Professor Geoffrey Crossick

Contact details

Professor Geoffrey Crossick
MA (Cambridge), PhD (London)
Position/Fellowship type:
Distinguished Professor of the Humanities
Central Services of the School
Home institution:
School of Advanced Study
School of Advanced Study University of London Senate House Malet Street London WC1E 7HU
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Culture, Modern History
Europe, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:

My career has been varied and means that I have a variety of areas of expertise. As a historian I specialise in the social history of Britain and continental Europe in the modern period, and have published extensively on the social history of the petite bourgeoisie of shopkeepers and master artisans. I am currently working on a historical analysis of the photographs that shopkeepers had taken of themselves and published and used as postcards, and have just comkpleted another project on ideas of craft in the nineteenth century. In my public roles, as Chief Executive of the Arts & Humanities Research Board (which I took through to its transformation into the AHRC in 2005), Warden of Goldsmiths and Vice-Chancellor of the University of London I was actively engaged in research policy for the arts & humanities and the relation between that and the cultural sector. I became Director of the AHRC Cultural Value Project in 2012 and its major report published in 2016 (see publications list) has led to considerable international speaking and research activities relating to the value of arts and culture. It has also been wholly or partly translated into Czech, Japanese and Portuguese (in Brazil).This expertise has been strengthened by my roles in the cultural sector, as Chair of the Crafts Council (2013021) and member of the Boards of the Horniman Museum (2013-21), Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the National Film & Television School.

Project summary relevant to Fellowship:

My position as Distinguished Professor of Humanities is not project based.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
01-Sep-2022 Geijutsu Bunka no Kachi to wa Nani ka: Kojin ya Shakai ni motarasu Henka to sono Hyoka


Japanese translation and book publication by Suiyosha Publishing, Tokyo, of Understanding the Value of Arts and Culture (jointly with P. Kaszynska, with new introduction for Japanese readers by Geoffrey Crossick).

01-Oct-2018 Artisans: métiers et corporations


in Christophe Charles & Daniel Roche, eds, L'Europe. Encyclopédie Historique, Actes Sud, Arles ISBN 978-2-330-10643-0 pp. 886-90

01-Sep-2018 Museums, audiences and collections. Thinking about historical context

Journal articles

Cultural Trends, 27 (4). ISSN 0954-8963 (Print) 1469-3690 (Online)

01-May-2018 O valor da cultural: economia, diversidade e entendimento no século XXI

Journal articles

Revista Observatório Itaú Cultural, 23 (Dec 2017-May 2018), pp. 29-45 ISSN 2447-7036 (Open access version in English 'The value of culture: economics, diversity and understanding in the 21st century')

01-Apr-2016 Understanding the Value of Arts & Culture.


Geoffrey Crossick & Patrycja Kaszynska ISBN 978-0-9571108-3-0

01-Jun-2014 Under construction: towards a framework for cultural value’

Journal articles

with P. Kaszynska, Cultural Trends 23, 2014, pp. 120-131

01-Jul-2011 Universities, independent research institutes and the organisation and funding of research: a UK perspective


In Kooperation und/oder Wettbewerb. Zum Verhältnis von universitärer Forschung Tagungsband 2010, Vienna: Österreichischer Wissenschaftsrat, 2011, pp. 43-56.

05-Jan-2011 Universities, independent research institutes and the organisation and funding of research: a UK perspective

Conference papers

in Kooperation und/oder Wettbewerb. Zum Verhältnis von universitärer und ausseruniversitärer Forschung Oesterreichischer Wissenschaftsrat, Vienna, 2011

01-Jun-2006 Knowledge transfer without widgets: the challenge of the creative economy


Lecture to the RSA 2005, published by Goldsmiths, University of London 2006. ISBN: 10-1-904158-76-5

01-Jan-2004 The Petite Bourgeoisie and Comparative History


In H. Kaelble (ed.), The European Way. European Societies during the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2004, pp. 89-114. ISBN 1-5781-860-X 

02-Oct-2000 Qu'est-ce que l'histoire sociale


In Y. Michaud (ed.), Université de tous les savoirs, vol. 3 Qu'est-ce que la société?. Paris: Odile Jacob, 2000 pp. 300-309. ISBN 2-7381-0910-1. 

