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We offer an exceptional range of history and culture courses, including; family history and genealogy, art and music appreciation, literature, architecture, religion and philosophy. Our tutors are experts both in their subjects and in drawing parallels with our lives today. Our history and culture classes are active, and you will have opportunities to get involved and develop your research skills. We also offer trips and day schools. (See also – languages and writing)

"Well and Soundly Built" - The Burghill Mental Hospital View details

Marking the 150th anniversary of its foundation, this workshop considers the background and history of the Herefordshire County and City Asylum at Burghill. Using sources from the collections at HARC, the session will reflect on the changing perception of mental health provision and patients in the county from the 18th-20th centuries and the shift in emphasis from incarceration to care. Led by Rhys Griffith. To book please phone 01432 880545 or email

100 Years: Women Writing and Voting View details

This course explores the history of women getting the vote in 1918. It covers the main events of the Suffrage campaign, and lives of the main leaders who led the Suffragists and Suffragettes in the UK. There will be comparisons with the lives of women today from several different angles. Through written responses to the research and practical exercises we will create a performance to be presented in the Summer of 2018 at events in the West Midlands celebrating women getting the vote.

1918 Poets, Writers and the End of the First World War View details

1918 meant the end of the First World War. This had an effect on the lives and literary output of writers and poets. The first part of the day is to look at how and why the First World War ended. Therefore the political and military events of 1918 will be investigated and form a framework for the next session. The second part of the workshop is to look at how the war and the events of 1918 affected writers and poets such as Vera Brittain, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. There will be an opportunity to look at a range of poetry and writing. However the key issue is to understand how war both physically and psychologically affected individuals and therefore created a literary tradition all of its own because of the profound impact it had on some who took part.

A Beginners' Introduction to Handwriting 1550-1700 View details

This course, led by Dr Charlotte Berry, will explore the history of handwriting between 1550-1700, as well as covering key skills and strategies in tackling original texts from this period. Practical hands-on sessions are included which will give you the opportunity to start reading example texts. This course follows on from the Introduction to Paleography spring workshop.

A Munitionette's View View details

Led by Angela Williams who is currently the Rotherwas ROF Front Line Duty Project Officer based at HARC. The workshop will look at aspects of life at the munitions factory in Rotherwas, Hereford during WW1 and WW2 - the dangers, the dramas and the day-to-day routine.

A Portrait of Henry James in his Middle Years View details

Henry James began his life a member of a renowned and gifted American family. His earliest published works were short stories and novellas. But in the middle of his life he appeared to gravitate away from his family and his country; his work became longer and more complex. It was just at this point that he wrote The Portrait of a Lady, which remains perhaps his best loved novel. In this course we shall concentrate upon this period of his life, measuring the extent to which The Portrait of a Lady represents a distinct break with the author's earlier work. Is this novel best read as a European novel with an American heroine? Or is it not?

A Selection of Famous Poems through the Ages View details

We will look at a selection of poems written in English through the centuries, many of them well-known and part of our culture. No previous poetry reading experience is required. Suitable for everyone.

Aerial Photography and the Military Monks View details

The course will show a range of air photographic evidence, local, national, discuss the nature of the air perspective; the history and development of the subject with wartime (WW1 &WW2) use and accelerated improvements; modern applications, enlarging the envelope - film types, spy technologies, LIDAR and satellite imagery. Crop marks -ve & +ve, shadow, soil and earthworks will all be discussed as well as mapping the data. The origins, function, organisation and financing of the military monastic orders will all be discussed as well as the decline of the Templars, Hospitallers, Tutonic and Lazarine orders.

Africa: Muse and Mother View details

In this course we will explore literature emerging from Africa, and written primarily in English. We will also, to a lesser extent, look at literature written about Africa. Our goal is to analyse these works in the light of contextual factors, and to draw from them perspectives on the continent. We will discuss Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness alongside works by Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Mariama Bâ, and J. M. Coetzee. Although the aforementioned texts will form the core of the course, there will be opportunity in our discussions for references to a wide range of other literature coming out of Africa and literature relating to Africa. Our reading will facilitate discussions on a variety of themes, including colonialism, traditional societies, cultural differences, and gender issues. This is an introductory course and because the scope is broad it will not be a detailed study, but rather an overview of the topics relevant to the continent and of some of its major authors.

All that glitters ... an exploration of archeological finds (of everyday life) View details

In this archaeological workshop the local finds officer, Peter Reavill, will explore some of the artefacts recovered from the county to tell the hidden histories of its people. Alongside the lecture there will be an opportunity to view many of the finds held in the Museum's stores. To book please phone 01432 880545 or email

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