The first IAPH workshop of 2015, in conjunction with Queenâ€™s University Belfast, took place on the 17th January. â€˜The Historian, Heritage and Public Historyâ€™ was held in the Ulster Museum and organised by OlwenÂ Purdue, RoisÃn Higgins, Paul Huddie and Peter Gray.
To say it was a good day would be an understatement. I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. The mood was really positive and the sense of possibility was very invigorating â€“ not bad, considering I was up at 5:30am to get the train from Dublin and it was an extremely cold Saturday morning.
Here are some of the things I took away from it:
â€¢ Peter Grayâ€™s (QUB) talk on writing an impact narrative: name the user groups who will be impacted by your research in your funding application; talk to them in advance; get a letter of their support when applying for funding and get them involved in the planning; identify how your impact event will benefit users.
â€¢ Janice Holmes (OU) on how to do impact: if youâ€™re outside the academy use your flexibility to your advantage and try to link up with someone working in a university; if itâ€™s your first time keep the project small, and local (in terms of location rather than scope); play to your expertise; work with people you know; find a partner with resources; talk about it all the time and everywhere â€“ especially on social media.
â€¢ Jamie Curran (Heritage Lottery Fund): the HLF funds community based projects that often need a historian. We directed him to the IAPH directory! SeeÂ http://www.hlf.org.uk/our-projectsÂ for the kind of projects they fund. They also expect professional historians to charge a consultantâ€™s fee of 350 pounds sterling per day.
â€¢ Paula McFetteridge (Artistic Director, Kabosh theatre company): The arts often need the skills of historians. We can be catalysts for projects. Get on some theatre mailing lists (for exampleÂ http://irishtheatreinstitute.com/) â€“ see what kind of projects are going on, where you might fit and get involved.
â€¢ Mark Adair (BBCNI), William Blair (Ulster Museum), Paddy Fitzgerald (QUB and Ulster-American Folk Park) and Michael Hewitt (Doubleband Films): The speakers, taking part in a round table discussion, stressed the need for historians to be able to compress their work and provide broad sweeps â€“ whether itâ€™s for a tv documentary or an exhibition â€“ and that this can be done without dumbing the subject down. Think about your research or your monograph â€“ how could it be translated into these different mediums? The over-riding message was that historians need to get creative.
â€¢ After all that it was time to go to the pub.
It was great to meet lots of IAPH members I hadnâ€™t met before and it was a happy coach on the train back to Dublin. Thanks to the speakers and organisers for making it so worthwhile. And thanks to Sorcha Oâ€™Brien for her technical assistance and to Emily Mark-Fitzgerald for taking some photos. Til the next one …
From left to right: Olwen Purdue (QUB), Michael Hewitt (Doubleband Films), William Blair (Ulster Museum),Mark Adair (BBCNI) and Paddy Fitzgerald (QUB and Ulster-American Folk Park)