All posts by Amy

I'm Amy, a history B.A. from Carroll University. Even better, I'm just your everyday aspiring world traveler, history buff, professional procrastinator, rebel yeller, and self-proclaimed geek.

When Twitter+History=Awesome: #AskHenryVIII

I have been on Twitter (@a_williams06 and @MyLifeIsHistory) for over four years now, and I find it awesome. I use my personal account to keep tabs on friends, institutions, favorite artists and celebrities, causes I care about, etc. My “professional” account (the one I use for this blog) is used for following Twitter accounts that have a historical focus. These include museums, individuals, universities, professional organizations, and so forth. Mostly I post links to articles, but occasionally I’ll put in more personal tweets. Sometimes, Twitter can be put to use as a method of historical conversations… Continue reading When Twitter+History=Awesome: #AskHenryVIII

Sutton Hoo, treasure hunters and a lucky escape

I’ve seen the Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum! I experienced the exhibit back in September 2010 when I arrived in England to study at Lancaster University for a semester. Hearing so much about it and then seeing it made me want to study Anglo-Saxon England more, as it did the curator of the collection and author of this blog post.

Interestingly, it is a dream of mine to work at the museum one day, even as a volunteer. I love English history, and to be able to interact with old treasures such as these would be incredible.

British Museum blog

Sutton Hoo helmet Sue Brunning, curator, British Museum

Fifteen years ago I visited the British Museum as an undergraduate. As someone who’d most recently studied the English Civil War, I’d taken a course on Anglo-Saxon England because I was curious to learn what life was like at a time when the date only had three numbers in it. Our professor brought us to Room 41, the gallery of Early Medieval Europe – and there I had a fateful encounter with the Sutton Hoo ship burial. Dating to the early AD 600s, this remarkable Anglo-Saxon grave in Suffolk was arranged inside a 27-metre-long ship and covered with an earth mound, known to posterity as ‘Mound 1’. The burial’s spectacular nature has fuelled speculation that it belonged to a king of East Anglia. Seeing it back then for the first time, I was genuinely inspired. I’ve studied the Anglo-Saxons ever since.

Curators Sue Brunning (r) and Rosie Weetch (l) installing the Sutton Hoo helmet in the gallery Curators Sue Brunning (r)…

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Vikings at the British Museum; World War I portraits; and, Ruin Lust…

If you visited the exhibit, what did you think?

Exploring London

RoskildeThe Vikings come to the British Museum from today with the first major exhibition in more than 30 years. Vikings: life and legend , the first exhibition to be held in the new Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery, was developed with the National Museum of Denmark and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and looks at the Viking period from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. Featuring many new archaeological discoveries and objects never seen before in the UK alongside items from the British Museum’s own collection, the exhibition is centred on the surviving timbers of a 37 metre long Viking warship excavated from the banks of the Roskilde fjord in Denmark (pictured). Other items include skeletons recently excavated from a mass grave of executed Vikings in Dorset, the Vale of York Hoard (discovered in 2007) and a stunning hoard of silver from Gnezdovo in…

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“Pursue Your Passion, Make a Good Living, Change the World”

A few weeks ago, I discovered that Bill Nye, the famous scientist, comedian, and television host, was speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as part of their Geek Week and part of The Distinguished Lecture Series. Being that I grew up as part of the generation which watched his show Bill Nye the Science Guy, I knew I wanted to go. Fortunately, I was able to secure tickets, and last Monday, my boyfriend and I sat ourselves in the back of the large conference room where the event was to be held. It was with an almost childlike anticipation and excitement that I waited with baited breath for his appearance.

Continue reading “Pursue Your Passion, Make a Good Living, Change the World”

This Week in History: The Sinking of the Hunley

150 years ago, America was embroiled in one of the bloodiest wars ever fought on native soil: the American Civil War. 150 years ago, the North fought the South, brother fought brother, nation fought nation. 150 years ago, when the naval blockade of Southern ports threatened to choke the Confederacy, a little submarine defeated a Union vessel, sending it to the bottom of the sea. Almost in the same breath, however, the H.L. Hunley also sank. How and why it sank is a mystery.

Continue reading This Week in History: The Sinking of the Hunley

The Holing Game: The Curious Case of Hole v. White

(Editor’s note: This submission is from an English friend of mine, Hannah. I met Hannah when I studied in England in 2010, and she became one of my closest friends (especially because we were in the Lancaster University History Society together, and, well, that is awesome!)

In early modern England slander and libel were a very serious business. One of the most bizarre court cases recorded is that of Hole v. White. The case drew out for four years of testimonies, punishments and charges supervised by the Star Chamber, one of the most powerful courts in England.

Continue reading The Holing Game: The Curious Case of Hole v. White

A Castle A Week: Tintagel Castle

Everyone knows the legend of King Arthur, the British king born in the middle of a storm, with cracking lightning streaking across the angry skies and rumbling thunder booming ominously in the distance. He was born with a crown in one hand and a sceptre in the other, the true medieval king.

Actually, that is a little bit of an exaggeration…I took a bit of dramatic license to paint that picture. I crave your pardon, my faithful reader. Sometimes I get carried away in my narratives…on to Tintagel Castle!

Continue reading A Castle A Week: Tintagel Castle

Tilting at Windmills, Part Three

This is a fascinating article about the controversies surrounding taking photographs in museums, particularly art ones. I will refrain from my own personal views, but I will say I agree with almost all of the author’s assertions. What are your thoughts?

Thinking about museums

This is the third and final part of a series of posts on issues in museums that I thought warranted a bit of unpacking. In the first post, I looked at “immersion” and at “experience” and “participation” in the second. I wanted to understand more about visitor picture taking in museums and this is the result. There’s a lot of rhetoric expended on condemning or extolling the practice, but not as much trying to get at why people take out the camera and click in a museum.

In this super-long post, which I beg your forgiveness for not making shorter or breaking into pieces, I want to explore the positions of the pro and anti visitor photography lobbies, make some observations and then look at the underlying motivations. In the end, I’ll propose that digital souvenirs are just the latest way people in museums memorialize the event, and that the social…

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