Alumni Feature – Peter Britton

Written by Joanna Robbins

Peter Britton is an example of the success of John’s alumni, with a long successful career as a history consultant and history education software producer. Having studied at John’s for his undergraduate degree in 1971-1974, and at the Graduate Society (now known as Ustinov College) in 1976-1977, he is now a Visiting Fellow at the college.

Raised in northern Nigeria, Peter’s childhood in the medieval looking cities of the country alongside his trips to industrial London helped to spark his lifelong passion for history which he studied at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at Durham. This fascination with history was particularly centred on the ancient civilisations of Africa, China, India, and of the Romans.

His passion for history has fuelled his successful career. As a history consultant he produced resources for English Heritage, the British Film Institute and the National Archives, amongst other organizations. In 1988 Peter founded Appian Software Ltd which published history educational software. This company later merged with the educational publishing company Actis Ltd with Peter becoming Actis’ CEO. Five years later, he decided to leave the company to further pursue his love for history and in 2007 founded TimeMaps which he directs with his son, Jonny Britton (pictured). TimeMaps is an educational history resource which combines a map with a timeline, thereby allowing users to see changes over time and therefore understand historical events more clearly. It covers a large spectrum of human history and includes every major development in the history of the world. The site already contains over 650 maps and 1,000 pages of text but will continue to grow as more content is added.

Are you a John’s alum and want to share how your time at John’s and the university has fuelled your career success? Get in touch at – we would love to publish an interview or a profile about you in John’s Chronicle!



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