I still don’t know if this kind of post is helpful. To anyone who hasn’t many/any visible outputs, reading someone else’s list of what they achieved is probably the very last thing they need to brighten their day – and I apologise. You’ve probably achieved other, equally or even more important things, which didn’t take the form of words on a page!
From my vantage point, as a researcher who sentenced herself to a career in librarianship, not necessarily as a first choice but what seemed at the time to be a reasonable one, I look at other academics’ lists of achievements and struggle not to compare myself – although realistically I cannot achieve as much research in 1.5 designated days a week as the average full-time academic. My research line-manager is more than content, so maybe I should remind myself of that more often.
So, what have I achieved?
As a librarian, I have spoken at two conferences, a panel discussion and as staff training for another library, about EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) in our own library. I have a paper being published in an academic journal next year, on the topic of women composers in libraries; but my proudest achievement was actually in sharing a song by a Victorian woman teacher in the junior department of the Athenaeum, that I had discovered in a research capacity, and which a singing student eagerly learned and presented as one of their competition entries in a recent singing competition at RCS. Discovering something, having someone else declare it lovely, and hearing them perform it beautifully, is a very special privilege.
As a researcher, I have another paper forthcoming in an essay collection, though I can hardly list details here before it has even gone through the editorial process. And another magazine article which has been accepted for 2024. Can’t include that either. Nor can I yet include the monograph I’m halfway through writing. I’ve done a ton of work in that respect, but it doesn’t count in a retrospective list of successes!
I’ve also applied for a grant which I didn’t get, and a fellowship for which the deadline is just today, so no news on that front for a little while.
That leaves this little list, the last item of which appeared through my letterbox at the turn of last year, so I’ve cheekily included it here again.
- ‘Representation of Women Composers in the Whittaker Library’, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice. Arises from a paper given at the International Women’s Day Conference hosted by the University of the Highlands and Islands, 2022. Peer-reviewed and pending publication.
- ‘Alexander Campbell’s Song Collecting Tour: ‘The Classic Ground of our Celtic Homer’, in Thirsty Work and Other Heritages of Folk Song (Ballad Partners, 2022), 180-192
- ‘An Extensive Musical Library’: Mrs Clarinda Webster, LRAM, Brio vol.59 no.1, 29-42
- ‘Burns and Song: Four New Publications’, Eighteenth Century Scotland, no. 36 (June 2022),12-15.
- ‘Strathspeys, Reels and Instrumental Airs: a National Product’, in Music by Subscription: Composers and their Networks in the British Music Publishing Trade, 1676–1820, ed. Simon D. I Fleming & Martin Perkins. (Routledge, 2022), 177-197
Meanwhile, as an organist, I’ve completed my first year in Neilston Parish Church, which has been a very healing experience. I love it there! This Christmas has seen three of my own unpublished carols being performed, one in Neilston and two in Barrhead; and earlier in the autumn I contributed a local-history kind of article to the Glasgow Diapason, the newsletter published by the Glasgow Society of Organists. Another publication! Might as well add it to the list:-
- ‘Trains, Trossachs, Choirs and the Council: Neilston Parish Church’s First Organist’, in The Glasgow Diapason Newsletter
Confession time. Sewing is my relaxation of choice, often influenced by something I’m researching. This year’s project, a Festival of Britain canvas-printed linen piece, relates to the aforementioned chapter that I’ve contributed to someone’s book.
I know I would get more research writing done if I didn’t sew in my leisure time, but I need that for my mental health. Swings and roundabouts…