Curriculum Vitae

Mostly up to date.

Aberystwyth sunset, 2005

Summary

  • Employment and Experience
    • Project management: successfully managed several large digital history/humanities projects
    • Research: early modern crime, women and gender, British and Welsh history
    • Teaching: undergraduate teaching in general history modules and specialist research areas
    • Training: practical training in the use of digital techniques and tools
  • Education
    • Grants and Prizes
  • Public Engagement and Support
    • Use of blogs and social media to communicate history beyond academic audiences and support historians' networks
  • Digital and Web Skills
    • Computing, databases and digital research
    • Websites: web development and design with HTML/CSS, PHP and MySQL, WordPress, etc
  • Publications
    • Books, Articles, Reports
    • Writing for the web
    • Conference papers and presentations

Employment and Experience

Digital History Project Manager

August 2006-present, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield. Currently project manager for the major AHRC-funded project The Digital Panopticon (2013-17). Previous digital history projects managed include Old Bailey Proceedings Online 1674-1913, London Lives 1690-1800, Locating London's Past, Manuscripts Online 1000-1500, and Connected Histories 1500-1900

Research Associate

March-August 2013, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield. Research and writing for online course material for the History Data Management Training project (lead institution: Institute of Historical Research, London).

Developer for Digital History Resources

2011-2013, University of Hertfordshire (casual contract). Ongoing development work on the Old Bailey Online and London Lives projects, including work on site updates and social media communications

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship

October 2003-July 2006, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Dept. of History and Welsh History. Postdoctoral research on crime and violence in seventeenth-century Wales and Cheshire; included undergraduate teaching (early modern crime and first-year introductory courses).

Part-time Tutor

May-July 2003, UWA, Centre for Continuing Education. Teaching a Continuing Education history course on crime in eighteenth-century Wales.

Postgraduate Tutor

September-December 2000, UWA, Dept. of History and Welsh History. Seminar teaching for the department's core second-year undergraduate course on historiography

Digital history project management

Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online (2006-08) and London Lives 1690-1800 (2006-10)

Responsibilities included monitoring quality of scanning and rekeying of the original volumes; managing the storage, organisation and backup of project data; working closely throughout the project with the programmers who were responsible for the technical process, from the automated XML markup of the rekeyed texts to the production of the database and final website; work on integrating the original and new data (eg, adding new offence and punishment categories); supervision of the team of staff who carried out additional manual markup, prioritising the allocation of work and monitoring project progress; development of online tools to facilitate collaborative work by project staff who were geographically separated, including documentation of manual markup and production of static content for the final website. Ongoing work includes responding to queries from site users, working on site updates, and using social media to promote the site and communicate with audiences.

Connected Histories 1500-1900 (2009-11) and Manuscripts Online 1000-1500 (2011-13)

Work on these JISC-funded projects to create federated search engines for digital resources for British history and for medieval manuscript studies was highly challenging, as it involved bringing together and processing massive amounts of data from a number of publishers of digital sources, both commercial and non-profit. Among other responsibilities, I worked with the source providers and university research office in negotiations for license agreements, and supervised the delivery of data to the project programmers. I worked closely with the programmers on the indexing and processing of data, including the application of natural language processing to unstructured text sources.

Crime in the Community: Enhancing User Engagement for Teaching and Research with the Old Bailey Online

One of the case studies in the Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources, this JISC-funded project (2010-11) had two elements. Firstly we carried out a rapid user impact analysis to provide information for the second part of the project, a number of enhancements to the website to facilitate its use in academic research and teaching. My responsibilities included: logfile analysis of the website's traffic since 2003; implementation of an online survey; detailed bibliometric analysis of publications citing OBO; interviews of academics and focus groups of students; drafting the analysis report; producing a number of tutorials and research guides for the site and building a new Zotero-based bibliography to facilitate future group collaboration.

Locating London's Past: A Geo-Referencing Tool for Mapping Historical and Archaeological Evidence, 1660-1800

Locating London's Past created a GIS interface that enables researchers to map and visualize textual and artefactual data relating to seventeenth and eighteenth-century London against a fully rasterised version of John Rocque's 1746 map of London and the first accurate modern OS map (1869-80). My work on this included preparation of datasets for inclusion in the resource and georeferencing tagged placenames in Old Bailey Online and London Lives.

Digital projects »

Research

Within a broad concern with British social history from c.1550-1850, my research interests concentrate on early modern crime, disputes and violence, women and gender, sexuality and 'the body'. My research has focused primarily on witness narratives in legal records, as valuable sources not only for exploring the experiences and mentalities of early modern people but also for asking questions about authority, order and disorder from localities to the state. My PhD research on crime in early modern Wales focused on the rich criminal court archives of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Denbighshire and my subsequent post-doctoral research expanded on this work to explore violence in north Wales and Cheshire. This research produced conference papers, articles and a monograph. More recently, my work has led me to focus on eighteenth-century London, including using the records of the Old Bailey and London Lives projects to explore sexuality and bastardy, thinking about arson trials and fraud, and exploring data mining and visualisation techniques.

Teaching and Training

The focus of my teaching in the past has been small group work. I participated in seminar teaching of departmental undergraduate courses and have taught two modules of my own, one to second-year undergraduates and one course of evening classes for adult learners (formally accredited at first-year undergraduate level). I have supervised and guided second-year students in choosing and researching projects for a 'skills and sources' module focusing on early modern crime.

