A Corpus of Renaissance Correspondence: The Letters of Elizabeth Talbot (c.1527-1608, known as 'Bess of Hardwick')

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Critical Studies

Abstract

The project will break new ground by making accessible online this important, yet virtually unedited, corpus of Renaissance letters. Research utilising the online edition will be captured in a co-authored monograph, conference papers, and podcasts. The project will thus massively increase our understanding of the documents and the correspondents involved, and therefore of Renaissance letters more generally.

The letters of the indomitable Elizabethan matriarch and dynast Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (c.1527-1608, known as 'Bess of Hardwick'), provide an unparalleled historical resource. Her more than 200 letters (over 70 of which are from Elizabeth Talbot, mainly written in her own hand) include over 60 correspondents and span a period of almost 60 years. No other 16th-century woman left such a large number of letters, with the possible exception of Elizabeth I. The corpus is unrivalled not only in terms of its size, but also for its scope, breadth of social contacts, range of activities related, and variety of epistolary styles employed. There are instructions to servants and orders to builders; expressions of affection between husband and wife, as well as bitter marital disputes; gossip from court; news and intelligence; entreaties to the queen and her councillors; legal petitions and interventions; advice to her children and strategic marriage negotiations. They richly illustrate, in microcosm, the spectrum of 16th-century letter-writing activities and the functions that letters performed. Moreover, they show that Renaissance letter-writing was not an exclusively male or elite activity as many of Elizabeth's correspondents were below the ranks of the nobility and gentry, and a quarter were women.

The letters have been mined by Tudor biographers and historians for nuggets of information about political, social, and domestic life, and details relating to the building of Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House. But they have yet to be fully examined as textual artefacts or for their linguistic information. The starting point for such analysis must be an edition of the letters. There has never been any attempt to edit the complete correspondence and there is no modern edition of any part of the letters. This lack seems staggering, given the widely acknowledged importance of the life and letters of Elizabeth Talbot, as well as the letters' intrinsic appeal.

The letters are written in a variety of hands and scripts, of varying quality and levels of difficulty of decipherment, and are scattered throughout different archives in the UK and US. These two factors - handwriting and distribution - means the letters are currently well beyond the reach of most students and scholars of the period. The project will provide online transcripts of the all letters, presented according to modern editorial standards, in searchable, downloadable, and print-friendly versions, accompanied by scholarly notes and commentaries on manuscript features and presentation. Alongside the creation and development of the edition, the letters will be analysed for the way they textualise relationships, draw on created versions of voice and personae, and use visual and material features to communicate meaning. The findings of these analyses will be published as a major study. Together, the edition and study, for the first time, will allow us to hear Elizabeth Talbot speak for herself.

The letters will be edited and analysed by the project team in the English Language Department, University of Glasgow. The edition will be hosted by the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, Queen Mary, University of London. The texts will be added to the Corpus of Early English Correspondence, University of Helsinki, which will extend the possibilities for future analysis by another set of users - historical sociolinguists and corpus linguists. Six podcasts will provide routes into the collection for a wider audience, beyond the academy.
 
Title Exhibition: Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick 
Description --April 2011 - October 2012, Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick, at National Trust Property Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (lead curator: Anke Timmermann) --November 2012 - February 2013, Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick on loan to The National Archives (lead TNA curator: Katy Mair; original curator: Anke Timmermann) --Exhibition blub: Dukes and spies; queens and servants; friends and lovers - all of the Elizabethan world populates the letters of Bess of Hardwick. Bess herself wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life: they were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London, and to news from the world at large. The exhibition Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick, shown at National Trust Property Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (April 2011-November 2012) and The National Archives, Kew (November 2012-February 2013), lets Bess and her correspondents tell their stories in their own words. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact --Visitors at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire: c.150,000 visitors per season, i.e. a total c.300,000 visitors --Visitors at The National Archives (TNA), Kew: footfall in the first floor reading room: c.15,000 --Visitors to a parallel display of Bess's original letters in the Keeper's Gallery attracted 1375 visitors and 60 school groups --TNA news web-page 732 views --TNA blog post 571 views --Day workshop for 52 National Trust volunteers at Hardwick Hall --Public Lecture (which was podcast) by the PI at TNA. 40+ attended on the day. The podcast available on The National Archives website was downloaded 997 times between December 2012 and February 2013. --There was a lively questions and discussion at the PI's Public Lecture at the TNA that indicated how the content of the exhibition had changed the way people understood Bess of Hardwick and their perception of early modern women's history. --The visibility of the materials held by the TNA has been raised, i.e. public awareness of early modern letters, women's letters, and images of these, which available through the TNA. --In feedback forms, National Trust Volunteers at Hardwick Hall described how they would use project materials to enhance and enrich the visitor experience in future. --In feedback forms, volunteers described how the Workshop and project materials have changed their view of Bess of Hardwick, her household, and women's history, and how they will use this new understanding in their activities as House Guides and Staff at National Trust Property Hardwick Hall. --The information will be cascaded from National Trust staff and volunteers to the general public who visit Hardwick Hall in future (c.150,000 per year). 
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/listen
 
