Centre for Editing Lives and Letters

The Centre for Editing Lives and Letters (CELL) develops projects focused on making archives matter, concentrating on the years 1500-1800.

We are doctoral students, researchers, teachers and writers. Established as a Research Centre in July 2002 with funding from the AHRC, CELL is now independently established internationally as part of the academic landscape, pioneering projects foregrounding Renaissance Studies in the digital age. Originally housed at Queen Mary, University of London, CELL transferred to UCL in 2012. CELL's researc

Operating as usual

Book launch: Gabriel Harvey and the History of Reading 03/06/2024

Book launch: Gabriel Harvey and the History of Reading
24 June 2024, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm
By uniting the seminal ‘Studied for Action’ with published and unpublished studies on Harvey by Jardine, Grafton and the scholars they have influenced, this collection provides a unique lens on the place of marginalia in textual, intellectual and cultural history.

Book launch: Gabriel Harvey and the History of Reading By uniting the seminal ‘Studied for Action’ with published and unpublished studies on Harvey by Jardine, Grafton and the scholars they have influenced, this collection provides a unique lens on the place of marginalia in textual, intellectual and cultural history.

Religious dissenters and the Dutch Patriot Movement, 1781-1787 17/05/2024

Religious dissenters and the Dutch Patriot Movement, 1781-1787
Hybrid | Online-via Zoom & IHR Wolfson Room NB02, Basement, IHR, Senate House, Malet Street,
17 May 2024, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
IHR Low Countries History seminar with Carolina Lenarduzzi (Leiden)

Religious dissenters and the Dutch Patriot Movement, 1781-1787 Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance. Please note that registration will therefore close 24 hours in advance.

Imagination Day 10/05/2024

The Imagination Day
Colette Bowe Room, Queens' Building, 327 Mile End Road London
20 May, 10am to 6pm
In the morning Lorna Hutson (Oxford) will lead discussion of her book 'England’s Insular Imagining', and in the afternoon Helen Hackett (UCL) will lead discussion of her book 'The Elizabethan Mind'.

Imagination Day A Meeting of the IHSS Imagination Network

CfP: ‘South Asia’ + ‘Middle East’ + ‘Early Modern’ = ? 19/04/2024

CfP: ‘South Asia’ + ‘Middle East’ + ‘Early Modern’ = ?
In-person workshop at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies, London on 21 June 2024, 10am–6pm
Deadline for submissions, 30th April 2024
This workshop seeks to showcase new work in the field of early modern South Asian and Middle Eastern studies, while broadly examining what it means to use a period label derived from Europe’s historical experience and historiography, together with geographic categories originating in the Cold War West.

CfP: ‘South Asia’ + ‘Middle East’ + ‘Early Modern’ = ? In-person workshop at Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL, London on 21 June 2024, 10am–6pm. Deadline for submissions, 30th April 2024

IAS Octagon Fund open for applications 08/04/2024

IAS Octagon Fund open for applications The Octagon Small Grants Fund supports UCL-based early-career researchers, including research students, from Arts & Humanities and Social & Historical Sciences.

Inaugural 'The Global Paradox: Legacies and Liabilities of Early Modern Worldmaking' 15/03/2024

Inaugural 'The Global Paradox: Legacies and Liabilities of Early Modern Worldmaking'
1 May 2024, 6-8:30pm
Join Professor Zoltán Biedermann for his inaugural lecture. Europeans, Africans, Americans and Asians all contributed to the making of the globalized world we inhabit. Can we build on this shared legacy to imagine a fair and balanced global future?

Inaugural 'The Global Paradox: Legacies and Liabilities of Early Modern Worldmaking' Join Professor Zoltán Biedermann for his inaugural lecture. Europeans, Africans, Americans and Asians all contributed to the making of the globalized world we inhabit. Can we build on this shared legacy to imagine a fair and balanced global future?

A Material World - 'Masculine discernment and eighteenth-century accessories: snuffboxes, canes, toothpick cases, and fob seals' 30/01/2024

A Material World - 'Masculine discernment and eighteenth-century accessories: snuffboxes, canes, toothpick cases, and fob seals'
6 February 2024, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Online via Zoom
A Warburg Lecture with Ben Jackson (John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester)

A Material World - 'Masculine discernment and eighteenth-century accessories: snuffboxes, canes, toothpick cases, and fob seals' Ben Jackson (John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester): 'Masculine discernment and eighteenth-century accessories: snuffboxes, canes, toothpick cases, and fob seals'

NEW DATE: Stability, Prosthesis and Collapse in Montaigne’s Experience of Landscape 19/01/2024

NEW DATE: Stability, Prosthesis and Collapse in Montaigne’s Experience of Landscape
30 January 2024, 4pm-6pm
The Centre for French & Francophone Research is delighted to welcome Dr Alani Hicks-Bartlett (Brown University) to present a paper on Montaigne.

NEW DATE: Stability, Prosthesis and Collapse in Montaigne’s Experience of Landscape The Centre for French & Francophone Research is delighted to welcome Dr Alani Hicks-Bartlett (Brown University) to present a paper on Montaigne.

