Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Welcome to Kiplin

Bravely facing volcanic explosions and airline crew strikes, everyone has finally made it across the ocean and safely arrived at Kiplin Hall, our home for the next three weeks. After settling in to the feeling that we’ve all just walked into a Jane Austen novel, complete with the evening stroll around the lake, it is time to get down to business.

For 20 years Connie Schulz has been leading students from the University of South Carolina to Kiplin Hall in North Yorkshire to participate in the England Field School. Following Connie’s retirement, I have stepped in to fill her footsteps. This year I bring with me two museum studies students, two historic preservation students, an archives student, and a library science student. Together we will mark the next phase of the EFS.

The basic structure of the course is to alternate between site visits and project days. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we will be travelling the countryside visiting museums, archives, and historic attractions, meeting with the curators, librarians, and site managers who keep the places going. We will discover the challenges of preserving 9th century pilgrimage sites, as well as the challenges of keeping towns accessible for their 21st century inhabitants. Our visits will include a walk along Hadrian’s Wall with representatives from both the National Trust and English Heritage, comparing Rievaulx Abbey with a WWII star site in a discussion led by an Inspector of Ancient Monuments, a tour of Harewood House by the Head of House and Collections, and a walk through the Beamish Open Air Museum with the Keeper of Social History, just to name a few.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, each of the students will work on a project designed by Dawn Webster, curator of Kiplin Hall. Haley Grant and Anjuli Grantham will be researching and writing a report on the newly uncovered foundations of the 19th century conservatory along the garden wall. Rebecca Bush and Katharine Thompson will be establishing an expandable archival system for the papers of Kiplin’s Board of Trustees. Virginia Blake and Sarah Swinney will continue cataloging Kiplin’s library, a project begun by EFS students two years ago – only 1500 or so more books to go!

Throughout the course, students will keep you posted on their progress through this blog. Enjoy the adventure.

--Allison Marsh

No comments:

Post a Comment