Description This research has changed the way we can access and understand Bess of Hardwick's letters and, therefore, historical women's letters, and historical letters, more broadly.
Exploitation Route Use at National Trust properties and historic houses.
Sectors Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org
 
Description Staff and visitors at National Trust property.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal
 
Description AHRC Student Study Visit Grant
Amount £960 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2010 
End 08/2010
 
Description AHRC Student Study Visit Grant
Amount £960 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2010 
End 08/2010
 
Description Folger Library Grant-In-Aid Award
Amount $1,300 (USD)
Organisation Folger Shakespeare Library 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States of America
Start 12/2009 
End 12/2009
 
Description Folger Library Grant-In-Aid Award
Amount £1,300 (GBP)
Organisation Folger Shakespeare Library 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States of America
Start 12/2009 
End 12/2009
 
Description Overseas Research Student Award (Scottish Funding Council and University of Glasgow, 3 years, for Felicity Maxwell)
Amount £6,000 (GBP)
Organisation Scottish Funding Council and University of Glasgow 
Sector Multiple
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2009 
End 08/2012
 
Description School of Critical Studies Postgraduate Research Support Award
Amount £550 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 06/2012 
End 06/2012
 
Description Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship (4-year scholarship)
Amount $80,000 (CAD)
Organisation Government of Canada 
Department SSHRC - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Sector Public
Country Canada
Start 09/2009 
End 08/2013
 
Description University of Glasgow College of Arts Postgraduate Research Support Award
Amount £550 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 06/2012 
End 06/2012
 
Description University of Glasgow Faculty Student Grant
Amount £400 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2009 
End 07/2009
 
Description University of Glasgow Faculty Student Grant
Amount £400 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 04/2010 
End 06/2010
 
Description University of Glasgow Strategic Research Allocation Award
Amount £650 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2007 
End 08/2007
 
Description University of Glasgow Strategic Research Allocation Award
Amount £850 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 12/2009 
End 12/2009
 
Description University of Glasgow, Department of English Language
Amount £300 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 06/2007 
End 08/2007
 
Title Data sharing: data from this project added to WEMLO/EMLO 
Description The data from the AHRC project Bess of Hardwick's Letters has been integrated into the database: Women's Early Modern Letters Online (a portal into the database Early Modern Letters Online), Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, supported by the British Academy, Leverhulme and the Mellon Foundation. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This development (by contributing to WEMLO) has had impact on: the EMLO project database at the Bodleian Library, the Cultures of Knowledge Project http://www.culturesofknowledge.org/ and on wider access to women's letters to researchers and the public. 
URL http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?page_id=2595
 
Title PDF files of 234 letters generated from the xml transcripts 
Description Batch files containing all the letters as PDFs. These include the 234 letter summaries and 90 biographies of correspondents (by Anke Timmermann, Alison Wiggins and Graham Williams): 22,708 words. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Batch files containing all the letters as PDFs. These include the 234 letter summaries and 90 biographies of correspondents (by Anke Timmermann, Alison Wiggins and Graham Williams): 22,708 words. 
 
