Charlotte Holmes

Curator of urban and social history, Birmingham Consultancy, Midlands

Charlotte Holmes - Curator of urban and social history

I’m Charlotte, a curator of urban and social history. I joined the National Trust in 2018. My job is interesting, varied and very close to my heart.

Image of the Back to Backs corner

I grew up in inner-city Birmingham and feel really privileged to work with the history of this great city, as well as some other special places in the midlands. 

There is no typical day in this role; one day I might be working with volunteers going through the dusty archive at Moseley Road Baths. Another day I could be working with the team at the Workhouse House, Southwell thinking about how we connect experiences of poverty in the past with the challenges society faces today. 

The No.2 pool at Moseley Road Baths, still open for swimming
The No.2 pool at MRB
The No.2 pool at Moseley Road Baths, still open for swimming

I work with lots of really passionate and knowledgeable people, both staff and volunteers.

History and English were my favourite subjects at school and I went on to study archaeology and then museum studies. I have spent much of my working life in museums. 

I love the fact that at the National Trust looks after so many amazing places, I get to work in historic buildings, the urban environment and beautiful green spaces. 

The Workhouse in summer
The Workhouse and gardens in summer
The Workhouse in summer

I hope my work honours those who have gone before. I’m particularly keen to share the stories of extraordinary everyday people and those whose history may have been overlooked or omitted. 

Some of my work involves collecting histories that are still in living memory, and it’s a privilege to learn about the recent past from those who lived it. I believe it’s important to tell history as it was lived, in its true colour and vibrancy.

At the moment I’m working on how we foster empathy and challenge the assumptions we often make about people in the past and present.