Catherine Pearson

Research Assistant

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education

Location: Chelmsford

Catherine is a Research Assistant within the FiMT Research Centre in the  Veterans and Families Institute for military Social Research (VFI). She is principally involved with the maintenance of the Veterans Research Hub.


Catherine graduated with a BA (Hons) in History (Medieval and Modern) from King’s College, London and subsequently gained a MA in Museum Studies at University College London.  Her PhD research examined the history of museums and galleries from 1925-1965, with an emphasis on the period of the Second World War.  Her PhD was undertaken at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London and she was awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award.  Her PhD thesis was published by Routledge in 2017.  

Catherine joined the Veterans and Families Institute in June 2017 to assist with research on service provision for Commonwealth Service Personnel, veterans and their families, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT).As a result of her PhD studies, Catherine discovered the journals of wartime museum curator, E.J. Rudsdale, and edited and published his journals as both a book and a blog.  The research was supported by the Essex Heritage Fund and the Hervey Benham Charitable Trust.  During her PhD, Catherine contributed to a number of museum and history seminars and conferences and was secretary to the Museums and Galleries History Group, helping to arrange an international conference on museum history at the National Gallery.  She has worked voluntarily for both museums and archives and has undertaken research with veterans of the Royal Observer Corps.  She also writes creative fiction for children and adults.  

Catherine has a keen interest in qualitative research methods, with a focus on archival sources and oral history testimonies. Catherine’s previous professional experience includes academic administration, library support work, curatorial and collections management, academic research and fundraising for the arts and education. 

Research interests

Museum history
Cultural history
Second World War Home Front studies
War artists
Wartime agricultural history
Wartime narratives and memoir
Wartime diaries and journals
Gender Studies
Industrial history
Creative writing


BA (Hons) History (Medieval and Modern), King’s College, London
MA Museum Studies, University College London
PhD History and Museum Studies, University College London

Memberships, editorial boards

Museums and Galleries History Group (MGHG)

Selected recent publications

Pearson, C. (forthcoming)  E.J. Rudsdale’s Journals of the Interwar Years.
Pearson, C. and Keene, S. (ed). 2017.  Museums in the Second World War: Curators, Culture and Change.  Routledge: Abingdon.
Pearson, C. 2015.  ‘Marconi’s and Hoffmann’s Past: The Frederick Roberts Archive of Industrial History’.  Anglia Ruskin University.
Pearson, C. 2014.  ‘Eric Ravilious and the Wedgwood Factory’.  Morley College, London.
Pearson, C. 2010.  E.J. Rudsdale’s Journals of Wartime Colchester.  The History Press: Stroud.
Pearson C. 2009-2015. A Civilian in the Second World War Internet blog publishing extracts from the Second World War journals of the curator and historian, E.J. Rudsdale: 
‘Art for the People: Museums and Cultural Life in the Second World War’, Museological Review: Conference Proceedings, 2007, 12, 1-12
‘Back to the Future: How World War Two shaped today’s museums’, Museums Journal, 2005, 105:2, 26-29

Media experience

BBC Radio 4’s Making History 
BBC Essex news and interview items