03-Jul-2000 L'intellectuel et la petite bourgeoisie en Europe au XIXe et XXe siècles


In M. Brunet & P. Lanthier (eds), L'inscription sociale de l'intellectuel, Presses universitaire de l'Université Laval: Quebec 2000. pp. 105-112. ISBN 2-7637-7684-1

03-Jan-2000 Meanings of property and the world of the petite bourgeoisie


In A. Owens & J. Stobart (eds), Urban Fortunes. Property and Inheritance in the Town, 1700-1900, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000, pp. 50-78. ISBN 0-7546-0081-5

01-Jun-1999 Cathedrals of Consumption. The European Department Store 1850-1939

Edited Book

Editor with Serge Jaumain. Ashgate, Aldershot, 1999. ISBN: 1-84014-236-7

01-Jun-1999 The world of the department store: distribution, culture and social change


With Serge Jaumain. In Geoffrey Crossick & Serge Jaumain, Cathedrals of Consumption. The European Department Store 1850-1939. Ashgate, Aldershot, 1999, pp. 1-45.

02-Nov-1998 La bourgeoisie britannique au 19e siècle. Recherches, approaches, problématiques

Journal articles

Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, nov-dec 1998, pp. 1089-1130.

01-Jul-1998 Le monde rural et la petite bourgeoisie en Europe occidentale au XIXe siècle. Quelques réflexions comparatives


With H.-G. Haupt, in J.-L. Mayaud (ed.), Clio dans les vignes. Mélanges offerts à Gilbert Garrier, Lyon: Presses universitaires de Lyon, 1998, pp. 435-446. ISBN 2-7297-0618-6

01-Jun-1998 Die Kleinbürger. Eine europäische Sozialgeschichte des 19.Jahrhunderts


With Heinz-Gerhard Haupt. CH Beck, Munich, 1998. ISBN: 3-406-432581. (German version of Petite Bourgeoisie in Europe 1780-1914)

01-Jan-1998 Les classes moyennes dans la société britannique au XIXe siècle


 In P. Guillaume (ed.), Histoire et historiographie des classes moyennes dans les sociétés développées, Talence: MSHA, 1998, pp. 109-128. ISBN 2-85892-256-X

02-Jun-1997 The Artisan and the European Town, 1500-1900

Edited Book

Editor. Ashgate, Aldershot, 1997. ISBN: 1-85928-232-6

02-Jun-1997 Past masters: in search of the artisan in European history


In Geoffrey Crossick, ed, The Artisan and the European Town, 1500-1900. Ashgate, Aldershot, 1997, pp. 1-40 ISBN: 1-85928-232-6

02-Sep-1996 Formation ou invention des 'classes moyennes'? Une analyse comparée: Belgique-France-Grande Bretagne (1880-1914)

Journal articles

In Revue belge d'histoire contemporaine, XXVI, 1996, pp. 105-138. Also published in Spanish as 'Formación o invención de las "clases emdias"? Un análisis comparado: Bélgica, Francia y Gran Bretaña (1880-1914), in E. Adamocsky et al (eds), Clases Medias. Nuevos Enfoques desde la Sociología, la Historia y la Antropología, Buenos Aires: Ariel, 2014, pp. 139-166. ISBN 978-987-1496-95-2

01-Jul-1996 And what should they know of England? Die vergleichende Geschichtsschreibung im heutigen Großbritannien


In H.-G. Haupt & J. Kocka (Eds), Geschichte und Vergleich. Ansätze und Ergebnisse international vergleichender Geschichtsschreibung, Frankfurt: Campus Verlag, 1996, pp. 61-75. ISBN 3-593-35497-7. Also published in Italian as 'E che cosa si può sapere dell'Inghilterra? La storia comparata in Gran Bretagna' in Passata e Presente, 28, 1993, pp. 30-41. 

01-Jun-1995 The Petite Bourgeoisie in Europe 1970-1914: Enterprise, Family and Independence


With Heinz-Gerhard Haupt. Routledge, London, 1995. ISBN: 0-415-11882-4

01-Dec-1994 Les institutions d'une économie de marché: nation, localité et Etat

Journal articles

In Revue du Nord, LXXVI, 1994, pp. 881-891.  

