Student receives award for research paper on Dr Kissling

Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society has awarded the 2020 Truckell Prize to Kirsty Kernohan, a Ph.D. research student from Aberdeen University.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 12:48 pm
Kirsty Kernohan

Usually the prize is awarded in person at the last meeting of the Society’s winter lecture programme in March, but Covid restrictions have prevented that this year.

The Truckell Prize was established in 2009 to commemorate the late Alf Truckell and his outstanding contribution to local studies in Dumfries and Galloway region, through many years as curator of Dumfries Museum.

It is awarded for the leading original research paper submitted to the Society on a human or natural history topic relating to the geographical area of Dumfries and Galloway.

A suitcase of Werner Kissling's archives and photographs

Entries are welcome from all, but must meet the editorial standards required by the Society’s ‘Transactions’, which are published annually.

Kirsty was awarded the 2020 prize for her research paper entitled ‘Dr Werner Kissling as an ethnographer and photographer of Dumfriesshire and Galloway’.

Dr Werner Kissling (1895-1988) was born into a wealthy family in Breslau and undertook German military service during WWI before studying law and political history.

Posted as a German diplomat to London in 1927, he made his home in the UK and pursued a lifetime of ethnographic research and photography.

Associated with Dumfries Museum from around 1958, Kissling spent 30 years documenting crafts, industry, fishing, farming and architecture in Dumfriesshire and Galloway.

During this time he took over 2000 photographs, now in Dumfries Museum. As part of an internship project in 2019, Kirsty catalogued and digitised some of these photographs and conducted interviews with people who remembered Kissling.

Kirsty used these interviews and Kissling’s photographs to explore his practice of ethnography in the region and present an assessment of his role in the community and the value of his work.

The research paper will be published in the Society’s ‘Transactions’ later this year.

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