From the Archives

Communicating Ditchley's rich legacy of ideas

The ‘Director’s Note’ is a long standing Ditchley tradition. The Note is a record by Ditchley’s Director written after each conference discussion. There is a continuous collection of the Director's Notes from Ditchley conferences going back almost to the 1960s when Ditchley was founded, written by ten different Directors from Ditchley’s past, including the most recent by current Director, James Arroyo. 

Sixty years of reports on in-depth discussions of contemporary political ideas and social change across education, technology, international relations, peace and security, democracy, freedom and world events – amongst leading figures of their times from politics, technology, academia, business, journalism, public institutions and from countries across the world, has left a unique and important archive about people, ideas and contemporary analyses that remain relevant to current debates and policy.  This is all part of the heritage of Ditchley Park.

Timeline of Anglo-American Relations at Ditchley

Our aim is to create a comprehensive catalogue for the Ditchley Foundation archives and open up what is a unique collection of primary source materials. We also aim to complete a programme of digitalisation of conference papers in 2021. The conference notes since the 2000s can be already be found under Past Events under Programme and transcriptions of all Ditchley’s Annual Lectures are also available now.

It is important to us that this rich history of ideas is not only preserved but also made available for education, research and indeed enjoyment.  Original research and preparatory work on our archives across themes was begun by Ditchley’s Research Intern Team. Young people with interests in history and politics worked to research and synthesise papers on past conferences in order to understand current political change.

Taking the themes of Sustainability and Environmental Challenges, Multilateralism, EU – US relations in the 21st Century, Ditchley and the Media in the 21st Century, and Education, the research project has started to trace the way debates in these areas evolved to reflect changing priorities and geopolitics. There is much in the discussion and ideas from earlier conferences that is relevant today and that can be considered again in the light of contemporary political and social change.  The first seven papers can be found here.

Ditchley, Sustainability and Environmental Challenges 
By Esme Smith

Multilateralism: UN
By Esme Smith

US-EU Relations in the 21st Century
By Hilary Cockhill

Ditchley and the Media in the 21st Century
By Hilary Cockhill

Education and Lifelong Learning
By Liz Greenhalgh

Ditchley in Context: Technology
By Evelina Griniute

Ditchley and Religion
By Clara Marks