Dr Matthew Shaw

Contact details

Dr Matthew Shaw
BA, MA, DPhil
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Digital resources, History, Library
Europe, North America, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Matthew Shaw is the Librarian of the IHR, with research interests in the French Revolution and, more broadly, the long-eighteenth century. He has also worked on American Studies, the First World War and issues related to archives, libraries and digitisation.

Before joining the School in 2016, Matthew was curator of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century political and historical papers and was lead curator of the Americas Collections at the British Library, where he curated a number of exhibitions, including Taking Liberties: the struggle for Britain’s rights and freedoms (2008), Growing Knowledge (2010), On the Road: Jack Kerouac’s Manuscript Scroll (2012), Enduring War: grief, grit and humour (2014) and Animal Tales (2015).

He has taught French Revolutionary and early-modern European History at Birkbeck College, where he was an honorary fellow, and is currently at visiting fellow at Northumbria University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

His DPhil (York, 2000) explored the history of the French Republican Calendar. Matthew is available to supervise graduate students in the French Revolution, timekeeping, and the Atlantic World.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
09-Jan-2017 Pamphlets and Political Writings


in The Edinburgh Companion to the First World War and the Arts

Edited by Ann-Marie Einhaus, Katherine Isobel Baxter

ISSN 9781474401630

15-May-2015 Colonies and Revolutions


ed. Claire Breay & Julian Harrison, Magna Carta: law, liberty and legacy (British Library Publications, 2015)

01-Sep-2013 'There Will be Blood:' The Civil War and the Birth of the Oil Industry


in Iwan W. Morgan and Philip John Davies, eds., Reconfiguring the Union Civil War Transformations Studies of the Americas (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

22-Sep-2011 Time and the French Revolution: the Republican Calendar, 1789-Year XIV


The Royal Historical Society/The Boydell Press Studies in History New Series (2011)

27-Nov-2007 Drawing on the Collections


Journalism Studies

01-Sep-2007 Keeping Time in the Age of Franklin: Almanacs and the Atlantic World

Printing History: the journal of the American Printing History Association. New Series, 1:2, pp. 17-38

Historic Lives: Duke of Wellington


(British Library Publications, 2005)

Research Projects & Supervisions

Available for doctoral supervision: Yes

Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations:

Name Activity
Royal Historical Society
British Association for American Studies
Society for the Study of French History
Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
16-Mar-2017 Pocahontas and after: historical culture and transatlantic encounters, 1617-2017

In 2017 the Anglo-American world will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas. Numerous commemorative activities, from walking tours to talking monuments, have been planned on both sides of the Atlantic. Intense, closely focused interest in her life is, of course, not a new phenomenon. Her story has been romanticised at many points over the centuries, and multiple representations of Pocahontas (as Noble Savage, Mother of a Nation, propaganda icon, seductive temptress) have materialised in historical accounts, in literature, and in visual, material, and performance art. From a range of historical and literary perspectives, and for a variety of social and political purposes, the tale of this Native American “princess” has left an enduring legacy among Indigenous, local, national, and international communities.

Using Pocahontas’ visit to England and her death and burial in Kent as an entry point, this conference will explore the continued interest in Pocahontas as a subject of study. It will explore the academic challenges posed by the multiple versions and the contemporary appropriations of this Powhatan/Pamunkey woman variously known as Amonute, Matoaka, Pocahontas, and Rebecca. In exploring the life and afterlives of Pocahontas, it aims to open new interdisciplinary discussions.

Back to top