Title xml transcripts of 234 letters to and from Bess of Hardwick 
Description Batch files containing all the xml transcripts of the letters to and from Bess of Hardwick. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Batch files containing all the xml transcripts of the letters to and from Bess of Hardwick. 
 
Description National Trust (Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick at National Trust property Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire) 
Organisation National Trust
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution --Financial, which can costed as: time contributions by the PI, PDRA and PhD students; half the cost of the creation of exhibition materials; cost of time given by University of Glasgow staff and students who acted roles in the 6 postcasts; online hosting of the podcasts. --Liaison with National Trust staff, volunteers and educational team in preparation of the concept of the exhibition, and the preparation and delivery of all materials. --Authorship, organisation and liaison with professional printers in creation of all exhibition materials: roll banners, facsimilies, displays, children's letter-writing activity station, creation of 6 podcasts. --Cost of printed materials, banners and activities, and arrangements for production, transportation and set up of all materials to Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. --Workshop for 52 National Trust volunteers (PI, PDRA, PhD student).
Collaborator Contribution --£3k towards the cost of making an dprinting the roll banners, posters, children's activity station by professional printer. --Staff and volunteer time during set up of exhibition --Staff and volunteer time for day-long Workshop for 52 volutneers --Volunteer time hosting period - specifically a volunteer allocated throughout the period of the exhibition (i.e. two seasons / two years), i.e. stationed in the exhibition area as a Guide and for room security. --Free accommodation provided at Hardwick Hall for the PI, PDRA and PhD students during set up of the exhibition (3 rooms, for 3 nights).
Impact -Visitor statistics for the exhibition at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire: c.150,000 visitors per season, for two seasons, i.e. a total c.300,000 visitors. -Enhanced visitor experience at Hardwick Hall. -The exhibition changed the way Bess of Hardwick herself was presented to visitors to Hardwick Hall (the house she built), e.g. new information was provided to visitors, the arrangement of Bess of Hardwick's bedchamber at the Hall was transformed for two seasons, new information was made available to volunteer House Guides and to National Trust Staff. -In feedback forms, National Trust Volunteers described how they would use project materials in future to enhance and enrich the visitor experience at Hardwick Hall. Volunteers described how the Workshop and project materials have changed their view of Bess of Hardwick, her household, and women's history, and how they will cascade this new understanding to visitors.
Start Year 2010
 
Description The National Archives (Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick at The National Archives, Kew, London) 
Organisation The National Archives
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution -Creation of exhibition materials: roll banners, facsimilies, displays, children's letter-writing activity station, 6 podcasts. -Arrangements for transportation of all materials to TNA in London from Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. -Public Lecture (also Podcast) at the TNA by the PI -Liaison with TNA staff and education team in the preparation of all materials customised for their exhibition
Collaborator Contribution Contributions in kind (hosting, staff time, exhibition space, development of an online presence, liaison and contributions from the educational team) from The National Archives, Kew, London, towards the exhibit Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick, on loan from November 2012 - February 2013. The National Archives hosted the exhibit in the first floor reading room; curated and hosted a new display of original manuscript letters to and from Bess in The Keepers Gallery, which is their designated onsite exhibition space; hosted 60 school groups; included a blog post and podcast as part of their news web-page; and advertised the exhibit through the web, mailshots, twitter and the Public Lecture series. The key contact - who collaborated with PI Alison Wiggins to bring Unsealed to The National Archives - is curator of early modern manuscripts Dr Katy Mair.
Impact Visitor statistics at The National Archives, Kew: -footfall in the first floor reading room: c.15,000 -news web-page 732 views -blog post 571 views -a parallel display of Bess's original letters in the Keeper's Gallery attracted 1375 visitors and 60 school groups -podcast of the PI's public lecture downloaded 997 times during the period of the exhibition -lively questions and discussion at the PI's public lecture, and responses from visitors and school groups, indicated how the content of the exhibition had changed the way people understood Bess of Hardwick and their perception of early modern women's history -the visibility of the materials held by The National Archives has been raised, i.e. public awareness of early modern letters, women's letters, and images of these, which available through the TNA, has been raised
Start Year 2012
 
