Being in the Museum Studies program with Arcadia has opened up the door for some amazing opportunities to gain experience. Whether it has been the classes we have taken with seasoned professionals like David Clark, the former keeper of Archaeology for the National Museums of Scotland, or with our internships, we have been placed in. For me, a big reason why I decided to go for this opportunity in Edinburgh was because of the internship. I was looking forward to getting assurance and understanding for the career I wanted to go into.
I have always wanted to work in some aspect of public history, I realized that my strengths did not lie in teaching history as a professor, but in interacting with it in a public space. I just did not know where in public history I was meant to be in. Arcadia placed me at Hopetoun House, which is a few miles outside of Edinburgh. It is an estate that houses the Hope family, an ennobled family, and is run by a trust that keeps part of the house open to the public. It has over 300 years of history contained in it, and since all the furniture belonged to the family, there is a lot of originality and personality in the house.
Being here has helped me realize that I would want to work at a historical site like a stately home, as well as hold a role in their archives. A lot of my work at Hopetoun is research-based, I have personally been researching the servant history of the house, comparing the 18th-century servants to the Victorian Era servants. For a lot of my research, I have relied heavily on the archives to view wage sheets and correspondence related to the servants. I love the idea of investigating and holding pieces of history. There is something that excites me about holding a document written in 1710 or things written in the 1600s. I love the idea of seeing and helping an archive run and being able to contribute to research. This placement has helped me realize that research and archives are the paths I want to go down in terms of working in public history, and I have Hopetoun House to thank for that contribution.