Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum: Division I. Political and personal satires

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POSTPONED: Digital Humanities Seminar: Colonial Metadata: Making the Past, Present, Future

A Digital Humanities seminar
Speaker(s)Dr James Baker (University of Sussex)
Date20 March 2020
Time16:00 to 17:30
PlaceDigital Humanities Laboratory

Seminar Room 1

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. This is a measure to restrict the spread of covid-19. We hope to reschedule in due course - you can stay updated by joining the digital humanities mailing list, just email Thank you for your understanding. *** Digital Humanities Lab seminar series. Dr James Baker (University of Sussex): "Colonial Metadata: Making the Past, Present, Future". Join us for drinks and nibbles following the paper!

Metadata and metadata systems have staying power, a tendency to outlive the social circumstances of their production, to normalise categories and categorisation. In the drive to improve access to cultural heritage, printed catalogues have been turned into metadata, their prejudices and preoccupations shaping our present in implicit and explicit ways, becoming vital interlocutors between us and the past. Taking as its case study one such printed catalogue - the late-colonial work by Mary Dorothy George in the British Museum's print collections - this paper addresses the need to explore the historical specificities of colonial metadata production. In conclusion, I reflect on how research into the histories of metadata production can inform public digital history practice.


Dr James Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the University of Sussex and at the Sussex Humanities Lab. He is a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and holds degrees from the University of Southampton and latterly the University of Kent, where in 2010 he completed his doctoral research on the late-Georgian artist-engraver Isaac Cruikshank.

OrganizerUniversity of Exeter Digital Humanities Lab

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