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Dr Purdue is a historian of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, focusing on the British and Irish industrial city and on issues of social inequalities, welfare, and public health. She was co-investigator of the AHRC project ‘Welfare and Public Health in Belfast 1800-1972’ and is currently writing a monograph entitled Spaces of engagement: families and welfare in industrial Belfast 1880-1939 (Liverpool University Press, 2019).

Dr Purdue also works on contested public history, heritage, and Irish country houses and landed estates.

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Dr Purdue is open to PhD applications in the fields of; 

  • The British and Irish industrial city 1850-1930
  • Urban poverty and welfare 1850-1930
  • Public history and memory; heritage
  • Child and family welfare
  • Urban development and public health
  • Irish landed estates and country houses
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  • Dr Purdue's work on the growth of industrial Belfast and in public history and heritage has led to collaborations
    with a wide range of organisations in the heritage, tourism and museums sectors, including being historical
    advisor for Titanic Belfast, collaborating with the Ulster Museum on their Irish history gallery ‘Industrial Giant
    and the Shadow of Poverty’, an working with Ulster Rugby in the development of their museum and education centre
  • She works with a number of media production companies on the development of documentaries such as the
    6-part documentary for UTV ‘The Big House Reborn’, the Channel 4 documentary ‘Belfast: Britain’s most
    Victorian city’ and the online documentary ‘Belfast, a tale of two cities’



Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science

School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics

Centre for Public History



Research students

PhD Title: 

Name: Stuart Irwin
Years of Study: 2014-18
Country: UK

PhD Title: The Photographer and the City (Northern Bridge Strategic Partnership Award)

Name: Lucy Wray
Years of Study: 2017-20
Country: UK


PhD Title: Belfast Baths: Exploring and interpreting historic spaces of the Victorian industrial city (National Investment Productivity Fund Award)

Name: Rhianne Morgan
Years of Study: 2017-20
Country: UK


Research at Queen's

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