16th March 2020

Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) History student, Abigail White, has been nominated for a nationally recognised competition for outstanding MA thesis in History.

Abigail’s work entitled: ‘To what extent did the School Boards contribute to changes in teacher training colleges, 1890-1912? The case of Lincoln Diocesan Training College.’ explored the educational history of Lincoln Diocesan Training College (as BGU was once known) and made exceptional use of the University’s own library and archives. Focusing on the Training College it evaluates why teacher training colleges experienced change in the 1890s and into the twentieth century.

Following its publication, Abigail’s dissertation has been nominated for the Rees Davies Prize for an outstanding Master’s Thesis, an award which commemorates former Royal Historical Society President and distinguished medieval scholar, Professor Sir Rees Davies (1938-2005).

The prize is awarded for the best Master’s dissertation submitted by a UK institution of Higher Education. The winner is awarded a prize of £250 and invited to submit an article based on the dissertation to be considered for publication in the RHS Transactions.

Speaking following the announcement, Abigail described her pride at receiving the nomination and explained why that particular area of history proved so captivating:

“To find out that my piece of work had also been nominated for such a prestigious award was astonishing and a real privilege. Choosing my topic was the easiest part of the whole dissertation process.

I was, and still am, amazed that most of the buildings at BGU are original meaning that the Victorian students would have been as familiar with them as I am. For instance, on both the Chapel and Skinner building exterior walls you can see evidence of the college expansion that happened at the turn of the century in 1900. This, coupled with the fact that the students were young women whose opportunities for a career and independence was limited during this period, made BGU’s history unique and fascinating topic to write about.

Furthermore, using Lincoln Diocesan Training College as a topic also gave me the opportunity to see original documents detailing the student experience at Lincoln Diocesan Training College at the end of nineteenth century. So much so, that I was able to track a good majority of the students on the census which brought up some previously unknown insights including the fact that William Gladstone’s granddaughter, Margaret Wickham, completed a year of study here!”

If you’d like to follow in Abigail’s footsteps and uncover new adventures on a History course at BGU, visit our website, book onto one of our Open Days or speak to a member of our Enquiries Team.