I have trained project staff in the use of XML markup and tools. I have led workshops and created training resources for using the reference management software Zotero.

Education

PhD, History

1999-2003, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Dept. of History and Welsh History
('Crime, community and authority in early modern Wales: Denbighshire, 1660-1730', pdf)

MA, Women's and Gender History

1998-99, University of York, Dept. of History

BA (Hons), History

1995-98, UWA, Dept. of History and Welsh History

Grants and Prizes

  • British Academy post-doctoral fellowship, 2003-06.
  • Arts and Humanities Research Board: Three-year PhD studentship, University of Wales Aberystwyth, 1999-2002.
  • Susan Anderson Memorial Prize in Women's History, University of York, 1999 (MA Dissertation, 'Gender and defamation in York, 1661-1700: reputation, authority and the power of words').
  • AHRB: One-year MA studentship, University of York, 1998-99.

Public Engagement and Communications

Writing for the Web

I have written about my research and historical interests for a substantial academic and general audience on a weblog for several years and I use Twitter extensively in both personal and project-related capacities. I co-ordinate two popular history-related blog 'carnivals', which provide showcases of quality blogging for and by academics and non-academic historians alike. I am deeply committed to the use and importance of blogging and social media tools for disseminating historical research to general audiences and creating community support networks for historians.

Early Modern resources »

Blogs and Social Media

Blogging resources »

Selected Writing

Digital Skills

Computing

I designed my own databases for both quantitative and qualitative analysis in my PhD and postdoctoral research. I have used the internet extensively as an educational and research tool since the late 1990s, and I have been using HTML/CSS and designing my own websites for almost as long. Apart from building websites from scratch with PHP and MySQL, I have several years' experience setting up and customising PHP-based open source content management and other web software including WordPress, Drupal, MediaWiki and PmWiki. I have some experience working with REST APIs. I am currently learning more about R, XQuery/XPath, and data visualisation techniques with tools such as D3.js. I have a general understanding of the principles and use of XML markup and metadata.

Websites

Publications and Papers

Books

  • Law and Disorder in Early Modern Wales, 1660-1730, University of Wales Press: Cardiff, 2008.

Journal articles

  • 'Bloody Code: Reflecting on a decade of the Old Bailey Online and the digital futures of our criminal past', Law, Crime and History 5:1 (2015) (OA journal)
  • 'Servants in early modern Wales: co-operation, conflict and survival', Llafur: the Journal of Welsh People's History, 9 (2005), pp. 33-43.
  • 'Investigating responses to theft in early modern Wales: communities, thieves and the courts', Continuity and Change, 19 (2004), pp. 409-30.
  • 'Imagining the pain and peril of seventeenth‑century childbirth: danger and deliverance in the making of an early modern world', Social History of Medicine, 16 (2003), pp.367-82.
  • 'Riotous community: crowds, politics and society in Wales, c.1700-1840', Welsh History Review, 20 (2001), pp. 656-86.

Reports, reviews and other publications

Publications archive »

Selected conference papers and presentations

  • London Lives Petitions Project: Remixing and Remaking Digital Histories, Digital Humanities Congress, Sheffield, September 2016
  • What can you do with 10,000 petitions? (web presentation of talk) Addressing Authority: Petitions and Supplications in Early Modern Europe (London, March 2016)
  • 'The Digital Panopticon', Transforming research through Digital Scholarship, British Library, November 2013 (slides)
  • 'Bloody Code: reflecting on a decade of Old Bailey Online and the digital future of our criminal past', Our Criminal Past: Digitisation, Social Media and Crime History AHRC Network Event, London Metropolitan Archives, May 2013.
  • 'London Lives and bastardy' (workshop session), London Lives Unconference, University of Hertfordshire, July 2010.
  • 'Unmarried mothers in eighteenth-century London', North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), Louisville, November 2009.
  • 'Making lives digital: the challenge of creating Plebeian Lives', British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies annual conference, Oxford, January 2009.
  • 'Internet sources for local population history: the Old Bailey Proceedings and Plebeian Lives', Local Population Studies Society Conference, Sheffield, November 2008.
  • 'Digital History 2.0? Collaboration, community and interactivity in the digitisation of history', The Metropolis on Trial, Open University, July 2008.
  • 'Gentlemen and interpersonal violence in seventeenth-century Britain', Icons and Iconoclasts: The Long Seventeenth Century, 1603 to 1714, Aberdeen, July 2006.
  • '"Common quarrellers" and disputing neighbours: everyday violence in its local contexts in seventeenth-century southern Britain', Assaulting the Past: Placing Violence in Historical Context, University of Oxford, July 2005.
  • 'Abuses of authority? Local communities, law officers and the courts in north-east Wales, c.1660-1720'. Themes in the History of Crime, Justice and Policing in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Britain, Open University, March 2005.
  • 'Maidservants in the court records of early modern Wales: co-operation, conflict and survival'. Re-Presenting the British Past: Women, Gender and History in the British Isles, University of Glamorgan, April 2004.
  • ' "Furiously attached to the Stuart interest": the politics of religion in Wrexham, c.1660-1730'. Understanding Urban Wales, University of Wales Swansea, September 2003.
  • 'Communities policing "criminal" bodies in early modern Wales'. Controlling Bodies: The Regulation of Conduct 1650-2000, University of Glamorgan, June 2002.
  • 'Early modern criminal law in practice: murder and manslaughter in seventeenth-century Denbighshire'. Fifteenth British Legal History Conference, Aberystwyth, July 2001.