Emma Donington Kiey’s internship

Posted on September 2, 2019 by

Our final internship story is by Emma Donington Kiey, a History student, who worked on the project Image to Text: the Mary Hamilton Papers. Emma transcribed an exchange of letters in 1779 between Mary Hamilton and the Prince of Wales, using images provided by the Royal Archives at Windsor, and she marked them up in TEI/XML. During her internship, Emma managed to process 79 letters, of which 30 are already on the project website. Below is Emma’s own account of the internship.

During my summer internship I worked with Prof. David Denison and Dr Nuria Yáñez-Bouza from the Linguistics & English Language Department on the ‘Mary Hamilton Papers’ project. My role was as transliterator and research assistant on correspondence between Mary Hamilton and George, Prince of Wales, dated from May to December 1779, in collaboration with the Royal Archives. The work entailed transcribing the letters and annotating the content, the results being published as part of the wider collection accessible to readers online.
The transcription I completed is of personal correspondence at the time George IV was Crown Prince, and Mary was at Windsor working as a governess to his younger sisters. The letters in this collection show great affection between the two, and the capacity in which we are able to see this offers a unique outlook on the at times clumsy relationship between Mary and the young Prince. They had a close friendship based on shared interests such as literature and language, which is evident through every letter I read. Their correspondence was inspiring, from both an historical and a linguistic perspective, and overall, I found it a complete joy to transcribe; during the two months I spent reading the letters I truly became invested in their story.
As a history student the project was a fascinating insight into the social history of the late 18th century court and Royal family, and I have acquired a new linguistic approach which I can apply to my future academic studies. The coding skills I learnt as a research assistant were at first challenging, but as I became more familiar with the subject material I grew more confident, able to work with great accuracy and consistency. I thoroughly enjoyed all the different learning aspects of my internship, and I feel very privileged to have worked on such an interesting example of living history. It has been an invaluable experience which will help me in so many ways going forward to Postgraduate study, especially in regards to my approach to independent learning and research skills.
I would like to sincerely thank David and Nuria for their help and guidance throughout my internship.