On this trip to London, I’ll be combining my two great loves and studying libraries and London! I’ll be participating in the British Studies Program, which is sponsored by the University of Southern Mississippi and hosted by Kings’ College London. My course is officially called Library and Information Science in Historic and Contemporary Britain. We will be visiting libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage sites 4 days a week, with usually Fridays off to explore on our own. I am also responsible for conducting independent research on a topic of my choosing at the various libraries in London, which makes me so happy. I can’t wait to get back in the Guildhall Library reading rooms. The highlight of the course for me will be visiting the British Library’s Conservation Lab. I get panicky and excited just thinking about it. Another grading component of this class is writing a reflective journal, which all of you lovely people will get to read! Some of the places we’ll be visiting for class include:
- National Maritime Museum Library
- National Art Library (V&A)
- British Library
- Barbican Library
- St. Paul’s Cathedral Library
- Museum of London
- Bodleian Library, Oxford
- British Museum Archives
- Kew Gardens
- National Archives of Scotland
- New College Library, Edinburgh
So as you can see, I’m going to be a busy girl! I can’t wait to travel to Oxford, my other favorite English city and brief place of study/residence in 2011. It goes without saying that I’m thrilled to visit Edinburgh and return to the Motherland. I already have planned to research my people at the NAS.
I’m really excited for this trip for a lot of reasons, but I’m mainly excited to explore London on my own. My last stay was mainly about gaining my self-confidence and happiness back and learning how to be more independent and totally responsible for myself. I was also searching for my identity, which I found. Now that I have all of those things, I can focus more on deepening my understanding and love of the UK, and do things that push me out of my comfort zone, whether that be culturally, socially, or mentally. I’m so excited to have this opportunity and I cannot wait to get started!