About Us

People were telling each other stories long before history began. In the modern era, our culture has put considerable effort into preserving the material fabric of our past and making it available to the public. But many of the stories that delighted and informed our forebears now reside in dusty tomes, accessed rarely and then only by serious scholars with an interest in a particular place or time or theme.

ThePast is an on-line archive of these less-well-known stories, brought out of the shadows and into the limelight by graduate historians, and polished to the highest standards by our editors to appeal to a modern audience. Typically our articles will be three- to five-thousand words long, roughly the length of a cover story in a quality monthly magazine.

We have a high regard for our writers and believe it is important that they receive a fair payment for the work that they do. Your contributions make this possible. A minimum of one-third goes directly to the authors of the stories you read, more than other sites offer.

At the same time, we want to make these stories as accessible as possible. We are committed to charging no more than 20p per thousand words, so even our longest articles cost less than a latte.

Our Founders

Paul Rodgers, MA

Paul has been a print journalist since 1986 and has worked throughout the industry, in Canada, Jamaica and Britain. His stories have appeared in The Economist, The Independent on Sunday, The Observer, The Mirror, New Statesman, New Scientist, The Telegraph, Forbes.com and numerous other publications and websites. He holds an MA in Journalism from City, University of London, and at one time or another has performed every job in a typical newsroom, including laying-out pages, photo research, and graphic design.

Dr Stewart Tolley

Stewart is an academic historian. He received a BA in Modern History and Politics and an MA in Early Modern History, Literature, and Culture from Royal Holloway, University of London. Stewart holds a PhD in Eighteenth-Century Political History from University College London.

Stewart has published original research and book reviews in a range of academic and non-academic publications including History Today, The English Historical Review and The British Journal for Military History. He has presented papers at several conferences and currently teaches at the University of Oxford in the Continuing Education Department. He also writes regularly as a journalist for online publications such as Disclaimer Magazine and Central Bylines.


Stewart and Paul also run workshops helping PhD students and early career academics write for a general audience. This has been done in collaboration with several doctoral training partnerships. For more information please email stewart@thepastweb.com


The Past Archive Ltd

Company Number 10936794