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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury and the Bloomsbury Project


What is the Bloomsbury Project?

The Leverhulme-funded UCL Bloomsbury Project was established to investigate 19th-century Bloomsbury’s development from swampy rubbish-dump to centre of intellectual life

Led by Professor Rosemary Ashton, with Dr Deborah Colville as Researcher, the Project has traced the origins, Bloomsbury locations, and reforming significance of hundreds of progressive and innovative institutions

Many of the extensive archival resources relating to these institutions have also been identified and examined by the Project, and Bloomsbury’s developing streets and squares have been mapped and described

This website is a gateway to the information gathered and edited by Project members during the Project’s lifetime, 1 October 2007–30 April 2011, with the co-operation of Bloomsbury’s institutions, societies, and local residents


Project credits

The Project would not have existed without funding from the Leverhulme Trust; we thank the Trust and its Director, Professor Sir Richard Brook

Research and development

Most of the research for the Project was carried out by Rosemary Ashton and Deborah Colville (UCL English), with contributions by the Project’s two PhD students, Matt Ingleby (UCL English) and Tom Quick (UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine), and from Juliette Atkinson (UCL English), and Anne Hardy, Tilli Tansey, Carole Reeves, Polly Basak, and Felix von Reiswitz (UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine)

The Project was overseen by an advisory board and honorary advisors; in addition to those listed elsewhere, this included Matthew Beaumont and Greg Dart (UCL English), Sally Brown (British Library), David Cannadine (School of Advanced Studies, University of London), Peter Hall (UCL Bartlett), Catherine Hall and Negley Harte (UCL History), Toni Griffiths (UCL Centre for Intercultural Studies), Warwick Gould (Institute of English Studies), Ross Harrison (Cambridge University), and Peter Mandler (Cambridge University)

Walks around Bloomsbury to compare modern street layout and buildings with historical maps were co-ordinated by Deborah Colville, who also took most of the photographs, assisted at various times by Rosemary Ashton and Juliette Atkinson, and by Catherine Fuller (UCL Bentham Project)

Material was edited for the web by Deborah Colville, who also designed the website

Individual authors of articles contributed for the website have been credited accordingly

Others who provided invaluable assistance during the lifetime of this multidisciplinary research project are listed below, together with their affiliations at the time

Archives, libraries, and collections

Gill Furlong, Susan Stead, Mandy Wise, and Dan Mitchell (UCL Special Collections), UCL Records Office, Nick Mann (UCL Geography), Martin Reid (UCL Library Services), Paul Bates (UCL Pathology/Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust), Annie Lindsay (UCLH NHS Foundation Trust Archives), Natasha McEnroe (UCL Grant Museum), Sally Macdonald (UCL Museums and Collections), Christine Wise and Richard Temple (Senate House Special Collections), Jo Vietzke and others (London Metropolitan Archives), John Fisher and Jeremy Smith (City of London, London Metropolitan Archives), Richard Knight (Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre), Ceri Williams (Mary Ward Centre), Richard Lines (Swedenborg Society), Nick Baldwin and Andrea Tanner (Great Ormond Street Hospital), National Hospital, Sophie Laws and Grant Hamilton Smith (Coram), Christine Wagg (Peabody Trust), David Wykes and Alice Ford-Smith (Dr Williams’s Library), Joanna Bowring and Stephanie Clarke (British Museum), Institute for Historical Research, Mark de Rivaz and Ann Mitchell (Bedford Estate), Noelle Vickers (Cultural Bloomsbury), Évi Molnár (Goodenough College), Diane Clements (Library and Museum of Freemasonry), Barbara Waddington (Lumen)

Local history and local organisations

David Hayes (Camden History Review), Peter Woodford (Camden Local History Society), Jim Murray (Bloomsbury Association), Roma Backhouse (Bloomsbury Festival), Rikki de Freitas (Marchmont Street Association), Alan Dein (Kings Cross Voices), Roger Cline, Alan Powers

Advice on special areas of expertise

Joe Cain (UCL Science and Technology Studies), on Euston Square, Caroline Bressey (UCL Geography), on Black residents of Bloomsbury; Rupert Arrowsmith (UCL), on the British Museum and spiritualism; Ana Araujo (UCL), on crafts and hospitals, especially the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital ; Mike Lieven (City Lit), on the Foundling Hospital and Leonard Horner; Maria Esjmont-Rybicka (Mer Publishing), on Bedford Chapel; Cardale family, on John Bate Cardale; Andy Kirby (Mary Ward Centre), on medical history; Andrew Pink (UCL) on freemasonry and music; Chris Stray (Swansea University) on the SDUK; Carmen Mangion (Birkbeck College) on the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth; Simon Dixon (Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies) on Coward College; Ellen Jordan (University of Newcastle, Australia) on the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women

Technical support and design advice

Chris Dillon (UCL Information Systems), Claire Warwick (UCL School of Library, Archive and Information Studies), John Lavagnino (King’s College London), A. C. Colville

Administrative support

Kathy Metzenthin, Anita Garfoot, and Carol Bowen (UCL English)

Additional photography

Christine Lai (UCL English), Helier Ying-wah Cheung

Media resources

Claire Bowerman and Robert Eagle (UCL Communications)

Technical support for website launch

Steve Brown and Greg Dyer (UCL IS)

This page last modified 26 June, 2012 by Deborah Colville


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