University of Leeds
As a historian of family life, I’ve long been interested in the ways that families pass on objects, stories, and their histories between generations. I’ve researched this theme through two projects: one looking at ‘family archives’ in different time periods, and the other examining what families do to ‘keep alive’ someone’s memory when they die, in twentieth-century Britain. In both cases, a mix of objects, documents, photos, places, and stories were important. I’ve also found that women are particularly influential in passing on stories, memories and things, and that the grandparent-grandchild relationship is often really important. This is true of my own family too: I have many objects from my own grandma, and stories too, despite the fact she died when I was five years old.
Pictured here is the small teddy bear and armchair, which she made and upholstered herself. She also left me stories she wrote and scrapbooks of her own history, featuring tickets, school certificates and other similar items which tell me about her own past. In doing so, though I have few memories of her myself, I have a very strong sense of her and our family history.
My full profile: https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/history/staff/895/dr-laura-king