UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


10 questions with... Dr Charles Inskip

24 October 2023

Meet Dr Charlie Inskip whose many interests include taking photos by the sea, boats, dinghy racing, seascapes and fish and chips!

Professor Charles Inskip

Hello! Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do at UCL.

I’ve been working at UCL Information Studies since 2013 teaching on the MA Library and Information Studies programme. The department is home of five Master’s programmes in archiving, publishing, digital humanities, knowledge information and data science, and library and information studies. I entered academia late as a second profession and have had an amazing time working in the sector which is very different to my previous work. I decided to retrain as a librarian when I became ill 20 years ago and enjoyed it so much, I did a Master’s and PhD and eventually ended up at UCL, the home of library studies since 1919.

What are you most looking forward to working on over the coming months?

In the MA Library and Information Studies programme we have a major accreditation coming up this year so I will be focusing on that. Also, I just became Head of Department and we have a lot of work coming up launching our new BSc Information in Society at UCL East implementing our EDI action plan, nurturing research culture and addressing the numerous challenges of AI, so I think there will be plenty for us to do.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?

I’ve already had another career in the music business managing bands and doing PR – it was a lot of fun but now I’m a bit too old to run around the world going to clubs at all hours!

What are your main interests outside work?

I love taking photos by the sea – boats, dinghy racing, seascapes. I also play guitar in a bluegrass band, ‘Archway Mountain Lightnin’ Boys’ and we play regularly in and around Archway, North London.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Fish and chips, ice cream. Probably not a good idea.

Where are you happiest?

On the beach, in the sea, or on a boat.

If you could develop a new skill - and reach an advanced level within a week - what would it be?

If I could play my guitar better that would be enough.

Who or what inspires you most?

Christina’s World, a painting by Andrew Wyeth. The woman in the picture has a disability and show great tenacity in living her life. As I have lived with ME / chronic fatigue syndrome for twenty years I have found this painting to inspire me to keep moving on.

Christina's world

Christina’s World – Andrew Wyeth - 1948

“The challenge to me,” Wyeth explained, “was to do justice to her extraordinary conquest of a life which most people would consider hopeless.” 

How was lockdown(s) for you and what did you learn from it?

During lockdown I managed to get a lot of reading done, and I learned that people are more adaptable than I could ever have imagined.

Tell us a joke!

My favourite joke is the amazing film ‘The Musicbox’ starring Laurel and Hardy pushing a piano up a very steep set of stairs. Thirty minutes of joy.