03-Oct-1994 Metaphors of the middle. The discovery of the petite bourgeoisie 1880-1914

Journal articles

Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Sixth Series, Vol. 4 (1994), pp. 251-279. ISSN: 0080-4401 (Printed) 1474-0648 (Online)

01-Jul-1994 Urbanization, migration and arcadian myths in late-Victorian Britain, 1875-1900


In H.-G. Haupt & P. Marschalck (eds), Städtische Bevölkerungsentwicklung in Deutschland im 19. Jahthundert. Soziale und demographische Aspekte der Urbanisierung. St Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag, 1994, pp. 41-72. ISBN 3-928134-76-0

03-Jan-1994 Das Rathaus


In H.-G. Haupt (ed.), Orte des Alltags. Miniaturen aus der europäischen Kulturgeschichte. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1994, pp. 172-183 ISBN 3-406-38461-7 . Also published in Italian translation as 'Il municipio' in H.-G. Haupt (ed.), Luoghi quotidiani nella storia d'Europa. Rome: Laterza, 1993, pp. 182-196. ISBN 88-420-4291-9.

01-Jul-1993 Le quartier: caractéristiques économiques et sociales

In Mélanges de l'École française de Rome, 105 (2), 1993 pp. 405-412 

01-Jul-1992 Petite bourgeoisie et histoire comparée

Journal articles

In Bulletin du Centre Pierre Léon d'histoire économique et sociale, 1992, pp. 13-25.

01-Jul-1991 From gentlemen to the residuum: languages of social description in Victorian Britain


In P.J. Corfield, ed., Language, History and Class, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991, pp. 150-178.

01-Jul-1986 The petite bourgeoisie in nineteenth-century Europe: problems and research

Journal articles

In K. Tenfelde, (ed.), Arbeiter und Arbeiterbewegung im Vergleich. Historische Zeitschrift, Sonderheft 15, 1986, pp. 227-277. 

01-Oct-1984 The Power of the Past. Essays for Eric Hobsbawm

Edited Book

Edited with Pat Thane & Roderick Floud. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984. ISBN: 978-0-521-25525-7

01-Aug-1984 Al di la della metafora. Studi recenti sui ceti medi inferiori in Europa prima del 1914

Journal articles

In Quaderni Storici, 56, 1984, pp. 573-612. ISBN 88-15-00394-0

02-Jul-1984 Working-class culture in industrial society. Some critical reflections

Conference papers

in La cultura operaia nella società industrializzata, Mezzosecolo, vol. 5, 1983-1984, pp. 417-421.

01-Jun-1984 Shopkeepers and Master Artisans in Nineteenth Century Europe

Edited Book

Editor with Heinz-Gerhard Haupt. Methuen, London, 1984. ISBN: 0-416-91900-6

01-Jun-1984 Shopkeepers, master artisans and the historian: the petite bourgeoisie in comparative focus


With Heinz-Gerhard Haupt. In Geoffrey Crossick & Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, eds, Shopkeepers and Master Artisans in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Methuen, London 1984, pp. 3-31.

01-Jun-1984 The petite bourgeoisie in nineteenth-century Britain: the urban and liberal case


In Geoffrey Crossick & Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, eds, Shopkeepers and Master Artisans in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Methuen, London 1984, pp. 62-94.

01-Jun-1984 Shopkeepers and the state in Britain, 1870-1914


In Geoffrey Crossick & Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, eds, Shopkeepers and Master Artisans in Nineteenth-Century Europe, Methuen, London 1984, pp. 239-269.

01-Jul-1981 Angestellte: Überlegungen am englischen Beispiel


In J. Kocka (ed.), Angestellte im europäischen Vergleich, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981, pp. 94-111.

02-Jul-1979 La petite bourgeoisie britannique au XIXe siècle

Journal articles

Le Mouvement Social no, 108, juillet-septembre 1979, pp. 21-61

01-Jun-1978 An Artisan Elite in Victorian Society


Croom Helm, London 1978. ISBN: 0-85664-797-7

01-Jul-1977 L'histoire sociale de la Grande-Bretagne moderne: un apercu critique des recherches récentes

Journal articles

Le mouvement social, no. 100, juillet-septembre 1977, pp. 101-120

01-Mar-1976 The labour aristocracy and its values: a study of mid-Victorian Kentish London

Journal articles

In Victorian Studies, vol. 19 (3),1976, pp. 301-328.

