Monthly Archives: March 2019

The Cowkeeper’s Wish

We’re always delighted in Special Collections to hear about how researchers have used our collections. So we were very pleased when Kristen den Hartog, who had used our Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies, got in touch to say that the book written by her and Tracy Kasaboski, had already been published in Canada, and was due to be published in the UK in March 2019.

hThe Cowkeeper’s Wish follows the story of the descendants of a young cowkeeper and his wife who arrive in 1840s London, having walked there from the Welsh coast with their cattle. They are hoping to escape from poverty and find themselves plunged deeper into it. The books tells the story of those descendants moving in and out of slum housing, workhouses and asylums. Nearly a hundred years later, their 3 x great-granddaughters in Canada begins to piece together their story and the path they trod to Canada.

Congratulations to Tracy and Kristen on the publication of your book!

Do get in touch and tell us about your research in Special Collections. You can see other examples of research done using our collections on our blog.


International Women’s Day

As part of International Women’s Day today we’re celebrating women’s achievements by launching our new subject guide to women’s history resources. This is aimed particularly at undergraduate students, and offers an easy way in to discover the rich resources about women’s history held in our collections. We’ve featured a couple of highlights below, but do have a look at our guide for more inspiration.

World War I ‘Canary Girl’

Lottie Barker was a ‘canary girl’ in a WWI munitions factory, making shells which turned her skin yellow. Part of the Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiography, her account includes the description of an explosion in the factory, which killed many of her colleagues. We have more information about her account in this blog post, and many other accounts of women’s work during both WWI and WWII are waiting to be discovered in the Burnett Archive.

Women travelling alone

The Travellers’ Aid Society poster is part of our Transport History Collection, dates from about 100 years ago and features advice to women travelling alone to ensure they able to find safe, respectable accommodation when arriving in a new town. You can find out more about the Travellers’ Aid Society in this blog post. This poster was digitised last year as part of a student volunteer project to digitise our railway posters collection.

Other resources

Do contact us to make an appointment if you would like to see any of these items