Dr Katy Mair

  • Position: Head of Early Modern Records
  • Specialism: Shakespeare, Women's letters
  • Katy.Mair@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Dr Katy Mair is Head of Early Modern Records at The National Archives where she manages cataloguing, engagement and research activities based on the extensive early modern material held at Kew. She completed her PhD on the letters of Lady Anne Bacon under Professor Lisa Jardine at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters at Queen Mary University of London, and has published work on women’s letters and will-writing practices in the early modern period.

She is interested in early modern archives, epistolary culture, women’s writing, and the materiality of texts. She is also becoming increasingly engaged with digital methods to improve archival description and engagement with manuscripts, and has used multi-spectral imaging techniques to explore Shakespeare’s will. In 2016, she co-curated The National Archives’ ‘By Me William Shakespeare’ exhibition at Somerset House and co-ordinated the programming of events for the anniversary of his death, drawing together archivists, academics and conservators to explore the documents relating to Shakespeare’s life.

Katy sits on the advisory board of the AHRC-funded project Editing Aphra Behn in the Digital Age and is a board member of the British Record Society.

Select publications

K. Mair, ‘An archival and material reading of Shakespeare’s will’ in Shakespeare on the Record, ed. Hannah Crummé (Bloomsbury, 2019).

K. Mair, ‘[G]ood agreement betwixt the wombe and frute: The Politics of Maternal Power in the Letters of Lady Anne Bacon, in Family Politics in Early Modern England’, eds. Hannah Crawforth and Sarah Lewis (Palgrave, 2017), pp 99–116.

K. Mair, ‘Material lies: parental anxiety and epistolary practice in the correspondence of Anne, Lady Bacon and Anthony Bacon’, Lives and Letters, 4.1 (2012).

Research projects

Katy is a representative and researcher on the DIGITENS (Digital Encyclopedia of European Sociability in the long eighteenth century 1650–1850) project co-ordinated by the Université de Bretagne Occidentale and funded by Horizon 2020.

Research students

Jack Avery, ‘Satire, news and topical reading during the second and third Anglo-Dutch Wars, 1665–1675’, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership, supervised by Dr Edward Holberton (University of Bristol), Dr Katy Mair (The National Archives) and Dr James Davey (National Maritime Museum), 2016–

Dr Hannah Worthen, ‘The experience of war widows in the mid-seventeenth century’, AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership, University of Leicester and The National Archives, 2013–17. Co-supervisor.