Kate Targett began her career as a journalist in the USA, before arriving in the UK in 1984. Here she put her honours degrees in history and English to work as Press Officer and ‘wordsmith’ for five counties of the English Tourist Board. In 1992 she joined the Plunkett Foundation, initially with the international development department and subsequently as Information Services Manager, librarian and archivist. A substantial grant from the Ireland Funds in 1998 enabled her to undertake a major project of heritage conservation, preservation and electronic classification for the Foundation’s historic collection of co-operative books, journals, manuscripts and correspondence.
After a year studying and teaching English as a Foreign Language at Oxford Brookes University, Kate returned to her major interest in the Foundation’s heritage in 2003. At the invitation of ICOS Director-General John Tyrrell and James Moloney, Chairman of the IAWS (now One51), she transcribed, annotated and indexed the fifty-one volumes of Sir Horace Plunkett’s handwritten diaries. Covering the years 1881 to 1932, these documents clarify and amplify Plunkett’s colourful biography, as well as his unique role in the social, political and co-operative landscape of Ireland, England and America.
Since retiring in 2008 Kate has remained committed to promoting a range of social enterprises and occasionally edits material for co-operative publications. She became a Fellow in 2011.