challenges, obstacles and surprises faced by Britain’s migrants over more than a thousand years. 

For students and teachers, most case studies end with potential questions and classroom activities, and the 'For Teachers' sub-site provides lesson plans and classroom activities. For all users, the many migration stories presented here offer further avenues for exploration in the form of links to additional reading, other websites, and organisations. All together, this site is dedicated to presenting the fullness and the richness of contributions made, and lives lived, by Britain’s many migrant groups.

Core Project Team 

Professor Claire Alexander, Professor of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester 

Professor Joya Chatterji, Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Sundeep Lidher, Runnymede Trust project research assistant and PhD student, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge 

Dr Malachi McIntosh, Runnymede Trust project lead and author of Emigration and Caribbean Literature

Dr Debbie Weekes-BernardPolicy and Research Manager at Joseph Rowntree Foundation 

Advisory Board

Professor Justin Champion, Royal Holloway, University of London

Michael Goddard, OCR Exam Board

Saba Hussein, Islamia Girl's School

Professor Peter Mandler, University of Cambridge and Royal Historical Society

Emily Miller, The Migration Museum Project

Munira Mohamad, Black Cultural Archives

Renée Mussai, Autograph ABP

Andrew Payne, National Archives, Kew

Nicholas Vanderpeet, Imperial War Museum

Michael Roden, Church of England

Dr Gemma Romain, University College London

Martin Spafford, Schools History Project

Kirsty Sullivan, Museum of London Docklands

Colin McFarlane, Making Histories

Contributors

Professor Hakim Adi, University of Chichester

Dr Eoghan Ahern, independent historian

Dr Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln 

Professor K. Humayun Ansari OBE, Royal Holloway, University of London

Professor Anthony Bale, Birkbeck, University of London

Dr Robin Bunce, University of Cambridge

Dr Kathy Burrell, University of Liverpool

Professor Elleke Boehmer, University of Oxford

Professor Keith Brown, University of Manchester

Dr Jennifer Davis, University of Cambridge

Rachel Donnelly, Imperial War Museum

Dr Nicholas Draper, University College London

Dr Madge Dresser, University of the West of England

Dr Hella Eckardt, University of Reading

Professor David Feldman, Birkbeck, University of London

Professor Margot Finn, University College London

Dr Diane Frost, University of Liverpool

Lily Greensmith, Ben Uri Gallery

Dr Ryan Hanley, University of Oxford

Professor Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen

Katie Harris, Ben Uri Gallery

Dr Catherine Hills, University of Cambridge

Dr Christian Høgsbjerg, University College London

Professor Elisabeth van Houts, University of Cambridge

Dr Hannah Jones, University of Warwick

Perdita Jones, Tower Hamlets Council

Professor Virinder Kalra, University of Warwick

Dr Miranda Kaufmann, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London

Dr Allan Kennedy, University of Manchester

Professor Karen Ordahl Kupperman, New York University

Professor Tony Kushner, University of Southampton

Sav Kyriacou, digital:works 

Dr Jessica Lutkin, University of York

Professor Don MacRaild, Ulster University

Rachael Minott, London Transport Museum

Abdul Mohamud, University College London, Institute of Education, and Justice to History

Dr Angela Moran, independent researcher in ethnomusicology

Dr Sumita Mukherjee, University of Bristol

Dr Tessa Murdoch, Victoria and Albert Museum

Professor Susheila Nasta, The Open University

Professor Dame Janet Nelson, King's College London

Onyeka Nubia, Narrative Eye

Michael Ohajuru, independent historian

Professor W. Mark Ormrod, University of York

Professor Panikos Panayi, De Montfort University

Dr Maya Parmar, The Open University

Andrew Payne, The National Archives

Dr William A. Pettigrew, University of Kent

Felicity Premru, London Transport Museum

Dr Sadiah Qureshi, University of Birmingham

Dr Anandi Ramamurthy, Sheffield Hallam University

Padraic Rohan, Stanford University

Professor Miri Rubin, Queen Mary, University of London

Marika Sherwood, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Dr Florian Stadtler, University of Exeter

Professor Joanna Story, University of Leicester

Dr Becky Taylor, University of East Anglia

Professor Robert Tombs, University of Cambridge

Nicolas Vanderpeet, Imperial War Museum, London

Dr Rozina Visram, independent historian

Dr Pragya Vohra, University of York

Emma Vosper, University of Nottingham

Dr Brodie Waddell, Birkbeck, University of London

Caroline Warhurst, London Transport Museum

Professor Wendy Webster, University of Huddersfield

Dr Robin Whitburn, Justice to History

Dr Anne Witchard, University of Westminster

The Runnymede Trust

University of Cambridge

Arts and Humanities Reasearch Council

Manchester University