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The University of Southampton
Public Engagement with Research

Case Study 2016/17

Voyage out

The Voyage Out: Life on board East India Company ships

Project contacts:


British Library

Engagement activitity:

Project summary:

The project aimed to use primary source material from the British Library to illustrate the experiences of passengers on board East India Company ships. We have built up a deeper relationship with the British Library and also identified important primary sources for future research use. Four blogs were written regarding the project for the British Library’s own Untold Lives blog.

Key outcomes:

The key activity was a public engagement event that brought together actors and subject specialists in front of an audience. Through the actors, the project team made a new contact at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Dr Chris Whitty). In addition, we have a workable script which can be performed at other locations (e.g. Chawton House Library). In addition, the event was filmed and recorded. The British Library have put a podcast up on Soundcloud. The edited video of the event, plus behind the scenes footage, is put on the BL’s Youtube account and linked to our project webpage. The podcast and videos can be reused and/or edited to suit UoS requirements. The event and blog did stimulate audience discussion and also drew attention to UoS research.

What's next:

The project brought together academics from Economics, Music and History. Other similar projects are being discussed and the current one is being considered for extension. In addition, the project team is looking at the possibility to publish a book and is currently in discussion with Chawton House Library to hold similar to BL event.

The Voyage Out | Project ReportThe Voyage Out| Project Page
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