Karen Hardman

I am a recently qualified PhD, currently volunteering for my local record office and museum service in Shropshire.

I studied at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen mary, University of London,  and my principal research interests are centred in the field of early modern history, culture and literature, with particular emphasis upon correspondence and the exploration of archival manuscript sources. I am especially interested in the interaction between individuals of different class, and the relationship between local centres of power and London. My PhD work involved the investigation of private letters as sources for the production of a nuanced biographical account. By using an interdisciplinary approach and foregrounding manuscript sources not usually examined closely, I was able to produce a more comprehensive portrait of a seventeenth-century earl than had previously been possible.

At the moment I volunteer two days a week for the Volunteering for Shropshire’s Heritage project. I spend one day a week at the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre, cataloguing the archive of the Ludlow Natural History Society and researching the life of Robert Lightbody (approx.1800-1874). The other day I spend at Shropshire Archives, for the time being cataloguing ‘MI’s (small miscellaneous deposits). This blog is primarily intended as a record of my adventures and discoveries as a volunteer, with related things that I find interesting interspersed along the way.

I am also hoping to publish my first book in the near future, so watch this space!


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