My interests lie in the social and cultural history of early-modern Europe, with a particular focus on book history, and the publishing cultures of sixteenth and seventeenth-century France, Spain, Portugal and the New World.
Currently, I am working on Ornamento, with the objective of creating an online repository of ornamentation and illustration in pre-Industiral Europe to be searchable through metadata and image-matching software. The pilot, to be made available in the summer of 2018, has concentrated on Iberian print before 1701 and contains close to a quarter of a million image pages.
I was the Principal Investigator of Iberian Books (2007-2018) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project created an online database of printing in Spain, Portugal and the New World before 1701 (around 131,000 items), as well as a census of over two thirds of a million surviving copies. A new version of the interface, with enhanced searching capabilities, will be made available in August 2018. The datasets will also be made available as part of the USTC project at St Andrews.
I studied Modern History (MA Hons, First Class, 1997) and then Reformation Studies (MLitt, Distinction, 1998) at the University of St Andrews. My doctoral work, supervised by Professor Andrew Pettegree, looked at the communications culture of sixteenth-century France, and in particular at the way the figure of Mary Queen of Scots was exploited by the Catholic League during the Wars of Religion. From 2001-2006, I was Project Manager of the AHRC-funded French Vernacular Book Project, an initiative that would ultimately evolve into the USTC. In 2006, I moved to Ireland and have taught in the School of History at UCD since.