Modern & Early Modern Lab

Introduction

Early and Modern LabThe Modern and Early Modern Lab seeks to develop digital research into Modern and Early Modern history. We do not regard digital history as a separate discipline from 'traditional' academic studies. Rather, we aim to develop methods and techniques that enable all historians to incorporate digital methods and sources into their work.

The History group at the University of Hertfordshire has a well-established background in this kind of research, stretching back to 'history and computing' in demography in the 1980s, and the hugely-successful and internationally-recognised Old Bailey Online website and database. We have particular strengths and interests in historical crowdsourcing and oral history, as well as collaborations with outside partners such as HistoryPIN in community history projects such as Hertfordshire on the Map.

Projects

Political Meetings Mapper with British Library Labs

Project Team: Katrina Navickas (Hertfordshire), Ben O'Steen (British Library), Mahendra Mahey (British Library)

Dr Katrina Navickas is one of the two winners of the British Library Labs 2015 competition from the Centre with her project, Political Meetings Mapper. The project is developing code to geo-reference and date-parse all the records of political meetings in the Northern Star newspaper in the British Library 19th century newspapers collection. The Northern Star was chosen as a pilot project because it was the main newspaper of the Chartist movement, the largest and most important mass movement for democracy in Victorian Britain, but historians have not as yet been able to plot the locations of all the thousands of meetings that the Chartists held.

The project will produce a public-facing website with the meetings plotted on layers of geo-referenced historic maps from the British Library collection, and a searchable database and timeline. We also seek to develop a space syntax layer to examine geographic patterns in the locations of meetings and political processions produced by the mapping of the database. This is the pilot stage and we hope to develop further funding bids to expand the capabilities of the tool and the range of the database to be able to text-mine and geo-code all the records in the British Library digitised newspapers collection.

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteer and student projects with Political Meetings Mapper.

Join Us

Please contact Dr Adam Crymble directly if you wish to apply to work with us in digital history. We are always happy to hear from excellent prospective MA and PhD students from the UK and overseas.

Postgraduate and Postdoctoral candidates can be supported in applications for the following:

  • British Academy Fellowships
  • Wellcome Research Fellowships
  • AHRC collaborative doctoral partnerships

Members

  • Katrina Navickas (Director)
  • Ciara Meehan
  • Adam Crymble
  • John Styles