Community History research

If I have a chance to indulge my passion for community history on any project, then I am a happy bunny!

Since 2004, I have worked with a wide range of community and local history groups to train them up and help them to coordinate research projects into the social history of their towns and villages.

If you are thinking about setting up a community history project and want some pointers, do contact me for details. I can help you with

  • bidding for funding and organising a community heritage project
  • introduction to your local records office
  • exploration of suitable archive sources – what to look for, what to expect…
  • finding and using online archive and research resources
  • research planning and skills

I have provided historic research, oral history and reminiscence skills training for BBC Learning, the University of Worcester, and a wide range of community and local history organisations. I also provide specialist collections advice to Birmingham Conservation Trust and the Coffin Works.

Tudor House Museum, Worcester, appointed me in 2019 as their Expert Eye to mentor their volunteers as they began to research the 16th century history of the building, its residents and the City. The grant funding came from the Arts Council, via the WM Museums Development Team, and meant that I could spend some time introducing the team to specialist archives, researchers and resources for interpreting very complex documentary resources.

Having successfully supported organisations to develop and bid for National Lottery Heritage Funding for community history activity, I have coordinated volunteer research teams projects including Abberley Lives, The Great Blackberry Pick, WW1 in the Vale, The Earth Heritage Trust’s Building Stones and Ombersley Remembers WW1

Prior to 2004, I spent 10 years supporting researchers at Surrey History Centre and Oxford University Archives, which gave me a thorough grounding in the management, documentation and interpretation of documentary archives.

Working with Jane Arthur on a brief survey of the Coffin Works collections.

‘JENNI!!!!!!!!! I just wanted you to know I haven’t been wasting my time down here in London. Thrilled to report that I have spent a day and a half at the Women’s Library and thoroughly enjoyed myself.’

‘I really enjoyed the introduction at the Hub last week thank you for that.’

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