This scheme enabled a doctoral student or early career academic researcher to do a short-term work placement with a company from within London’s Creative Economy. Below are examples of placements that Creativeworks London has funded. More information about the scheme can be found here.

PHD-In-Residence Scheme

Ragged School Museum and Dr Peter Mitchell from Queen Mary University of London

SME Partner

Erica Davies, Ragged School Museum

PhD Student/Early Career Researcher

Dr Peter Mitchell, Queen Mary University of London


Professor Jerry Brotton, Queen Mary University of London

Project Name

Peopling the Ragged School: uncovering the past, enriching the present, using archival collections to engage new museum audiences.

Project Description

Dr Peter Mitchell’s residency at the Ragged School Museum in Mile End, London, set out to supervise the transcription and collation of archival records, namely the attendance registers of Dr Barnardo’s Ragged School (now the site of the museum). The transcription of these materials was conducted with the intention to enable the museum to plan new displays, bring to life the narratives of the children and strengthen a future bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Working with three surviving registers that are housed at the London Metropolitan Archives Dr Mitchell transcribed 2,612 entries, approximately accounting for around half the schools overall roster of students. Dr Mitchell presented the transcriptions alongside a detailed report on the residency. The Cooperfield Road Freeschools Registers sheds light on the history of the Dr Barnardo’s Ragged School and gives the reader an insight into the processes undertaken in the residency.

It is hoped that this work will open ways for the museum to connect with genealogists, local historians and heritage enthusiasts, especially via the eventual creation of an online database.

Since the residency Queen Mary University London and the Ragged School Museum have worked on a new project, Educating the East End: Past and Present. The collaboration with the School of Geography will continue the work started during the residency, developing exhibition content and new learning materials for key stages 1, 2 and 3. The new project has secured twelve thousand pounds in funding from Queen Mary’s Humanities & Social Sciences Collaboration Fund.



Queen Mary - University of London
Arts & Humanities Research Council
European Union
London Fusion

Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) to develop strategic partnerships with creative businesses and cultural organisations, to strengthen and diversify their collaborative research activities and increase the number of arts and humanities researchers actively engaged in research-based knowledge exchange.