Assistant Curator, Art (English Heritage)
A bookworm and would-be author from a very early age, it was a simple choice for me to read English at university. The course at Nottingham allowed me to expand my knowledge of all the corners of literary study, from drama, language and theory to Romanticism, postcolonial and medieval literature. It was the latter of these - medieval - which particularly captured my imagination. After graduating at Nottingham I read for an MSt in Medieval English Literature (650-1550) at the University of Oxford. Having immersed myself in the study of literature for four years, I then decided to find a field of work in which I could use my love and knowledge of literature and share this with others.
I gained a place on the prestigious internship scheme at The Wordsworth Trust in the Lake District, an organisation which comprises Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery. From there I moved to the National Trust to work at Nostell Priory & Parkland, where I developed a thorough understanding of all the different types of collections which create a country house - furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, metalwork, social history, archives, and a wonderful library! To continue learning and acquiring knowledge every day has been an important part of my career choice.
I then moved to my current position as Assistant Curator, Art, for the northern territory of English Heritage, based at Brodsworth Hall & Gardens. My role involves managing historic house collections to encourage greater understanding and enjoyment through documentation, research, conservation, interpretation and display - and I use the writing, research, communication and organisation skills developed at Nottingham every single day. I have found myself creating exhibitions, moving ten thousand objects to a new collections store, and becoming a qualified fork lift truck driver!
Ultimately, studying English at Nottingham gave me the confidence, capability and curiosity to pursue a career as a historic house curator. And the would-be author? How was I to know that those first tentative essays would eventually lead to the publication of my own first book, One Girl and the Wainwrights (Ammanford: Sigma Press, 2014). The book follows my adventures as I walk, climb, and crawl up all 214 fells in the Lake District as described by notable fell walker Alfred Wainwright, and which I intend to develop into a series of walking-inspired travel literature around the British Isles. As a curator and writer, I couldn't be happier with the direction my studies at Nottingham have taken me.