Meaghan J. Brown
Meaghan J. Brown


Research Interests

I study the history of the book, with a focus on early modern English printers. I am particularly interested in the intersection between bibliography and the narratives told by printers about their own activities — how they promote printing to their audiences, and as a consequence, how they rhetorically frame both audience and technology. I believe that the integration of printing into the habitus of Europe occurs as much in the words on the page as in the presence of the page itself and that these narratives of production deserve further study.


current positions

Fellow for Data Curation in Early Modern Studies at the Folger Shakespeare Library


I work with a variety of staff and content contributors to develop digital resources for the Folger Shakespeare Library and its patrons. My main project is a Digital Anthology of Early Modern English Drama. This project is a hub for exploring the drama of London's early modern professional stage, and includes entries for 403 plays first performed between 1576 and 1642. In the first two years, we are also producing documentary editions of 40 of these plays, including all of Marlowe's first editions.


I am also a PI on the Identifying Early Modern Books project, a bibliometric study of citaiton practices in early modern and bibliographical journals. IdEM B asks not only how scholars represent their work, but also the work of libraries, archives, and other repositories. We are particularly interested in the representation of facsimile databases and rare books libraries in scholarship. This project has been supported by JSTOR and the Council on Libraries and Information Resources.


From July 2014 to July 2016, my position at the Folger was funded by a CLIR-DLF postdoc in Data Curation in Early Modern Studies. From July 2016 to present, funding is thanks to the NEH.

I am the book reviews and  managing editor for the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. We are happy to accept books for review which consider the book or manuscript (the physical object) as historical evidence, whether for establishing a text or illuminating the history of book production, publication, distribution, or collecting; or studies in the booktrades writ broadly. PBSA is a peer-reviewed journal with a circulation of about 1,200 in print and is distributed electronically by the University of Chicago press.


Contributions to PBSA may be made to our peer-review tracking system, Editorial Manager.


A “Good Report of England”: Narratives of Production and National Identity in Early Modern Print (1473 – 1625), under the direction of A. E. B. Coldiron. Defended 22 March, 2013

“A ‘Good Report of England’” explores the relationship between nascent conceptions of English nationhood and the development of printers’ personas in early modern texts. By examining printers’ self-representations and textual narratives of print-production, this dissertation argues that printers’ epistles manipulated both the concept of community and the concept of readers’ engagement as they actively negotiated the terms of print's place in the political landscape. I ask why an inscribed-printer – often, but not always, authored by the historical printer of a given work – was created to contribute narrative to such works and what the uses of such personae can tell us about the political capital of early modern print.

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© Meaghan Brown