Description University of Helsinki (Advisory Board Member for the journal: Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English, Helsinki) 
Organisation University of Helsinki (Helsingin yliopisto)
Department Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English (VARIENG)
Country Finland, Republic of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Studies in Variation, Contacts and Change in English is a peer-reviewed online series featuring monographs and thematic volumes. It is published open-access by the Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English (VARIENG) at the University of Helsinki. Pioneering new approaches to academic publishing, the series explores ways of enriching research articles with hypertext, multimedia, and additional content such as primary data. The purpose of the series is to encourage the development of new cross-disciplinary methodologies, in particular interaction between quantitative and qualitative methods. http://www.helsinki.fi/varieng/journal/
Collaborator Contribution See above
Impact Not applicable
Start Year 2013
 
Description Women's Early Modern Letters Online Project (WEMLO) 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick's Project has shared data with WEMLO (Women's Early Modern Letters Online) http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?page_id=2595. WEMLO is part of EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), a major project at the Bodleian Library and the University of Oxford, funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme and Mellon Foundation.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of data (letter catalogue meta-data) with W/EMLO. Information is at http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?catalogue=bess-of-hardwick-2
Impact The collaboration is a cross-over between academics and library professionals, and between historians, digital humanists and language/literature scholars. The main outputs/outcome so far has been the launch of the WEMLO portal (to which project has contributed) at the end of 2016.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Women's Early Modern Letters Online Project (WEMLO) 
Organisation University of Plymouth
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick's Project has shared data with WEMLO (Women's Early Modern Letters Online) http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?page_id=2595. WEMLO is part of EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), a major project at the Bodleian Library and the University of Oxford, funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme and Mellon Foundation.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of data (letter catalogue meta-data) with W/EMLO. Information is at http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?catalogue=bess-of-hardwick-2
Impact The collaboration is a cross-over between academics and library professionals, and between historians, digital humanists and language/literature scholars. The main outputs/outcome so far has been the launch of the WEMLO portal (to which project has contributed) at the end of 2016.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Women's Early Modern Letters Online Project (WEMLO) 
Organisation University of Victoria
Country Australia, Commonwealth of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The AHRC Letters of Bess of Hardwick's Project has shared data with WEMLO (Women's Early Modern Letters Online) http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?page_id=2595. WEMLO is part of EMLO (Early Modern Letters Online), a major project at the Bodleian Library and the University of Oxford, funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme and Mellon Foundation.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of data (letter catalogue meta-data) with W/EMLO. Information is at http://emlo-portal.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections/?catalogue=bess-of-hardwick-2
Impact The collaboration is a cross-over between academics and library professionals, and between historians, digital humanists and language/literature scholars. The main outputs/outcome so far has been the launch of the WEMLO portal (to which project has contributed) at the end of 2016.
Start Year 2016
 
Description 11 UK research seminar presentations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact These conference talks by members of the project team sparked discussion, disseminated project findings within the academic community, developed project research, and created interest in the project outputs, including the web site.

--Podcasts and video cast of some of these talks, e.g. http://cofk.history.ox.ac.uk/material-girl-editing-bess-of-hardwicks-letters-online/
--More than 10k hits on the project web site since April 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008,2009,2010,2011,2012
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=172
 
Description 2 international plenary lectures by the PI 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Both plenary lectures sparked questions and discussion, which included discussion of future research collaboration.

After the talk in Helsinki the PI discussed combining data from projects, i.e. future research options.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=172
 
Description 3 international research seminars 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact These conference talks by members of the project team sparked discussion, disseminated project findings within the academic community, developed project research, and created interest in the project outputs, including the web site.

More than 10k hits on the project web site since April 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=172
 
Description 9 UK conferences 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact These conference talks sparked discussion, disseminated project findings within the academic community, developed project research, and created interest in the project outputs, including the web site.

More than 10k hits on the project web site since 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=172
 
Description 9 international conferences 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact These conference talks by members of the project team sparked discussion, disseminated project findings within the academic community, developed project research, and created interest in the project outputs, including the web site.

