Current research projects

As an Independent Research Organisation, we lead and produce high-quality, interdisciplinary research.

Read more about some of our current projects here:


Shell shock, syphilis and self-inflicted wounds: injury, disease and discipline in the British Army during the First World War

Funder: the Wellcome Trust

Timeframe: 2017-2019

Overview:  to make available detailed catalogue entries to the thousands of medical sheets for First World War army personnel.

This project will see 135 of these boxes (around 50,000 items) to allow individual cases to be searched for and found. This data will then be made available through Discovery, our catalogue.

Find out more about this project.

Tudor Chamber Books

Funder: The Leverhulme Trust

Timeframe: 2016 – 2019

In collaboration with: The University of Winchester, and The Digital Humanities Institute at the University of Sheffield.

Overview: This project will transcribe and translate the contents of the payment and receipt books of the King’s Chamber, otherwise known as the Chamber Books, between 1485 and 1521. For the first time, the text of these records will be digitally available and searchable, enabling and promoting further research into Tudor court, culture, politics and kingship.

Find out more about this project


The Northern Way

Funder: The Arts and Humanities Research Council

Timeframe: 2019 – 2021

In collaboration with: The University of York, with the support of the Chapter of York Minster

Overview: This project is investigating the political role of the Archbishops of York, 1304-1405. The principal aim is to make the key records of spiritual governance more digitally accessible and searchable for free. This will be achieved through the digital indexing of archbishops registers held at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, the University of York, and at regional and national archives. These registers will also be linked to new evidence taken from the many records of government that relate to ecclesiastical affairs held at The National Archives.

Find out more about this project


In Their Own Write

Funder: The Arts and Humanities Research Council

Timeframe: 2018 – 2021

In collaboration with: The Department of History at the University of Leicester

Overview: This project uses letters from paupers and other poor people, and associated manuscript material such as petitions, sworn statements and advocate letters to investigate the lives of the poor between 1834 and 1900.

The project aims to sample, transcribe and analyse the letters, and will lead to a variety of impactful outcomes, including the production of a number of scholarly articles and organisation of outreach events.

Find out more about this project


Computational Archival Science Network

Funder: The Arts and Humanities Research Council

Timeframe: 2018 – 2020

In collaboration with: King’s College London Department of Digital Humanities, the University of Maryland iSchool Digital Curation Innovation Center (US), and the Maryland State Archives (US)

Overview: This one year International Research Networking grant will explore how collections can be made available, digitally, for large scale computational research. Through a series of events held in both the US and the UK, the Network will address the application of computational methods to the contextualisation of records within archival collections, at a time when the archive is becoming an increasingly digital space.

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Funder: The European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Overview: We have partnered in an international research project on eighteenth century sociability. A core element of the project is to fund staff secondments from one partner institution to spend time at another partner institution. The exchanges will produce entries for inclusion in a digital encyclopaedia of sociability for the period 1650-1850, as well as conferences, events and collaborations with museums and archives.

Find out more about this project