Ms Sarah E Hayward

Research project: John Langdon Down's Normansfield; Stories from the archives and their potential contribution to heritage.

Abstract

A practice-based PhD researching the early years of Normansfield Hospital, an institution established in 1868 by John Langdon Down as a private, residential ‘Training Home' for people (mostly children) with learning disabilities.

The project's output includes two creative pieces designed for – and around – the Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability: a 45-minute film about the life of a former patient; and a six-stop audio guide.

The thesis will review and analyse the creative work, focusing on themes of heritage and ‘difficult' heritage. It will discuss the process of archive research and interpretation, and consider what further contribution the Normansfield Archive Collection might make towards the heritage of learning disability.

  • Research degree: Practice-based PhD
  • Title of project: John Langdon Down's Normansfield; Stories from the archives and their potential contribution to heritage.
  • Research supervisor: Dr Helen Wickstead MCIfA FHEA
  • Other research supervisor: Professor Fran Lloyd

Biography

I joined Kingston University in 2012 and completed the taught MA in Museum and Gallery Studies the following year. Having felt that year fly by impossibly quickly, I applied to continue in higher education with a PhD.

Areas of research interest

  • Museums and heritage
  • The history of learning disability
  • Archives and archive research

Qualifications

  • MA (with Distinction) Museum and Gallery Studies, Kingston University London

Funding or awards received

  • Kingston University bursary