About this Project

This exhibition is a result of the Australian Research Council Linkage Project “Transforming the Early Modern Archive: The Emmerson Collection at SLV,” supported by the Australian Government in partnership with State Library Victoria. The project arose from the 2015 bequest of over 5000 early modern rare books and manuscripts to SLV from the John Emmerson Collection.

Bringing together experts in early modern studies and the digital humanities with specialist library staff, the project investigates what the collection contains, why it is significant and how it can be shared with others.

“Transforming the Early Modern Archive” is a partnership between the State Library Victoria (SLV) and investigators at four Australian and New Zealand universities: the Australian National University (lead), the University of Newcastle, La Trobe University and the Victoria University of Wellington.


Julia Rodwell Exhibition concept, design and development; exhibition content; linked data
Mitchell Whitelaw Exhibition concept, design and development; web design and development
Trisha Pender Content, It's not Easy Being Queen
Sarah C. E. Ross Content, Killing the King
Paul Salzman Content, Collectors and Times of Crisis
Rosalind Smith Project lead; content, Using Books
Anna Welch Content, Making Books, It's not Easy Being Queen and The Prince and His Poodle

This exhibition can be cited as:

Julia Rodwell, Mitchell Whitelaw, Rosalind Smith, Trisha Pender, Sarah C. E. Ross, Paul Salzman and Anna Welch, Beyond the Book: A digital journey through the treasures of the Emmerson Collection. State Library Victoria, 2023. DOI: 10.25911/NSB2-5A19


Professor Rosalind Smith is Professor of English and Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies at the Australian National University, and is co-convenor of the Early Modern Women Research Network (EMWRN). She works on gender, form, politics and history in early modern women’s writing, with particular interests in how that writing is produced, circulated and received. Her books include Sonnets and the English Woman Writer, 1560-1621 (2005), Material Cultures of Early Modern Women’s Writing with Trisha Pender (2014) and Early Modern Women and Complaint: Gender, Form, and Politics with Sarah Ross (2020). She is a General Editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, investigating early modern women’s marginalia.

Trisha Pender is an Associate Professor of English and Writing and Director of the Gender Research Network at the University of Newcastle, and is co-convenor of the Early Modern Women Research Network (EMWRN). She is the author of Early Modern Women and the Rhetoric of Modesty (2012), co-editor of Material Cultures of Early Modern Women’s Writing with Rosalind Smith (2014), and editor of Gender, Authorship, and Early Modern Women’s Collaboration (2017). She is also general editor with Rosalind Smith of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Early Modern Women’s Writing (forthcoming). Her current research focuses on Tudor women’s textual production in its early modern and late modern incarnations. She is increasingly interested in translating early modern scholarship to non-academic audiences, a challenge she will pursue in this ARC Linkage Project by exploring avenues for public engagement with the Emmerson Collection.

Sarah C. E. Ross is Professor of English at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington. She is the author of Women, Poetry, and Politics in Seventeenth-Century Britain (2015), co-editor of Editing Early Modern Women with Paul Salzman (2016), Women Poets of the English Civil War with Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (2017), Early Modern Women’s Complaint: Gender, Form, and Politics with Rosalind Smith (2020), and The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Women’s Writing in English, 1540-1689 with Danielle Clarke and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (2022). Her research focuses on early modern women’s writing, in particular poetry, religious and political writing, and manuscript and print culture.

Paul Salzman is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at La Trobe University, and a Conjoint Professor at The University of Newcastle. He has published widely on early modern women’s writing, literary history, and the theory and practice of editing. His most recent publications have been Editing Early Modern Women co-edited with Sarah C. E. Ross (2016) and Editors Construct the Renaissance Canon, 1825-1915 (2018). He has also produced an online resource through La Trobe University titled Mary Wroth’s Poetry: An Electric Edition. His most recent publication is Facsimiles and the History of Shakespeare Editing (Cambridge Elements in Shakespeare amd Text, 2023). His current project is a book on almanacs and their readers.

Dr Anna Welch is State Library Victoria’s Principal Librarian of History of the Book and Arts. As a curator, historian, and librarian working in the SLV Rare Books Collection, she is involved in collection development, specialist research support, and public engagement programs, including as cocurator of the annually refreshed World of the Book exhibition. Anna’s doctoral research was published as Liturgy, Books and Franciscan Identity in Medieval Umbria (Brill, 2015). She has published widely in her fields of interest and has coedited several collections, including Poverty and Devotion in Mendicant Cultures 1200–1450 (with Constant J. Mews; Routledge, 2016).

Mitchell Whitelaw is an academic, writer and maker with interests in digital design and culture, data practices, more-than-human worlds and digital collections. He has worked with institutions including the State Library of NSW, the State Library of Queensland, the National Archives and the National Gallery of Australia, developing "generous" interfaces to their digital collections. Mitchell is Head, School of Art & Design at the Australian National University.

Julia Rodwell is a PhD candidate in the School of Art and Design at the Australian National University. Through her experience working in GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) institutions, Julia has gained a passion for improving collection access, interpretation, and engagement. As part of her PhD project, she has developed a methodology for digital exhibition-making that uses Linked Open Data to break down data ‘silos’, connect collection data, and enrich data sets with contextual information.


Thanks to Dominic Oldman, Head of ResearchSpace at the British Museum, for ResearchSpace support.

Thanks to Katrina Grant, Anne-Marie De Boni, Bart Geraedts and Katrina Ben for photogrammetry support.

Semantic linked data networks modelled in ResearchSpace using Knowledge Maps and CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model).

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