Frank Trentmann is Guest Editor of this special issue of the Science Museum Group Journal. He is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London and a member of the Consumer Research Centre, University of Helsinki, and of the DEMAND centre (EPSRC-ESRC). Frank Trentmann was the Principal Investigator of the Material Cultures of Energy project (AHRC, 2014–17), which benefitted from collaboration with the Science Museum Group, and director of the Cultures of Consumption programme (ESRC-AHRC, 2002–07). His research has been in the history of consumption and politics, with a particular focus on food, water and energy. Publications include Free Trade Nation: Commerce, Consumption and Civil Society in Modern Britain (OUP, 2008), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption (OUP, 2012) and Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First (Penguin, 2016), which has been translated into several languages.
Connecting places and collections
This article briefly describes the development of the Historic England Archive and how this has shaped its industrial collections. A case study describing the collection of a power-station artefact illustrates the challenges involved in collecting industrial heritage.