Kirsty pioneers our Hardy podcasting project!

The New Year got off to a great start for Wessex Museums when Kirsty O’Rourke joined us as a placement student on our Thomas Hardy podcasts. Kirsty is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Public History at the University of York.

Working with us two days a week until the end of March, Kirsty’s role includes researching different podcasting models, project managing, scripting, editing and uploading content, and providing transcripts. She’ll be working closely with Harriet Still, our Hardy curator, who will be the lead presenter on the podcasts.

Harriet said: “We are thrilled to have Kirsty on-board to help shape our podcasting project. Her MA studies on how to interpret and present history to the public are highly relevant to this project, and we look forward to exploring her ideas on how we can best engage with younger audiences through podcasting. She is already proving to be a valued member of the team!”

The placement is a fantastic fit for Kirsty, both in her personal and academic life. She said:

“I have been very lucky, thanks to the University of York and the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, to have been given the opportunity to work with Wessex Museums. As someone who lived and went to school in Southampton, and travelled round Wessex for the holidays, I have always been fascinated by its history and landscape. I am very excited to work with the amazing team to assist in creating podcasts on Thomas Hardy and his impact and views within the history of Wessex.”

Kirsty’s undergraduate studies were also focused on public history and recreating the past.

“I completed my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Chester. Here, I was able to gain experience in museums and explored making history accessible to the public. I realised my passion for heritage and public history. In the future, I want to focus on increasing accessibility through the digitisation of sources, the use of social media and podcasts, and the use of co-production between historians and the public to reconstruct the past.”

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