Early Career Researcher Network 15/01/2024

Early Career Researcher Network An inclusive, researcher-led network for UK-based early career researchers working in the humanities and social sciences

Dutch trade and credit in the Barbados Sugar Boom of the 17th Century 01/12/2023

Dutch trade and credit in the Barbados Sugar Boom of the 17th Century
8 December 2023, 5:30PM - 7:00PM
Hybrid | Online-via Zoom & IHR Wolfson Room NB02, Senate House, Malet Street, London
IHR Economic and Social History of the Early Modern World, 1500-1800 semnar with Joris van den Tol (Radboud University- Cambridge)

Dutch trade and credit in the Barbados Sugar Boom of the 17th Century Since the 17th Century, the Dutch had been credited with starting and bankrolling sugar plantations in Barbados in the second quarter of the seventeenth century. Revisionist Anglophone historians, following Russell Menard’s work, have emphasized the pivotal role of the English. Particularly the ci...

TaNC User Consultation Workshop on Digital Collections 26/10/2023

TaNC User Consultation Workshop on Digital Collections
17 November 2023, 1pm-3pm
Do you use Digital Collections from Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums as part of your research? If so, we would like to hear from you.

TaNC User Consultation Workshop on Digital Collections Do you use Digital Collections from Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums as part of your research? If so, we would like to hear from you.

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity 26/10/2023

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity
1 November 2023, 5pm-7pm
This event will celebrate the publication of a volume of essays on ‘Baroque Latinity’, the culmination of an AHRC-funded project based at UCL.

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity This event will celebrate the publication of a volume of essays on ‘Baroque Latinity’, the culmination of an AHRC-funded project based at UCL.

Doctoral Open Day: British and European Collections – From Antiquity to 1600 06/10/2023

British and European Collections from Antiquity to 1600
13th October 2023, 11:00 - 18:00
British Library, London
This day will appeal to all researchers undertaking PhDs with a particular focus on History, Literature, History of Art and Religious Studies. The Doctoral Open Days offer PhD students the chance to discover our research resources and explore the practicalities of using the Library. These days are aimed at first-year doctoral students, but those in other years who want to increase their knowledge of The British Library and its collections are also very welcome!

Doctoral Open Day: British and European Collections – From Antiquity to 1600 Join us in London for this Doctoral Open Day.

In search of panacea: The Dutch East India Company and politics of the body in early modern Asia 29/09/2023

In search of panacea: The Dutch East India Company and politics of the body in early modern Asia
18 October 2023, 5pm-7pm
What role did politics of the body play in the operations of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), an institution which amassed significant political power across the Indian Ocean over the course of two centuries?

In search of panacea: The Dutch East India Company and politics of the body in early modern Asia What role did politics of the body play in the operations of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), an institution which amassed significant political power across the Indian Ocean over the course of two centuries? This project analyses the VOC as an institution that takes advantage of, restricts, or p...

The Lisa Jardine Lecture: Professor Alan Stewart 25/09/2023

The First Coming of the Strangers: An Experiment in Elizabethan Immigration
19 October 2023 6.00pm
Maths Lecture Theatre, Mathematical Sciences Building, QMUL
The Lisa Jardine Lecture with Professor Alan Stewart.

In 1561, the town of Sandwich in Kent petitioned the Privy Council to allow a significant influx of immigrants to settle in their town, and practice their skills working with ‘says, bay and other clothe’—a model that was to spread across the south-east of England. Within six years, immigrants in Sandwich outnumbered the previous inhabitants, provoking a predictable backlash. While this immigration is often claimed as a masterstroke of state policy to introduce artisanal skills lacking in England, this paper explores it as a multi-faceted experiment, of importance not only to trade, but also to social relations, religion, education, and the period’s literature.

Alan Stewart is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and currently a Visiting Lecturer at Queen Mary, where he received his PhD, held a British Academy postdoc, and helped to found the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters with Lisa Jardine.

The Lisa Jardine Lecture: Professor Alan Stewart The First Coming of the Strangers: An Experiment in Elizabethan Immigration

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity 22/09/2023

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity
1 November 2023, 5pm-7pm
This event will celebrate the publication of a volume of essays on ‘Baroque Latinity’, the culmination of an AHRC-funded project based at UCL.

IAS Book Launch [hybrid]: Baroque Latinity This event will celebrate the publication of a volume of essays on ‘Baroque Latinity’, the culmination of an AHRC-funded project based at UCL.

Reconstructing the libraries of King James VI and I, Britain’s most bookish monarch 15/09/2023

Reconstructing the libraries of King James VI and I, Britain’s most bookish monarch
3 October 5:30-7:30pm
Bedford Room, G37, Senate House, London
IES History of Libraries seminar

Reconstructing the libraries of King James VI and I, Britain’s most bookish monarch While much research has been done recently on the writings and printers of King James VI and I, his libraries have largely remained a mystery, forming a major lacuna in renaissance book history. Now that his libraries—Scottish and English—are being reconstructed, this paper will present new find...

