My name is Eric M. Kelso, and I am a Masters of the Arts in Public History student at the University of Northern Kentucky. It has long been my desire to participate in a study abroad, but my financial circumstances have never been in a position to afford me such an opportunity. It is my hope that I can raise the majority of my funds needed from scholarships and funds such as International Study Scholarship which I have received through my university's Study Abroad program, as this will be my last opportunity for study abroad. This scholarship forms but one critical piece of funding needed for this travel opportunity. This study opportunity is the zenith of my academic career, and especially important for my father who passed away this past semester having never been to Scotland himself. I only include this because I wanted to convey the importance of this opportunity in both my academic prospect, and my unique emotional commitment, to do something my father would have wanted. My study abroad opportunity is one that I have written myself with the approval of Dr. Hackett (Public History Department) and Dr. Landon (Interim Department Chair for Arts and Sciences) to spend June 24th "“ July 1st, 2013 in Scotland studying a broad range of aspects in Public History.
Academically I will have the opportunity to visit several historic sites such as Melrose Abbey, museums including a new state of the art Bannockburn Museum, and archives such as the Scottish Genealogy Society archive in Edinburgh allowing me to experience how these facilities are managed in other parts of the world. The premier event on my itinerary is the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. This three day celebration includes forms of cultural, historical, and new technological aspects of Public History. Personally, I will be traveling to the home of my ancestors, and fulfilling something my father had longed for but was never able to do in his life. I have invested a lot of meaning and emotion into planning this trip from both an academic perspective and a genealogical outlook. I do consider this opportunity to be the height of my academic career, and an invaluable professional and emotional experience.
Any award will of the funding would be appreciated as it is necessary for my trip to raise all funds given my limited means. As a husband and father of four, collage has been an ongoing challenge to say the least. I have been very fortunate to have a patient wife who is often more of a single mother between my work and school commitments, but my employment is less than desirable. Even after graduation last spring I still deliver pizza for a living, and rely heavily on government aid. I have continued to persevere through many challenges along the way including a devastating house fire, and the recent loss of my father. I have always known that higher education is the best thing I could achieve for my family, and to that end I have sought to broaden my experience through this program. Quite literally this is a do die event for me, without help I simply cannot afford to go.
I have planned an itinerary that covers not a large area of Scotland with a wide range of Public History institutions of varying levels. I have included small museums such as the Largs Museum and Mary Queen of Scots House, museums that include a multi-media approach to interpretation and presentation of history such as the Vikingar! in Largs, and the new Bannockburn Welcome Center, Historical sites like Melrose Abbey and the Callendar House, larger museums including: Sterling Castle and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, to the largest archive in Scotland run by the Scottish Genealogy Society in Edinburgh. While studying these sites I will have an opportunity to see how they manage, interrupt, conserve, implement new technologies, and educate others about their perspective areas. I will be able to see presentations of large scale living history reenactments as well as obtain a broader understanding of the preservation of centuries old artifacts and sites.
This is in every way the most significant endeavor of my academic career both professionally and personally. As part of my study I will be doing a large amount of video and photographic documentation which will be used in a presentation of my trip. It is also my intent to arrange interviews with museum directors, curators, archivists, and living history reenactors to broaden my understanding, as well as other students who would attend my presentation. I have never been out of the country, all I know is America, I want to learn more and experience another culture while learning a little bit more about myself along the way. With your help I will gain a better understanding of Public History in the world.
Eric M. Kelso
Arrival in Glasgow, Scotland June 23rd, 2014
Pick up rental car from airport and Check-in with hotel. If time permits I should like to see:
Glasgow Cathedral $0
St. Andrews Cathedral $0
TUESDAY JUNE 24th, 2014
DESTINATION: LARGS, Scotland
DRIVE TIME: Approximately 1hr
DISTANCE: 51 km
While in the city of Largs I plan to visit:
Largs Museum, $0, which is a museum about the local history and family history of the area.
Vikingar! $6.75, An award winning experience on 500yrs Viking life leading up to the Battle of Largs in 1263 AD.
The Pencil Monument $0, commemorating the Scottish victory over the Vikings in 1263.
Kelsoland Manor $0, (more commonly known as the Brisbane House). Here I plan to document via video and still shot my families ancestral home, or what is left of it.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 25th, 2014
DESTINATION: Edinburgh, Scotland
DRIVE TIME: Approximately 1 hrs
DISTANCE: 76 km
Scottish Genealogy Society $0, while in Edinburgh I will use the day for research into my family history at the Scottish Genealogy Society. Exploring the largest Genealogical Archive in Scotland. This will require coordination and prep work prior to the trip in order to make the most of time available for research.
THURSDAY JUNE 26th, 2014
DESTINATION: Kelso, Scotland
DRIVE TIME: Approximately 2 ½ hrs
DISTANCE: 185 km
While in Kelso, and surrounding area, I plan to visit:
Kelso Abbey $0
Melrose Abby $8.25
Mary Queen of Scots House $4.50
FRIDAY JUNE 27th, 2014
DESTINATON: Falkirk, Scotland
DRIVE TIME: 35 min.
DISTANCE: 39 km
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum $0, before heading out to Falkirk I will visit a museum located in Glasgow.
"The Callendar House $0, dates from the 14th century. It is set in the nationally-important historic designed landscape of Callendar Park, which also contains a section of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site."
This day has been intentionally left with few things on the itinerary to allow time for making up any missed destinations due to unforeseen circumstances or weather. Also, once in Scotland I am sure to hear about other places I may want to see so I felt it was important to allow time for that.
SATURDAY JUNE 28th, 2014 "“ MONDAY JUNE 30th, 2014
DESTINATION: Stirling, Scotland
DRIVE TIME: 36 min.
DISTANCE: 43 km
On June 28th a 3-day celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn kicks off. This is the primary event of my trip as the festival coincides with the grand opening of a state-of-the-art museum on the battle. ":an innovative attraction with state-of-the-art 3D battle simulation that transforms the way visitors of all ages learn about Bannockburn." In addition to touring this new museum they will be hosting the largest living history reenactment of the battle in their history. Mock villages will be set up to show visitors through song, food, music, games and other forms of Scottish culture of the period.
Festival Information: $90 (Total 3 days)
Stirling Castle $21
TUESDAY JULY 1st, 2014
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