Research Catalyst is a new research group confirming and consolidating the positive and productive relationship that has been developing between the Library and Learning Services and academics in various departments at Edge Hill University. We believe such collaborations are integral to the continued success of the now established research culture at Edge Hill. We welcome a wider membership but expect to maintain a broadly humanities focus.
Established in 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher training college in England for women, Edge Hill University is an institution that has supported and shaped the history of women’s education. Its archive has the potential to reveal the importance and impact of that role regionally, nationally and even internationally.
The University has an impressive £26 million library and a dedicated archives repository. In 2019 Edge Hill University appointed its first permanent archivist. That heralded a renewed emphasis on the potential importance of the archive and the necessity to improve accessibility by an online catalogue (archives.edgehill.ac.uk opened early 2021).
Challenges posed by the pandemic highlighted the importance of collaboration in terms of student, researcher and public support and the accessibility of materials.
- To understand and enhance the value of academic and research libraries working as partners and as collaborators and leaders in research.
- To seek collaboration, enhance accessibility and develop research partnerships with partners, organisations and societies beyond university gates.
- To understand the nature and extent of the barriers and challenges that exist to nurturing this potential and to take steps to mitigate hem.
A major project planned from the outset is to produce an academic history of the University and to make use of that research to explore the historical relationships and networks between Edge Hill and its regional, national and potentially international contexts. Every trainee and student who studied at Edge Hill in the past had their own history and, upon leaving Edge Hill, forged their own history in their own communities. That, we believe, is of interest not just to Edge Hill but to all of those communities. Therefore, we intend to also open out our research to interested parties in the hope that those parties will become partners in our research journey.