photo of James Baker

Dr James Baker

Post:Lecturer in Digital Humanities -Digital History/Archives (History)
Other posts:Lecturer (Sussex Humanities Lab)
Location:ARTS A A135
Personal homepage:Research Blog

Telephone numbers
UK:01273 872604
International:+44 1273 872604

Research expertise:
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James Baker is Lecturer in Digital History and Archives at the School of History, Art History and Philosophy and at the Sussex Humanities Lab. He is a historian of long eighteenth century Britain and of contemporary archiving. He is a fellow of the Software Sustainability Institute Fellow and holds degrees from the University of Southampton and latterly the University of Kent, where in 2010 he completed his doctoral research on the late-Georgian satirical artist-engraver Isaac Cruikshank.

As an eighteenth centuryist, his research interests include satirical art, the making and selling of printed objects, urban protest, and corpus analysis. His near contemporary historical interests include the curation of personal digital archives, the critical examination of forensic software and captures, the use of born-digital archives in historical research, and scribing and archiving in the age of the hard disk.

Prior to joining Sussex, James has held positions of Digital Curator at the British Library and Postdoctoral Fellow with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies of British Art. He is a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College, a convenor of the Institute of Historical Research Digital History seminar and a member of the History Lab Plus Advisory Board.


  • the sourcecaster (2016-). Co-founder with Thomas Padilla. Online training resource that helps researchers use the command line to work through common challenges that come up when working with digital primary sources.
  • Library Carpentry (2015-). Founder. Software Skills training programme for librarians. Distributed community authorship and maintenance (2016-)
  • Born digital big data and methods for history and the humanities (2016-). Partner. AHRC Research Networking Scheme project led by Jane Winters (PI, Institute of Historical Research) and Tobias Blanke (Co-I, King’s College London). Partner with The National Archives of the UK (Sonia Ranade), University of Cambridge (Anne Alexander), University of Waterloo (Ian Milligan), British Library (Jason Webber and Jonathan Pledge), Webster Research and Consulting.
  • Enabling Complex Analysis of Large Scale Digital Collections (2015). Co-Investigator with Melissa Terras (PI, UCL Digital Humanities) and David Beavan (UCL Digital Humanities), James Hetherington (UCL Research IT Services), Martin Zaltz Austwick (UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis), and Adam Farquhar (British Library). Jisc funded project to support translating humanities questions into computational queries and to develop open, citable exemplar workflow packages for teaching, learning, and reuse.


Lecturer in Digital History