2018-2021: Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace. AHRC standard grant. Kirstie Blair (PI), Mike Sanders (CI, University of Manchester), Oliver Betts (CI, National Railway Museum), Lauren Weiss (RA).

This project explores the engagements of industrial workers in Scotland and the North with literary culture, including as writers, readers, and participants in associational culture. Though the project particularly concentrates on miners, railway workers and textile factory workers we are also interested in industrial workers more broadly. Project events will be highlighted on the SCVS page: follow us on Twitter @PistonPen.

2016-2018: The People’s Voice: Scottish Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise 1832-1918.  Carnegie Collaborative Grant. Catriona Macdonald (PI, Glasgow), Kirstie Blair and Gerard Carruthers (CIs, Strathclyde and Glasgow), Michael Shaw (RA).

This Carnegie Trust-funded project was a collaboration between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.  The project recovered and analysed the wealth of poems and songs that were written to campaign for and against parliamentary reform between 1832 and 1918.  The outputs of the project include a freely-accessible, searchable database of every poem captured; an edited online anthology; recordings; an international conference; and a special issue of Scottish Literary Review in 2018.

2016-2018: Popular Occulture in Britain, 1875-1940. AHRC-funded network, led by Christine Ferguson (Stirling) and Andrew Radford (Glasgow)

This project involves three themed workshops at which members of the network— including scholars, artists, curators, librarians, and private archive holders— will meet to discuss how and why occult ideas penetrated mass culture in the period of our study, paying specific attention to their manifestation in popular fiction and entertainments, journalism, and political movements. We are also organizing occult archive and site tours, along with exhibitions of special collection material.


2017: Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow award: ‘Glasgow Historic Literary Societies Online’. Lauren Weiss and Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde), with Katie Halsey (Stirling).

This award, based on the PhD research of Stirling/Strathclyde student Lauren Weiss, provides funding for an online resource listing ‘literary’ societies in the nineteenth century and providing contextual information.


2017: Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) Field Development Grant: ‘Literary Bonds: Mutual Improvement Society Magazines and Victorian Periodical Culture’. Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde), Michael Sanders (Manchester), and Lauren Weiss (Stirling and Strathclyde).

This project seeks to uncover and disseminate awareness of a little-known aspect of Victorian periodical culture, by focusing on the magazines and newspapers produced by mutual improvement societies in Scotland and England, c.1830-1900. Such societies, primarily though not exclusively consisting of male artisanal workers, were particularly prevalent from the mid-late Victorian period. We will create a website to host a list of and information about these periodicals, with at least two examples of digitized issues. A listing of societies and their magazines will also be available as a downloadable PDF.