I am a historian and post-doctoral researcher at the University of St Andrews. I am interested in cultural and political history, especially that of the early modern period. My research focuses on the history of news, books, libraries, communication and the development of the state.

I arrived at St Andrews by way of Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Nairobi and Exeter. I defended my PhD in Modern History at St Andrews in 2018, after which I took up a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the same university, associated with the Universal Short Title Catalogue project.

In 2017 I published my first monograph, the first complete survey of all seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish newspapers. In March 2019, my second major work, a study of the book culture of the Dutch Golden Age, co-written with Andrew Pettegree, appeared simultaneously in Dutch and English. The seventeenth-century Dutch Golden Age is also the subject of my library of rare books, on which I will blog here soon. My passion for newspapers will be taken up again in two studies of early newspaper advertising, to appear in March 2020.

I am currently working on a book on the transformation of the library in early modern Europe, entitled The Library, a Fragile History, to be co-written with Andrew Pettegree, and to be published by Profile in 2021.

I am represented by Felicity Bryan of Felicity Bryan Associates.

Other professional activities

  • Editorial board member, Brill’s The Library of the Written Word series (2017-present)

  • Consultant for ProQuest’s Early European Books project (2016-present)

  • Consultant for the digitisation of seventeenth-century Dutch newspapers at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek in The Hague (2016-present)

  • Peer review for several international journals and monograph series (2016-present)

  • Management of the summer volunteer programme of the Universal Short Title Catalogue project

  • Organisation of the annual book history conference, St Andrews, 20-22 June 2019