This article explores some of the challenges and opportunities facing academic historians involved in large British public history projects and examines how government priorities and the particular ways in which public funds are deployed can affect the critical intellectual content of such projects. To this end it first broadly outlines the context in which British public history has recently developed and then focuses on my own experiences as leader of a British public history project on 1001 years of ethnic minorities in Bristol, England, which was sponsored by the “England's Past for Everyone” initiative.

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