Prize Papers exhibition at the German Historical Institute London

A photography exhibition exploring the materiality of the Prize Papers has recently opened at the German Historical Institute London.

The exhibition presents a curated selection of images, which feature objects, papers, and document bundles that can be found within the collection.

Photographs of artefacts such as playing cards, keys and notebooks, all taken from ships during the age of sail, are on display to demonstrate the global interconnectedness of this era. By exploring the personal objects found in the papers, the exhibition will offer important insights into the lives of individuals during a period that was also one of European colonial expansion and ongoing resistance by those colonised.

Dating predominantly from 1652 to 1817, the Prize Papers form part of the High Court of Admiralty collection. The collection covers the period of the height of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and includes records about the trade of people as property. As many of the documents have remained virtually untouched for centuries, teams at The National Archives and the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg have been digitising and cataloguing this important collection to make them freely available to view online through the Prize Papers Portal.

The exhibition will further explore the approach taken by the Prize Papers Project towards the materiality of the records, which includes preserving and documenting the original condition of the collection.

As part of the exhibition, the Prize Papers Project has announced a special online event in collaboration with Unlocking History and the German Historical Institute. The event will explore the unique letter formats and historical letterlocking techniques that can be found within the collection. Sign up for the event on 28 October.

The exhibition is open until 23 December 2022.

For further information, please contact:

Dr Lucas Haasis, PR and Research Coordination, Prize Papers Project:

Kim König, PR and Events Officer, German Historical Institute London:

Tags: German Historical Institute London, high court of admiralty, Prize Papers