About the Author

Dr Victoria Van Hyning recently completed and defended her thesis at the University of Sheffield, UK. ‘Cloistered Voices: English Nuns in Exile, 1550-1800’ explores the literary lives of nuns, and reveals the significance and variety of forms in which early modern Catholic women religious expressed themselves. This work was funded by Sheffield under the auspices of a collaborative doctoral award (CDA) with the British Library (BL).

Victoria is now a Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow with the academic crowdsourcing group called Zooniverse, based at the University of Oxford. She works with humanities specialists from academic and cultural institutions to try to solve some of the most pressing big data needs in the humanities, e.g. full text transcription of manuscripts.

Archival research, particularly the use of manuscripts, has had a major shaping influence on Victoria’s doctoral thesis and published work. This blog is written in part to reflect on the importance of archives in the humanities, to reflect on digital approaches to non-machine-readable material, and to offer advice and anecdotes that might be amusing to fellow archives-users.


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