FBTEE wins BSECS Digital Resource Prize

We are pleased to announce that deep into the Australian summer holiday period, FBTEE was awarded the 2017 British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (BSECS) Digital Resource Prize at the BSECS annual conference at St Hugh’s college, Oxford, on 5 January.

Here is how Laure Philip announced the prize at our own institution (while I was busy sunning myself down the coast – so my warmest thanks, Laure). The announcement is accompanied by a rather hastily prepared ‘Oscar style’ acceptance video-presentation speech – finished minutes before I departed on the family’s annual holiday – which also gives a brief account of our current work. Enjoy!

‘The Digital Humanities Research Group is extremely honoured to announce that the French Book Trade and Enlightenment database (FBTEE) has been nominated by the British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS) for the Digital Resource Prize today in Oxford. FBTEE was launched in 2012 at the University of Leeds by Professor Simon Burrows. It involved the work of many talented researchers, designers and scholars and a second stage of FBTEE’s development is being funded by the Australian Research Council and Western Sydney University, where the project is now based. This prize not only celebrates the originality of the FBTEE database but also the outstanding ongoing work done by all team members.

Please click on link below to hear project leader Professor Simon Burrows thank everyone and explain what this state of the art database is about and how it can help revise our understanding of the eighteenth-century book trade:



Louise Seaward article success

Warmest congratulations to Louise Seaward for being named runner up in the prize competition for the best article by a younger scholar in the journal French History for her article ‘Censorship through cooperation: the Société typographique de Neuchâtel (STN) and the French Government, 1769–89’, French History (2014) 28 (1): 23-42.doi: 10.1093/fh/crt086. This is the second time a FBTEE-related piece has secured the approval of the judges, following Mark Curran’s win in 2011 with ‘Mettons toujours Londres’. Louise’s article is actually the fruit of the earliest piece of research to be run through and alongside the FBTEE database, which she mined to identify political figures in correspondence with the STN and locate he letters they exchanged with the Swiss publishers. Supplementing and extending Bob Darnton’s work on the publishing history of the Encyclopedie, Louise’s article reveals the symbiotic relationship between the STN and the French government and the extent to which dealing in foreign book markets involved political as well as commercial skills.

In addition, Louise is celebrating a new job with UCL’s Bentham project, having put in a stint as a contracted research assistant with FBTEE in 2014-2015. More on that in a future post.