Dr Philip Carter

Head of IHR Digital and Senior Lecturer in Digital History

+44 (0)20 7862 8828

Philip joined the Institute in October 2016 as Head of IHR Digital and Senior Lecturer in Digital History.

IHR Digital is the Institute’s research centre for the study of digital history, and for the publication of historical resources and scholarship online. It provides and extends primary and secondary resources used worldwide, including British History Online, the Bibliography of British and Irish History, History Online and Reviews in History.

In its research projects, IHR Digital works closely with external partners in the university, archive, library and museum sectors. IHR Digital also offers training and expertise on digital practices for those engaged in historical research.

Before arriving at the Institute, Philip was Senior Research and Publication Editor at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and a member of the History Faculty at Oxford University. At the ODNB, Philip was responsible for the Dictionary’s pre-1800 coverage and for art and architectural content, as well as research projects, institutional partnerships and linking. He was also closely involved with Oxford University Press in the Dictionary’s digital development.

Philip studied history at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he focused on eighteenth-century British social history for his doctorate. His other interests are historical biography, and the relationship of national biography and digital history. Future projects include a return to eighteenth-century research with a study of the master of ceremonies, and a proposed history of national biography in Britain.

Prior to the Oxford DNB, Philip was a Scouloudi Fellow at the IHR, a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, and taught early modern British history at the universities of Birmingham and North London, and for Tufts University MA. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the editorial board for the Society's 'New Historical Perspectives' books series.

For the Institute, Philip teaches and supervises on the MRes and PhD programmes; for the School of Advanced Study, he sits on the History PhD panel for the London Arts and Humanities Partnership.

Research and publications

  • ‘Enlightenment masculinities: towards embodiment and experience’, in Lise Andries and Marc André Bernier eds., L’Avenir des Lumières/The Future of Enlightenment (Hermann, Paris, 2019)
  • ‘What is national biography for? Dictionaries and digital history’, in Karen Fox ed., True Biographies of Nations: Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography (ANU Press, 2018)
  • 'The Stephens in St Ives: Leslie, Virginia and the Dictionary of National Biography', Virginia Woolf Bulletin, 59 (2018), 11-24.
  • 'Putting your History degree to work', BBC History Magazine (October 2017)
  • 'The king of King's Cross: digital history and biography', Talking Humanities (August 2017)
  • Biography and British History Online’ (2016)
  • 175 biographical and group entries for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004-2016), including Richard ‘Beau’ Nash (1674-1762), master of ceremonies, and the Kit-Cat Club (c.1696-1720).
  • ‘Digital opportunities for national biography: the Oxford DNB online, 2005-12', in The Australian National Biography: the first 50 years, ed. by Melanie Nolan (ANU Press, 2013), 345-71
  • ‘Faces and crowds: biography in the city’, in Clare Brant and Susan Whyman eds., Walking the Streets of Eighteenth-Century London, John Gay’s ‘Trivia’ (OUP, 2009), 1-17
  • ‘Life on the Square: National biography in WC2’, Trafalgar Chronicle, 18 (2008), 264–71
  • ‘Tears and the man’, in Barbara Taylor and Sarah Knott eds., Women, Gender and Enlightenment (Palgrave, 2005), 156-73
  • ‘Polite ‘persons’: character, biography and the gentleman’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser, vol. 12 (CUP, 2002), 333-54
  • Men and the Emergence of Polite Society, Britain 1660-1800 (Longman, 2001), 250 pp.
  • ‘James Boswell’s manliness’, in Tim Hitchcock and Michele Cohen eds., English Masculinities, 1660-1800 (Longman, 1999), 111-30
  • ‘Men about town’, in Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus ed., Gender in Eighteenth-Century England (Longman, 1998), 31-57
  • ‘An effeminate or efficient nation? Masculinity and eighteenth-century social documentary’, Textual Practice, 11 (1997), 429-43

Articles and reviews for the American Historical Review, Historical Research, History Today, Journal of British Studies, Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies, Journal of Modern History and the THE (to 2018).

Research interests

  • History and biography
  • History of publishing
  • Eighteenth-century Britain
  • Digital History