Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
The Huntington
Website URL
Early Modern British History, Gender History, Women's History, Manuscripts Studies, Digital Humanities, British Collections, Archives, Medieval Manuscripts, History of Sexual Violence, History of the Family
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Vanessa Wilkie is the William A. Moffett Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and British History at The Huntington Library in Southern California.

Vanessa received a BA with a double major in Government and History from the University of Redlands.  She earned both her MA in History (emphasis in Archival Management, Gender History, and Modern European History) and PhD (Early Modern British History, Gender History, Modern European History) from the University of California, Riverside.  Vanessa was previously the Lossett Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of Redlands and taught European History, British History, Gender History, and Gender Studies.

In 2015, Vanessa co-curated The Huntington’s exhibit, Magna Carta: Law and Legend 1215-2015.  In 2017, she curated her first solo-exhibit, The Reformation: From the Word to the World.  Today Vanessa serves on the advisory committee for /five, The Huntington’s 5-year program which invites contemporary artists to create work based on the institution’s collections.

As a member of the Board of Directors for Digital Scriptorium, Vanessa is deeply involved in digital humanities initiatives and works closely with other scholar-curators, digital humanists, librarians, archivists, conservators, imaging scientists, and computer scientists.

Vanessa’s current research addresses the legal and literary agency of elite mothers on behalf of their daughters and grandchildren.  This work addresses the history of sexual violence and women’s access to litigation in 16th and 17th century England.  Vanessa also works on early modern death rituals, memorialization, heraldry, and emblems.

Recent Publications

“Reading and Writing between the Lines: The Annotated Pamphlets of Lady Eleanor Davies Douglas.” Midland History Journal Vol. 42, No. 2 (2016): 168-183.


“Finding Harmony in Battle,” Verso (blog), The Huntington, December 19, 2016.

Maps that Scholars (and Goonies) Treasure,” Verso (blog), The Huntington, May 31, 2016.

Bad King John,” Verso (blog), The Huntington, August 28, 2015.

Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age,” Verso (blog), The Huntington, August 4, 2015.

(The) Magna C(h)arta,” Verso (blog), The Huntington, July 21, 2015.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, British Isles, Caribbean, England, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
1, 2, 3, 6
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Family, Gender, Libraries & Archives, Museums, Public History, Sexuality, Sexual Violence, Women