In this public lecture, given at Downside Abbey on Thursday 27 February 2020, Dr Benjamin Pohl (University of Bristol, project PI) explores how and why medieval Benedictine abbots engaged first-hand with the writing of history by recording the traditions and collective memories of their monastic communities. Which resources were available to these abbot-historians that ordinary monks did not have at their disposal? What difference did it make when the monastic historian was himself an abbot? Was it common for medieval abbots to pick up the pen, or was it an exception? Studying the work of medieval abbot-historians provides us with important insights into the relationship between monastic leadership and the codification of communal identities both past and present. You can listen to the podcast and see some pictures from the night below.