Anna-Lujz Gilbert

Anna-Lujz Gilbert



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

I carried out my AHRC (SWW DTP) PhD at Exeter University between 2017 and 2022. This research, in the field of book history, was supervised by Dr Felicity Henderson (Exeter) and Dr Paddy Bullard (Reading). I have since moved to the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at University College London, where I am a postdoctoral researcher on the project Shaping Scholarship: Early Donations to the Bodleian Library, and can be contacted there.

My thesis, Public Books in Provincial Towns: Parish and Town Libraries in Early Modern Devon, examines parish libraries from c. 1600–1730, particularly in Devon, to further understandings about these under-used resources and cultures of book use in provincial 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. Research on the book cultures of the clergy and middling sorts has often been neglected in favour of elite library collectors; the wealth of evidence preserved in the parish collections allows me to address this imbalance by examining how these people used, valued, and gained access to books.

I was an active member of the Exeter Centre for Early Modern Studies and co-organised the 2018 and 2019 Exeter CEMS postgraduate conferences.

I have also worked in heritage at the National Trust and Devon Archives. I enjoy sharing my findings beyond an academic context and using my research to inform decision making about the collections which I research.