Historians, Emotions, and Children’s Trauma in the Archives

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This reflective essay focuses on the emotionality of children’s creations in the archives, particularly where children’s creations give insight into traumatic histories. I argue that history will be better placed when historians write more openly about the inherently distressing nature of the materials they consume. It is impossible to be unaffected by such material and acknowledging this will make our work more transparent by outlining to readers the context it was written in. The complex, emotive interpretive task historians face is demonstrated using two children’s drawings—one from the Spanish Civil War and the other from the Darfur Genocide.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Sept 2023


  • children's drawings
  • children's history
  • historiography
  • history of emotions
  • Spanish Civil War
  • children and genocide

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