A Journey of a History Graduate

Twenty Years of History at Lincoln

by Catherine Howlett




Studying History at The University of Lincoln was an amazing experience that shaped my understanding of the topic and established my passion for Art History and Archives.

During my first year of university I remember that a module which focussed of Renaissance Art initially inspired my interest of Art History. One of the projects as part of this module focused around analysing the artistic and social inspirations of a 15th century Florentine fresco – housed within the church of Santa Maria Novella – produced for a leading family of the time. The beauty and significance of the history which surrounded this painting and subsequently all the Renaissance Art of Florence fascinated me. This module and my newfound interest in art history inspired my choices for second- and third-year modules, most of which concentrated on art, architecture and archaeological objects of history. Throughout studying these modules, I began to explore possible career options in museums, galleries and archives. I wanted a career working alongside these objects that fascinated me so much. Consequently, I undertook work experience in the summer at my local museum. This experience allowed me to discuss my ambitions with those working in the museum and investigate possible postgraduate courses and careers.

As my interest in Florentine Renaissance Art grew at university, my choice of subject for my dissertation reflected this. I chose to explore the social, political and artistic inspirations for the construction and decoration of the 15th century Palazzo Medici in the centre of Florence.



Fortunately, the subject of my dissertation brought me to a summer internship with The Medici Archive Project in Florence. I was privileged to spend seven weeks of summer in Florence digitizing and transcribing archives in the centre of the historic city and enjoying the many sites and many events during the evenings. I attended the British Institute in Florence to improve my knowledge of the language which allowed me to meet like minded people to explore the city with. My experiences in Florence included evening life drawing classes, a spontaneous harpsichord concert in front of Michelangelo’s David and night time excursions to San Miniato al Monte for a view of the city from above.

Currently, I am working full time at the Diocese of Winchester alongside fellow history and art history graduates, with a view to commence my part time Masters degree in Archive Administration in March next year. After two years of part time study with volunteering in a local archive, I hope soon to be a qualified Archivist.