Interviewing History bloggers – the first interview done

The National Archives
The National Archives

A couple of weeks ago I was on the London Underground – a rarity for me.  It just so happened that it was the 150th anniversary of the Tube in London.   There was nothing on the Tube itself to mark such an occasion as far as I could see, but it gave me a little thrill to think that I was making a similar journey as the first person to travel it did some century and a half ago.  But this is all rather beyond the point of this blog post.  I was on the Tube to head out to Kew where the National Archives are based.  The reason: to carry out my first interview for this project.

It’s been about seven years since I last visited the TNA (National Archives).  Not much has changed so it was quite comforting to be back there.  My interview was being conducted with Ruth Ford (Online Editor for TNA) and was to focus on best practise, purposes of blogging, and success of the blog.  One thing that I was particularly interested to ask was about the unique design of the blog.  Ruth confirmed that they had had someone in-house to design if for them, but that the system itself was an ordinary wordpress site.  I hadn’t realised this, as most wordpress blogs are instantly recognisable once you’ve been blogging for a while.  It was nice to be surprised by this little revelation.

The interview went well and lasted a little over 30 minutes.  Afterwards there was time to quickly check out the exhibition where, to my excitement, there was a copy of the Act of Supremacy which had placed the English Church officially under Henry VIII’s direct control and various letters by Bess of Hardwick.  Being a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan, I was also interested to see various letters and military documents relating to J.R.R. Tolkien.  The exhibition is well worth a look.

I will be editing the interview file very soon and it will shortly afterwards appear on the Blogging for Historians blog – so watch this space!

Please also don’t forget that I currently have an online survey about blogging for Historians.  If you haven’t already filled this in I would be really appreciative if you can spend a few minutes on it: