Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Institute of Historical Research (Associate Fellow)
Website URL
public librarians, public libraries, Crystal Palace, exhibition cultures, social class, modern London, gender
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I received a doctorate from the University of East London in 2006. I am a social historian working in public history as an archives educator. Since 2011, I have developed and taught 300+ one-off sessions, workshops and courses on modern political and social history (c.1800-1980) to students of all ages and abilities, from archive learning sessions for formal learners (Key Stage 2 to Postgraduate) to short courses for informal adult learners. Subjects covered include women’s history, radical politics, racism and anti-racism, tourism and leisure, London’s East End, and life on the Home Front during wartime. I have also devised and facilitated 100+ workshops for heritage projects to teach core skills including oral history, research and interpretation.

Alongside my teaching, I research and write about British public librarians in the long nineteenth century (the subject of my PhD dissertation). Their lives have much to tell us about social mobility, regional identity, masculinity, leisure practices, the rise of professionalism and occupational networks.

Recent Publications

‘“The Supposed Paradise of Pen and Ink”: Self-education and Social Mobility in the London Public Library (1880-1930),’ forthcoming, Cultural & Social History, Nov 2018

‘“Good Feeling and Brotherliness”: Leisure, the Suburbs and the Society of Public Librarians in London (1895-1930)’, The London Journal, Vol. 39, No. 3, November, 2014

‘“The Father and Mother of the Place”: Inhabiting London’s Public Libraries, 1885-1940’ in Jane Hamlett, Lesley Hoskins and Rebecca Preston (ed) Residential Institutions in Britain, 1725-1970, Inmates and Environments (2013) (Library History Award runner up, 2014)

‘A Fault-Line in Library History: Charles Goss, the Society of Public Librarians and “The Battle of the Books” in the Late Nineteenth Century,’ Library History, Vol.19, No.2, July 2003, pp.75-91 (Library History Award, 2004)

Media Coverage
Media coverage since 2020 includes appearances on Times Radio, Shoreditch Radio, and as a contributor to the Walking Victorian Britain TV series (2021)
Country Focus
United Kingdom
Expertise by Geography
British Isles
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, Modern, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Libraries & Archives, Local & Regional, Migration & Immigration, Public History, Urban History, Women