UCL Rare-Books Club Online: first editions of Galileo’s Il saggiatore 1623 31/08/2023

UCL Rare-Books Club: first editions of Galileo’s Il saggiatore 1623
6 Sep 2023 13:05 - 13:55 BST
UCL, Gower St, London
Join us online to hear from Nick Wilding about his research into an annotated copy of Galileo held at UCL Special Collections.

UCL Rare-Books Club Online: first editions of Galileo’s Il saggiatore 1623 Join us online to hear from Nick Wilding and Jason Dean about research into an annotated copy of Galileo held at UCL Special Collections

Researching a Rigged Game: Open Source Data & the Trade of Cultural Objects 14/08/2023

Conference on 'Researching a Rigged Game: Open Source Data & the Trade of Cultural Objects'
14 September 2023–15 September 2023, 10am-5pm
With UCL Institute of Archaeology

Researching a Rigged Game: Open Source Data & the Trade of Cultural Objects A conference exploring the use of open source data to research the trade and transfer of cultural objects will be held online on 14 & 15 September 2023.

The Life and Works of a Late-Renaissance Italian Virtuosa: Leonora Bernardi (1559-1616) 23/06/2023

The Life and Works of a Late-Renaissance Italian Virtuosa: Leonora Bernardi (1559-1616)
6 July 2023, 2pm-7pm
This collaborative music and research event, involving academics & music professionals, provides new insights into hitherto almost unknown Italian virtuosa, Leonora Bernardi. It features a seminar and roundtable, and a concert.

The Life and Works of a Late-Renaissance Italian Virtuosa: Leonora Bernardi (1559-1616) This collaborative music and research event, involving academics & music professionals, provides new insights into hitherto almost unknown Italian virtuosa, Leonora Bernardi. It features a seminar and roundtable discussing the life, works and cultural contributions of Bernardi (2-4pm), followed by a...

Events 13/06/2023

Join Early Modern Exchanges for an end of year party on 21st June! Both events are followed by drinks.
'MREMS: Gift or loot? Habsburg-Hafsid relationships through material culture exchanges', 3-4pm
followed by
'Unveiling London Bridge: The Power Play of Privatization and Architectural Metamorphosis' 4-5pm

Events The Centre offers a vibrant and stimulating research environment with an extensive list of seminars, performances and other events.

UCL – University College London 13/06/2023

JOB ALERT! Associate Lecturer (Teaching) in English Literature: Shakespeare and Seventeenth-Century Literature
From 1 September until 15 December 2023
Closing date: 25 June 2023
Details at

UCL – University College London UCL is consistently ranked as one of the top ten universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2010-2022) and is No.2 in the UK for research power (Research Excellence Framework 2021).

Skills, Objects, Representations: Material Culture & the French Revolution 19/05/2023

Skills, Objects, Representations: Material Culture & the French Revolution
22 May 2023, 9:30 am–6:00 pm
Perspectives on material culture have helped promote a rich and interdisciplinary renewal of scholarship around the French Revolution. Art and artefacts from the Revolution helped to shape its polemics, and affected how it was experienced.

Skills, Objects, Representations: Material Culture & the French Revolution Perspectives on material culture have helped promote a rich and interdisciplinary renewal of scholarship around the French Revolution. Art and artefacts from the Revolution helped to shape its polemics, and affected how it was experienced. Items including furniture, clothing and fashion, ceramics an...

IAS Book Launch: The Madman and the Churchrobber 12/05/2023

IAS Book Launch: The Madman and the Churchrobber
24 May 2023, 6pm-8pm
Roundtable discussion with author Jason Peacey (UCL History) about The Madman and the Churchrobber: Law and Conflict in Early Modern England.

IAS Book Launch: The Madman and the Churchrobber Roundtable discussion with author Jason Peacey (UCL History) about The Madman and the Churchrobber: Law and Conflict in Early Modern England.

MREMS: Performance and Authority | The Monstrosity of Spiritual Blindness 05/05/2023

MREMS: Performance and Authority | The Monstrosity of Spiritual Blindness
9 May 2023, 5pm-6pm
Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (MREMS) seminars are lively and informal. All staff and students are warmly invited to attend.

MREMS: Performance and Authority | The Monstrosity of Spiritual Blindness Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (MREMS) seminars are lively and informal. All staff and students are warmly invited to attend.

A Wunderkammer in Enkhuizen. The Collections of Bernardus Paludanus (1550–1633) 28/04/2023

TODAY!
A Wunderkammer in Enkhuizen. The Collections of Bernardus Paludanus (1550–1633)
28 April 2023, 5:30PM - 7:30PM
Hybrid | Online-via Zoom & IHR Wolfson Room NB02, Senate House, Malet Street, London
IHR Low Countries History seminar with Marika Keblusek (Leiden)

A Wunderkammer in Enkhuizen. The Collections of Bernardus Paludanus (1550–1633) Details about how to join the virtual event will be circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance. Please note that registration will therefore close 24 hours in advance.

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