Anna-Lujz Gilbert

Anna-Lujz Gilbert

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College: College of Humanities
Discipline: English
Department: English
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Early Modern Studies

I am an AHRC (SWW DTP) funded PhD student working in the field of early modern book history, supervised by Dr Felicity Henderson (Exeter) and Dr Paddy Bullard (Reading).

My project examines parish libraries from c. 1600-1730, particularly in Devon, to further understandings about these under used resources and to reflect more broadly on cultures of book use in parochial England. In particular, my focus is on the Totnes, Dodderidge, Tiverton and Crediton libraries, which are the principle libraries in Devon to have survived from this period. Their wealth of preserved evidence allows me to examine the use of, value of, and access to books among the middling sorts and clergy, readers who have often been neglected in favour of elite library collectors.

I am an active member of the Exeter Centre for Early Modern Studies and co-organised the 2018 Exeter CEMS postgraduate conference.

Between starting my PhD in 2017 and completing my master's degree (also at Exeter) in 2015, I became involved with heritage collections through working for the National Trust and volunteering for the Devon Heritage Centre, where I gained a wider interest in the preservation and interpretation of historic objects. I enjoy sharing my findings beyond an academic context and contributing knowledge which can help inform decisions about the collections which I research.