Our people

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Professor Edward Higgs

Professor Higgs, a founding member of the Centre is a leading figure in the field of digital history. Perhaps most notably, Professor Higgs is a lead researcher on the landmark I-CeM project. I-CeM, now one of the most important historical datasets available, is an integrated record of the censuses of Great Britain for the period 1851 to 1911. The project received one of the largest personal grants ever awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Position in department Head of Department
Staff position Professor
Email ejhiggs@essex.ac.uk
Current research My research focuses on the history of state, commercial and private forms of identification in Britain over the last 500 years. As the current Head of Department I seek to promote the use of digital methods both in our teaching and research methodologies, and within the discipline more widely.
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Dr Lisa Smith

Dr Smith studied history at the University of Alberta and the University of Essex from 2002 to 2015 and served as a member of the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan before returning to Essex in 2015 to assist in the founding of the Centre. Dr Smith is responsible for an extensive online database of Sir Hans Sloane’s correspondence, is a co-investigator on a crowd-sourcing recipes transcription project, was a founding editor of The Recipes Project blog and serves as a regular contributor to Wonders & Marvels.

Position in department Graduate Director Research
Staff position Lecturer
Email lisa.smith@essex.ac.uk
Current research I am finishing a book on “Domestic Medicine: Gender, Health and the Household in Eighteenth Century England and France”. This book examines the household as the primary setting for health care provision and illness experience, specifically the way in which gender shaped the health of both sexes.
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Dr Justin Colson

Dr Colson studied history at Royal Holloway, University of London, completing his PhD in 2011. Currently the reviews editor for the journal Urban History, Dr Colson has a keen interest in local history and is an expert in the digital field. His areas of interest in this regard include Geographic Information Systems and digital spatial analysis, digital prosopography and Social Network Analysis, and analysis of ‘big data’.

Staff position Lecturer
Email jcolson@essex.ac.uk
Current research My research focuses upon the identities and networks of working people in England between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, spanning the traditional division between pre- and post-Reformation history. In other work on occupational identity I have explored quantitative analyses of London’s occupational geography, and more recently conducted large scale analysis of indexes to testaments from 1400 to 1850 to examine the prevalence of will making, and to trace the growth of professions such as medicine in relation to the overall occupational landscape.
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Dr Amanda Wilkinson

Dr Wilkinson, a specialist in the field of women’s occupations in the 19th century, was a key member of the I-CeM team, alongside Professor Higgs. A keen blogger with an interest in outreach and impact, Dr Wilkinson works extensively with the I-CeM database, with the aim of writing a new history of women’s economic contribution to 19th century society. Dr Wilkinson is currenty our embedded Eastern ARC Research Fellow for Digital Humanities.

Staff position Eastern ARC Research Fellow for Digital Humanities
Email aaustia@essex.ac.uk
Current research My current research focuses on the enumeration of women’s occupations in the Victorian censuses of England and Wales, with the aim of creating a new history of women’s economic contribution to society and the changing patterns in occupations available to working class women, and how the differences experienced by females across the country.
I am also involved in Digital Humanities and Big Data and work extensively with the I-CeM database.
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Dr David Rundle

Dr David Rundle, a keen blogger with an interest in digital research, is a Lecturer and the Co-Director of the Centre for Bibliographical History. He is also serves as honorary lecturer in the Department of History. His current “lost manuscripts” project is working to create a web based catalogue and data source of manuscript fragments throughout the British isles.

Staff position Honorary Lecturer
Email drundle@essex.ac.uk
Biography David is particularly interested in the travels of ideas across Renaissance Europe. In studying this, he makes especial use of the material evidence of surviving books to reconstruct the itineraries that text took. This is most successful when studying manuscripts with the wealth of information that the handwriting and construction of the volume – its palaeography and its codicology – can provide historians. This methodology is central to a set of special lectures David gave in Oxford in the autumn of 2013 on ‘English Humanist Scripts up to c. 1509’. Those lectures are the first output of a project which will see a catalogue of those scripts published in the prestigious Handwriting of the Italian Humanists series. David is also completing a long-awaited (not least by himself) monograph on England and Italian Renaissance Humanism.
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