Over the last few years, Professor Helen Johnston and Professor Heather Shore have been working directly with Leah Mellors, Curator at Ripon Museums Trust, on a number of projects.

Most recently, they contributed to museum content (interpretation panels) for the ‘Rogues & Vagabonds’ exhibition, which ran between June and December 2019 at the three Ripon museums: workhouse, courthouse, and prison and police station.

Photo: By Gerard Binks

A collaborative project between RMT and HMP Askham Grange women’s prison has also been informed by Professor Johnston’s historical research on women in prison through the creative arts project ‘Prisoners on Prisoners’, led by Faye Claridge (pictured, right) This fascinating project, which opened at the end of the February, will be at the museums until September 2020.

The project shares the experiences of current and historic female prisoners through audio, textiles and photography. Faye connects historic prison archives with inmates at HM Askham Grange, to explore similarities and differences in their lives and prison experiences.

Through prison workshops for participants to ‘adopt’ a prisoner from the museum’s Edwardian and Victorian criminal record books, Faye has made recordings of their comparisons and created portraits to link with archive mugshots. The artwork gives prisoners a way to share their perspectives and for prison museum visitors to consider the individual lived experience of justice systems.

Faye Claridge (pictured, right) said: “The participants at Askham Grange really connected with the museum archives. Their thoughts on how prison has changed their lives and what changes might have helped prisoners 100-or-so years ago are really moving.”

‘Prisoners on Prisoners’ will be in Cell 13 of the Ripon Prison and Police Museum until 6 September 2020. The project’s progress can be followed through Instagram and twitter with @fayeclaridge, @riponmuseums or #PrisonersOnPrisoners.

For more information, please visit Ripon Museums website.

Latest Updates on Twitter

Also from 'Reviews in History' this week:

Rebecca Mason on 'Women before the Court' (@ManchesterUP) by Lindsay R. Moore https://reviews.history.ac.uk/review/2415

An 'important contribution' to studies of women's access to justice, 1600-1800.

#twitterstorians #earlymodern

The recording of our recent Wilberforce Institute Debate - 'Not Made By Slaves' - is now available through our channel if you missed it. Hosted jointly with @FreetownSociety and the @UniOfHull, it discusses the recent monograph by @BronwenEverill. Click ➡️ https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/6211628678705217026

Half the tickets are sold already! If you want to join me making embroidered images, please book soon. https://twitter.com/CriminalQuilts/status/1305902239630921728

The 1916 leader Eamon Ceannt was born on this day, 21 September, 1881. He was very active in the Gaelic revival and played the uillean pipes. When performing he sometimes wore a traditional Irish costume which included a sporran, now in the Kilmainham Gaol collection.

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Today I finally finished one of the biggest tasks of my PhD. 3875 items collated from three asylum catalogues: each transcribed, sorted, cleaned up, individually researched to maximise information, & recategorised. Not too pretty, but ready for analysis!

If you missed any of the fascinating videos from last week's @heritageopenday you can catch up with all 14 from ourselves and @ERMuseums via this playlist on #YouTube 👉 🎥 🎞️

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