Exciting opportunities – and so little time!

So yesterday I spent most of the morning writing up a report all about my journey, which will be sent to my funders. It may seem a little early to be writing when the research isn’t quite finished yet, but I wanted to have at least a draft to give to a very special person that I met today! (More on that in the next post!)

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But, the most exciting part of yesterday was that another collection of Scottish music, known to have been brought out by a family from Dumfries in the early 19th century has turned up in the NSW State Library. The collection is uncatalogued and I will be one of the first researchers to take a peek. I was alerted to this lead by Professor Ian Jack when I visited him on Monday but we both thought that the collection would turn up long after I had departed for Scotland. To my surprise, the stars have aligned and I will be off to see the collection on Friday and Saturday. No doubt, more anon…

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In the afternoon, I went to King’s Cross station (sadly no platform 9 3/4, though it did have an amazing fountain) to meet with a wonderful researcher Catherine Bishop who has been carrying out work on business women in colonial Australia. She had many fascinating stories about female music bookshop owners, performers and such the like but I was mainly coming to talk to her about Lucy Havens. Not only did Lucy marry well, but after her husbands death where she inherited much of his property, she rented out said property to other female tenants! This adds another piece to the puzzle that is the life of Lucy Havens. I am pleased to say that after this research is over, she will no longer be just Mrs Hyndes or Mrs Purves but a visible, influential woman in her own right!

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