Dr Eliza McKee

  • Position: Principal Researcher Northern Ireland Records
  • Specialism: History of Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster, Social and Dress history of modern Ireland (19th and 20th centuries)
  • eliza.mckee@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Eliza McKee is a social historian of dress, consumption and material culture in 19th- and 20th-century Ireland. She is particularly interested in the clothing of the lower classes, the material culture of poverty, histories of ‘everyday’ life, folklore and vernacular culture.

Before joining The National Archives in 2022, Eliza completed her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). At QUB, she taught modules on the social, cultural and political history of 19th- and 20th-century Ireland. Eliza also holds an MA in Archives and Records Management from the University of Liverpool, an MA in Irish History and a BA in Modern History, both undertaken at QUB.

In 2022, Eliza was awarded the William James McHenry Award in Historical and Decorative Arts to support her new research project, ‘A visual and material history of shawls in Ireland’. Eliza has previously been awarded prizes and funding for her research by the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Women’s History Network, and The Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

At The National Archives, Eliza is focusing on research into records relating to Northern Ireland and modern Ireland.

Select publications

Eliza McKee, ‘Travelling tailors and shoemakers and the making of everyday clothing in rural Ireland, c. 1850-1914’ in Bethan Bide, Jade Halbert and Liz Tregenza (eds), Everyday fashion in Britain since 1600 (London, 2023), forthcoming with Bloomsbury Fashion.

Eliza McKee, ‘The tailors generally went from house to house in those days’: travelling tailors and the making of apparel in the rural Irish dwelling, 1850-1900’ in Heather Laird and Jay Roszman (eds), The Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland: Dwelling(s) in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Liverpool, 2023), forthcoming with Liverpool University Press.

Eliza McKee and Elaine Farrell, ‘Captured in the clothing: Ireland, 1850s-1890s’ in Dress: The Journal of Costume Society of America, April 2022 online pre-print.

Eliza McKee, ‘The origins and development of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, 1922-1948’ in Archives and Records, xl, no. 2 (2019), pp 164-78.

Eliza McKee, ‘Review of Margaret Spufford and Susan Mee, “The clothing of the common sort, 1570-1700”’ in The Journal of Dress History, iii, no. 3 (2019), pp 92-94.