Work placement module

Making History: archive collaborations

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Making Histories

If you are looking for work experience in the heritage, archive, or history-related sectors, HIST5020M Making History provides you with an option to do this within your MA programme. The module is an exceptional opportunity for you to develop a professional edge for your career.

This module offers an exciting way of collaborating with partner organisations on original archival material. Alongside gaining 50 hours work experience, you'll engage critically with debates in and about the profession. It encourages you to develop your awareness of the complex relationships between archivists and archives and how they create and shape history and heritage.

You'll work on projects that have a public-facing out — content for an exhibition, new catalogue information, or public event for example — which will provide you unique material to support applications in your future career. 

The course is available in the following programmes:

  • MA Modern History
  • MA Race and Resistance
  • MA Social and Cultural History
  • MA War and Strategy
  • MA History of Health, Medicine and Society

It is open to both full-time and part-time students. See full details of our MA programmes.

Projects for 2017/18

Students from all our programmes can apply for a project in October. Each research project is assigned to a MA programme, and students on the designated MA will have first refusal on that project.  

NB: the exact nature of projects may change before teaching starts

Disease and Health in Leeds

Project partner: West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Priority MA programme: MA Medicine, Health, and Society

Working with registers held by West Yorkshire Archives covering 1867-1914 you'll be able to explore the geography of disease and ill health in Leeds. Linked with the Poor Law Board records WYAS holds it provides an opportunity to assess how the key administrative bodies involved in public health in the 19th and 20th centuries responded to the outbreaks. The aim of this project is to produce something aimed at a young audience. Additionally, students can work on the records the Leeds General Infirmary on promotional and outreach material and activities for the relaunch of the catalogue of this material in 2017.

Transcribing the Hey casebooks

Project partner: Special Collections, Brotherton library

Priority MA programme: MA Medicine, Health, and Society

Based in Special Collections, the Brotherton Library, in this project you’ll be working with the 18th century patient case notebooks by the surgeon William Hey (1736-1819). Particularly, you’ll be investigating ways of crowdsourcing transcription of these notebooks and making the data available to researchers. 

The Vyners of Fountains Abbey in the 18th century

Project partner: West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Priority MA programme: MA Modern History

Through these family papers you’ll have the chance to explore diplomatic and politic aspects of European history though their role as MPs and diplomatic posts across Europe, as well as diaries covering the American War of Independence and French Wars, 1793-1815. Additionally, the papers cover the history of Fountains Abbey, where you'll have the chance to investigate the history of its world-famous gardens. This project will be working on promoting the material it holds to coincide with the new catalogue for the material.

Untold histories of Leeds theatres

Project partner: Leeds Grand Theatre and City Varieties Music Hall; West Yorkshire Archive Service, Leeds

Priority MA programme: MA Social and Cultural History

    In this project you'll explore the 'weird and wonderful' acts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries that were staged at the City Varieties Music Hall and Leeds Grand Theatre & Opera House. Working from its extensive archives, stored at the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Morley, you'll have the opportunity to explore untold histories of these theatres, utilising sources such as press cuttings, scrapbooks, advertisements, and playbills, contextualising these histories within broader social and cultural trends. Your research would inform future heritage talks and activities.

    Royal Armouries Archive

    Project partner: The Royal Armouries Archive

    Priority MA Programme: MA War and Strategy

    The Royal Armouries Archive has a range of potential projects, with a particular focus on Royal Small Arms Factory (Enfield) collection, relating to 150 years of small arms manufacture or their First World War Archives Project that builds upon digitised collections of material from local and regimental museums. Additionally, there are project opportunities to work on the papers of individuals such as James Wentworth Day (a journalist and sportsman during the Second World War), Sir Charles ffoulkes (first full time curator of the Armouries at the Tower of London), or Sir James Mann (who worked to save art treasures during the Spanish Civil War).

    Skeletons: Our Buried Bones

    Project partner: Leeds Museums and Galleries

    Priority MA ProgrammeMA Medicine, Health, and Society

    Between September 2017 and January 2018 Leeds City Museum will host the Skeletons: Our Buried Bones exhibition. This touring exhibition, organised in partnership with the Wellcome Collection and Museum of London, will display 12 human skeletons and explore what the bones can reveal about people’s lives and health. As part of this exhibition, Leeds Museums & Galleries is seeking to understand more about how visitors feel about the display and collection of human remains in the 21st century. You will work closely with both the archaeology and exhibitions curator to develop evaluation activities, you will be able to interview visitors and gather their responses and then analyse the data you have collected. This project has real scope for long term impact – we expect to update our human remains policy in light of its findings, and to look for further opportunities to use this collection. There will also be other opportunities for work shadowing and working on other exhibition projects at the museum.

    Pages in this document

    1. Making History: archive collaborations
    2. Teaching and assessment
    3. Previous projects