Women’s heritage? Is that even a thing? Yes it is! And Heritage Week wants to celebrate it.
What women do and how they do it are distinctive parts of National Heritage. Sometimes it’s reflected in the lives of the exceptional women who refused to be excluded from public life. It can just as well be seen in all the hand-knitted Aran jumpers our busy grandmothers knitted!
This Heritage Week has a great selection of things to do:
Go to a seaweed event, a lichen foray, an exhibition trail or a discussion commemorating the life and work of botanist Ellen Hutchins.
Find out about female scientists in the Midlands with a film documentary of early photographer Lady Mary Rosse (did you know she was also a blacksmith?) and Mary Ward, who wrote books about microscopy .
Want more science? Like jellyfish?? The Natural History Museum is the place for family fun in the name of self-taught marine biologist (and Donegal woman) Maud Delap.
Caring for the poor was one way in which women could carve out a role in public life. Mary Aikenhead set up a school for poor children and the first hospital staffed by women. Now you can visit the place that she lived in.
The commemorations of Easter 1916 have produced many fine stories about the women who were involved. For Heritage Week you can visit an exhibition in Waterford on their activities nationwide. Or what about an exhibition about Kilkenny one hundred years ago seen through the diary of Florence Hackett.
Written by Jane Maxwell, Principal Curator of the Library at Trinity College Dublin