I began work on an AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Award working with the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies, the Centre for West Midlands History and Birmingham Archives and Heritage Service in 2009.
My research project focuses on the life and archive of Quaker philanthropist Dame Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury (1858-1951) and incorporates both an academic thesis and a revised catalogue of her personal archive. As the title indicates, my research concentrates on Elizabeth Taylor Cadbury’s social action in Birmingham during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly her involvement in housing reform, educational management and school medical treatment provision.
Working with the Centre for West Midlands History has been particularly valuable in terms of enabling me to publicise my research among a diverse audience of researchers and local historians. I have developed confidence in presenting my research findings by taking part in the Centre’s wide range of conferences and public engagement initiatives and have benefited from the strong links established between the Centre and the University’s Special Collections Department. Collaborating with a Centre which is so proactive in pursuing new fields of research has provided me with exciting opportunities to participate in the formulation of future research projects.