Editorial Team

From Book Owners Online


Editorial team

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David Pearson

David devised the concept and content of Book Owners Online, and created many of the initial entries. He retired as Director of Culture, Heritage & Libraries for the City of London Corporation in 2017, after a career spent in libraries and collections, mostly in London. He has researched and published extensively in book history, and his books include Provenance research in book history (new edition, 2019), English bookbinding styles, 1450-1800 (2005, repr. 2014), Books as history (2008), Book ownership in Stuart England (2021). He is an honorary Senior Research Associate at UCL, a Senior Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, University of London, a Past President of the Bibliographical Society, and teaches regularly on the Rare Book Schools in London and Virginia.

Clodagh Murphy

Clodagh worked on BOO as a research assistant 2019-20 and was responsible for marking-up the entries according to a devised schema. Prior to joining the CELL team, she studied on King’s College London’s Early Modern English Literature: Text and Transmission MA and obtained her BA in English literature from the University of Sheffield. She is currently researching Elizabeth I's secretariat as a PhD student on the ERC consolidator project FEATHERS at Leiden University.

Samantha Brown

Sam joined the team as a research assistant in January 2022, and will be working to help BOO grow, both as a database and a community of contributors and users. She is a part-time PhD student based at UCL’s Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, where her research traces the transmission of Arabic linguistic knowledge in early modern England through signs of ownership and use in books and manuscripts. Sam previously spent eight years researching and producing television documentaries before returning to university for UCL’s Early Modern Studies MA, which sparked her passion for book history and provenance research.

Mhairi Rutherford

Mhairi joined the team as a research assistant in August 2022, on a project to expand the Scottish book owners in BOO. She is based at the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. Mhairi recently completed a PhD at the University of Stirling on 18th and 19th century Scottish Episcopal Libraries, which used provenance and marginalia in clerical libraries to examine the intellectual culture and identity of the Church. Prior to this, she obtained an MLitt in the History of the Book and Techniques of Analysis from the University of St Andrews, and an MA in History from the University of Dundee.

Matthew Symonds

Matthew is a Senior Research Associate at UCL and CELL’s Technical Director, responsible for the digital infrastructure behind BOO as well as CELL's other research projects. He is also Co-PI on CELL's major research project, The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Volunteer Editors

We are extremely grateful to our volunteers who have editing rights to the database, and who are helping to build and improve it - if you would be interested in joining them, do please let us know.

  • Jane Bartley
  • Anne Deschaine
  • Jill Dye
  • Paul Fletcher
  • Sophie Floate
  • Ken Gibb
  • Sarah Hale
  • Sian King
  • Alex Kither
  • Edwina Penge
  • Ed Potten
  • David Shaw
  • Catherine Sutherland
  • Eleanor Swire
  • Sara Trevisan
  • Tim Underhill
  • Xinyi Wen
  • Kelsey Jackson Williams

Advisory Group

Book Owners Online is very grateful to an Advisory Group of curators and experts in this field who provide support and advice to the project. Current membership is:

  • Robyn Adams
  • Giles Bergel
  • Katie Birkwood
  • Louisianne Ferlier
  • Ed Potten
  • David Shaw
  • Elizabeth Williamson