ELIZA (ELIZABETH) McKEE
School of History, Anthropology, Politics and Philosophy – Postgraduate research student
My thesis is entitled ‘Clothing the poor in Ulster, c. 1850-1914’. My PhD research examines the clothing culture and the various methods used by working and destitute poor people to acquire clothing in Ulster throughout their lives as children, adolescents, workers, and in old age. In addition to archival sources, I am interested in the use of visual and material culture in my research. More broadly, I am interested in dress history, archival history, the history of crime and punishment, and Irish women’s and gender history. I am an active member of the Association of Dress Historians, the Costume Society and the Women’s History Association of Ireland.
After studying fashion design at Manchester School of Art, I attended Queen’s University Belfast, taking a BA in Modern History. Following this, I completed an MA in Irish History, with a dissertation entitled ‘No authority to have it in her possession: women and consumer crime in Ireland, 1890-1914’. Following my MA I worked in the Parliamentary Archives at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. In this role, I curated online and physical exhibitions on the Easter Rising, state visits, Shakespeare 400 and the Battle of the Somme. I was also a volunteer archives assistant on the Vote 100 project in parliament to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918. I have been commissioned by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography to write on women parliamentary candidates in early twentieth-century Ireland. Additionally, I have completed archival work for the National Gallery Archive, PRONI, Special Collections and Archives at Queen’s University Belfast, the Feminist Library, and the Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers. I then qualified as an archivist by completing an MA in Archives and Records Management at the University of Liverpool. My dissertation was entitled ‘Irish national archives 1922-1949: a comparative study of the Public Record Office of Ireland and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland’. I maintain an active interest in exhibition curation and Irish and British record-keeping history and practice.