More than 10k hits on the web site since April 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013
URL http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=172
 
Description Consultancy meeting: Digitising Medieval Manuscripts, Mellon Foundation, New York 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact -PI Alison Wiggins participated as an invited consultant at the Digitising Medieval Manuscripts consultancy meeting, Mellon Foundation, New York City, USA.
-During the consultancy meeting, expertise gained from developing the AHRC project was utilised by Dr Wiggins in discussions with Mellon Foundation trustees seeking to revise their strategy on funding digital manuscript-based projects. Mellon are a major funder of projects internationally, including within the UK.

The consultancy meeting influenced Mellon Foundation funding strategy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Media Coverage of Web Site Launch 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Newspaper articles after the launch of www.bessofhardwick.org (total circulation 286k):
--The Metro, News section, 29 April 2013, page 4, circulation: 138,102
--The Sunday Herald, News section, 28 April 2013, page 9, circulation: 26,187. Full page coverage with photographs: Revealed: how new letters show Mary Queen of Scots' jailer in new light: Findings change misogynistic spin on life of 16th-century Bess of Hardwick, by Rachel Loxton
--The Herald, Opinion section, 29 April 2013, page 15, circulation 44,445. Headline: Shining a new light on tragic Mary by Rosemary Goring
--The Herald, News section, 29 April 2013, page 9, circulation 44,445. Headline: Bess of Hardwick's letters shed light on Tudor society
--The Scotsman, News section, 29 April 2013, page 14, circulation 34,127. Headline: 16th century letters to go on display

After the launch of the web-site, viewing figures were strong for www.bessofhardwick.org, with c.4k hits on the site in the first few days. Since the site was launch in April 2013 there have been more than 10k users (with a low bounce rate; 81k page views; an average session time of 5mins; almost half of these 10k new users being non-UK, a large proportion in the USA.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description News Page and Blog Post at The National Archives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact News web-page 732 views
Blog post 571 views

The National Archives (TNA) news web-page and blog post were to advertise the project exhibition 'Unsealed: The Letters of Bess of Hardwick', which was held at TNA from November 2012 - February 2013. In themselves, they provided information about the materials, as well as advertising resulted what became a successful exhibition at TNA. Visitor statistics: footfall in the first floor reading room: c.15,000; a parallel display of Bess's original letters in the Keeper's Gallery attracted 1375 visitors and 60 school groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
 
Description Public Lecture Podcast at The National Archives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact There was lively discussion after the talk, during which those attending indicated various ways in which their view of Bess of Hardwick herself, and women's history and letter writing, had been changed or opened up to new ideas and concepts.


40+ attended on the day.
The podcast available on The National Archives website was downloaded 997 times between December 2012 and February 2013:
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/bess-of-hardwick/
News web-page 732 views
Blog post 571 views
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/bess-of-hardwick/
 
Description Twitter feed @alisonwiggins which includes project information 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Twitter feed @alisonwiggins (since 2011, currently 1035 followers), which includes project information and is linked from http://www.bessofhardwick.org/background.jsp?id=239

The launch of the project site, and tweets about project information, resulted in re-tweets and responses from interested academic and non-academic followers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
URL http://twitter.com/alisonwiggins
 
Description Workshop for 52 National Trust Volunteers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Reading and Writing Bess of Hardwick's Letters: a workshop for 52 National Trust volunteers in the High Great Chamber, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (Alison Wiggins, Graham Williams and Felicity Maxwell). The workshop ran from 10am-1.30pm and gave National Trust volunteers the opportunity to take part in decipherment and discussion of Bess's manuscript letters; afterwards, in the spirit of exchange and dialogue, volunteers invited the project team to join a Living History Tudor dance lesson. In feedback forms, volunteers described how they would use project materials to enhance and enrich the visitor experience at Hardwick Hall.

-In feedback forms, volunteers described how they would use project materials to enhance and enrich the visitor experience at Hardwick Hall.
-Volunteers described how the Workshop and project materials have changed their view of Bess of Hardwick, her household, and women's history, and how they will ustilise this new understanding in their activities as House Guides and Staff at National Trust Property Hardwick Hall.
-The information will be cascaded from National Trust staff and volunteers to the general public who visit Hardwick Hall (c.150,000 per year)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011