The Trust – which I was unaware of – was drawn to my attention by a friend in 2004 when I had just embarked on a PhD at Birmingham University.
My research has centred on an 18th century manuscript (MS) account book kept by a gentlewoman who lived first in Elmley Lovett and then in Kidderminster. It is still in private possession and, as well as seeing the original, I have a digitalised copy to work from.
Unfortunately, during the course of the research I had to have several leaves of absence for three eye operations, but that was completed some time ago and I am now editing the MS which the Worcestershire Historical Association is interested in publishing.
It is a very important MS because of its amazing detail and accuracy about many aspects of Worcestershire daily life in the 1760s, a good way off from London. Having spent some time on similar MSS, I have to say it is one of the very best of its kind, and I am sure there will be great interest in it. All I have to do is finish the editing, which is a painstakingly slow process!
Like many mature students, I had to finance myself, which was far from easy; I was extremely pleased, therefore, to receive £500 towards the cost of books and the many visits I needed to make to national archives – such as the Bodlean Library in Oxford, the British Library and the National Archives, both in London, and The Wellcome Trust, also in London – as well as to a number of regional deposits.
I am pleased to learn the Institute is continuing to offer such concrete help and to a wide range of the community, including children and young people. I feel sure others will benefit as I have.
N.B. See the Guidelines page for more information on the criteria for awards.