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Charlotte Wildman

Influenced by Roberto Orsi's and Louise Ryan's approaches and alongside the scholarship of Joshua Landy and Michael Saler, this chapter uses Irish-Catholic women in 1930s Liverpool to challenge the perceived binary between religion and modernity. The chapter argues that Catholic leaders in Liverpool became increasingly relaxed about modernity and its impact on women. It aims to carve out roles and responsibilities for women that merged their Catholicism with emerging opportunities in paid work, civic duties and leisure and consumer culture. The chapter offers a new way of thinking about the experience of the Irish diaspora in Britain and, in particular, offers Irish-Catholic women more agency and authority than historical scholarship tends to allow. Using the programme of Catholic Action, implemented by Liverpool Archdiocese during the 1930s, the chapter illustrates the positive contribution Irish-Catholic women made to public life in Liverpool as an implication of the Church's strategy towards modernity.

in Women and Irish diaspora identities

Researching urban space and the built environment is a succinct guide for historians keen to explore the spatial dimensions of the past. Written in a clear and lively style, it equips readers with the tools to effectively plan, research and write spatial histories. The book explores why the ‘spatial turn’ matters so much to historians, and how the subject of space is a cutting-edge and interdisciplinary subject area. By outlining and summarising the theories and methodologies particularly pertinent to spatial research, and by providing hands-on advice on locating evidence and archives, the book supports readers in the development of their own original projects. Through engagement with a vast range of primary evidence, including buildings, manuscripts, oral history interviews, visual sources and material cultures, and discussion of pertinent early modern and modern historical case studies, the guide opens up a huge variety of research possibilities. Researching urban space and the built environment is the ideal research companion for undergraduate and postgraduate students and independent researchers. It is especially tailored for students in history and related disciplines in the humanities encountering spatial themes and methodologies for the first time. The guide is a highly suitable textbook for the many BA and MA courses in history focused on the study of urban history and space.

Abstract only
Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

The Introduction considers the significance of historical research into urban space and the built environment; it also provides a broad outline of the academic landscape and goes some way towards defining key terms for the book. It also provides advice as to how to read and engage with this guide, and an outline of the book structure and chapter contents.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter outlines some of the key theories and disciplinary approaches in spatial scholarship. The first section of the chapter sketches out some of the most important disciplinary and theoretical influences in the development of spatially minded research: archaeology, art history, geography and cultural history. The second section of the chapter turns to exciting new directions in spatial histories. Here readers will learn more about attempts at rematerialisation urban space and the use of GIS (geographical information systems). As at all other points in the guide, case studies, endnotes and recommended reading will help readers to undertake further reading of their own.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter shows how to begin the research process. It suggests several possible starting points for thinking through and designing a spatial research project, divided here into the broad parameters of location or building type, theme or concept, and body of evidence. These different approaches are explored through a number of concrete case studies of spatial histories, demonstrating how these research routes work in practice. The final sub-section provides some wide-ranging advice for formulating useful research questions.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter will help readers to identify appropriate methods, approaches and theoretical frameworks for their projects. To support students in framing their projects, this chapter identifies four routes into spatial histories: personal testimony (including diaries, letters and oral histories); focus on a building or built environment; histories that foreground networks; and work that engages with representation of urban space and built environments. In each case, the chapter includes a broad overview of how historians have used this approach, involving the questions they have asked, the methods and theories they have engaged with and sources they have used, citing case studies that demonstrate the ‘nuts and bolts’ of its application.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter introduces the wide variety of primary sources that can be fruitful in our investigation of urban space or the built environment. In addition to giving advice about how and where to begin looking for evidence for a research project, this discussion also provides an overview of different categories of source material. These are loosely grouped as: buildings and built environments; archival materials (like inventories, government regulations, contemporary descriptions); visual sources (such as plans, maps and photos); material cultures and oral history interviews. A strong theme across this chapter is the extent to which doing spatial history demands that you use a variety of source types and engage in interdisciplinary research practices.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter explores how you can analyse your sources to best effect. Scrutinising primary sources – which often involves asking pertinent questions of your materials – is central to the professional practice of historians, and yet from the outside, this process can be rather opaque. As readers we are typically presented with the finished product, such as published book or journal article. Little explanation is usually given by historians on the significant stage between locating evidence and constructing a persuasive historical argument. To support researchers in this area, this chapter discusses the strengths and limitations of primary source types in relation to spatial histories, including buildings, archival materials, personal testimony, visual sources and material culture.

in Researching urban space and the built environment
Abstract only
Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin
,
Elaine Tierney
, and
Charlotte Wildman

This chapter concludes our all-round consideration of the research process by looking at the different ways in which one might present a dissertation or research project. We offer guidance on the organisation of ideas and text that will help you show to best effect your original archival discoveries and novel connections between buildings, landscapes, ideas, objects and cultures. The chapter provides models for structuring your dissertation, as well as guidance on the most effective ways of referencing the material and visual sources essential to spatial histories, such as buildings, material cultures and maps.

in Researching urban space and the built environment