College: College of Humanities
Department: College of Humanities
After graduating from the University of St Mark and St John, Plymouth, in 2007 with a joint honours degree in History with Leisure and Tourism, I entered the field of local studies as an archive assistant for the Devon Record Office. As I had considerable library experience prior to this, a move to the Westcountry Studies Library in Exeter (now part of the South West Heritage Trust) seemed natural in 2008. I spent four years working at Westcountry Studies and there consolidated my interest in local history, and in particular the history and development of the built environment. I had written my undergraduate thesis on the post-Second World War reconstruction of Exeter but felt that the work was unfinished, particularly with little material having been written on the subject.
In 2012 I was awarded a 1 + 3 studentship with the Economic and Social Research Council to undertake an Mres in Social and Economic History and a PhD, allowing me to continue my research into post-war reconstruction. I am now working on a thesis on the reconstruction of the South Western cities comparing their experience to that of the larger UK cities. I still maintain strong links with local studies in Devon through volunteer work. In 2014 I was involved with the moving of the Westcountry Studies Library to its new home at the Devon Heritage Centre. I continue to volunteer for the Devon Heritage Centre, working on the Westcountry collections. I also volunteered with other local organisations and projects throughout 2014 and 2015. I worked on the Word Machine oral history project - 'The War in Plymouth: Destruction and a New Beginning' - in 2014, interviewing local people about their wartime and post-war experiences. I also worked with the Torquay Boys Grammar School History Society throughout the 2014/15 academic year, providing assistance and expertise in genealogy for the Society's main 2014/15 project.