05-Jan-1976 The Lower Middle Class in Britain 1870-1914

Edited Book

Editor. Croom Helm, London 1976. ISBN: 0-85664-348-3

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Jul-2017 The value of culture: economics, diversity and understanding in the 21st century


This article, drawing on a report for the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council, asks whether statistical indicators alone can capture the value cultural engagement brings to individuals and society. It broadens the approach to include diverse forms of cultural provision, emphasises personal cultural experience which shapes reflective individuals, and questions aspects of the familiar narrative with respect to economy, cities, health and education. It calls for greater use of arts and humanities methods in providing understanding, often through case studies, that can escape large-scale trawls for data.

Consultancy reports:

Date Details
2015 Monographs and Open Access. A Report to HEFCE

Government/policy work:

Date Details
2010 The future is more than just tomorrow: higher education, the economy and the longer term

Published by Universities UK

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

AHRC Cultural Value Project

I was from 2012 to 2016 Director of the AHRC Cultural Value Project. This was established to explore the value of arts and culture to individuals and society as well as the methods by which that value could be evidenced. It funded some 70 small research projects, critical reviews and workshops. These, together with a reading of a wide research and other literature on the theme, culminated in the publication in 2016 of the 200-page report, written with Dr Patrycja Kaszynska, the Project Researcher, Understanding the Value of Arts & Culture. This has attracted a good deal of attention nationally and internationally, not least because it challenged the approach to the subject founded on advocacy for public funding for the arts. Instead, it sought to capture the value of all arts and culture including commercial and amateur as well as the publicly-funded part, it was critical of claims made for the benefits of arts and culture where these did not seem adequately supported by the evidence, and it called for a much wider range of methods of evidence and evaluation to include those from arts and humanities, challenging the current hierarchy of methods. The positive reception of this work has led the Arts & Humanities Research Council, in partnership with Arts Council England and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, to establish a new Centre for Cultural Value to carry the work forward.

MARCH: Social, Cultural and Community Assets for Mental Health

Co-Investigator, project led by Principal Investigator, Dr Daisy Fancourt, UCL. The MARCH Network is one of 8 new national networks funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of the 2018 Cross-Council Mental Health Plus call to further research into mental health. MARCH focuses on social, cultural and community assets – which includes the arts, culture, heritage sites, libraries, green spaces, community centres, social clubs, community associations and volunteer groups – and the role they play in enhancing public mental health and wellbeing, preventing mental illness, and supporting those living with mental health conditions. There are an estimated 1 million of these assets in the UK. The MARCH Network proposes that these Assets build Resilient Communities and therefore lie at the heart of Mental Health. While many approaches to mental health focus on a ‘deficit’ approach, identifying and fixing ‘problems’, this new network takes an ‘asset-based approach’, which gives prominence to the resources (or ‘assets’) that exist within our communities. The MARCH network has the aim of transforming our understanding of how community assets can be mobilised to encourage more resilient individuals and communities, and moving this area of work from the side-lines of mental health research to the mainstream.

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
17-Sep-2020 Capacity building for interdisciplinary research in the arts, humanities and social sciences: what can universities do?

Talk and panel discussion at Vitae Connections Week 2020

27-Sep-2019 Reshaping how we understand the impact of the arts

Round Table discussion for funders and philanthropists in arts and culture, held at OCAD University, Toronto.

23-Sep-2019 Reshaping how we understand the impact of the arts

The keynote speaker at an event for 300 arts leaders at the Globe & Mail Centre, Toronto. Organised by Toronto Arts Council, OCAD University, Metcalf Foundation and Ontario Trillium Foundation.

20-Sep-2019 Why aren’t we better at talking about the value of arts and culture?

Inaugural Lecture of new Center for Cultural Affairs in the O'Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University.

18-May-2019 'Tell me what you think of our little shop’: postcards of shopkeepers in early 20th-century Britain and France

Research paper at conference on 'Postcard Journeys: Image, Text, Media', SOAS

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