My principal research interest is in the history of ideas in the early modern period, with particular reference to the seventeenth century. My edition of the correspondence of James Ussher, Archbishop of Armagh from 1625-1656, is due to be published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 2012. I am, therefore, naturally interested in editing seventeenth-century collections and exploring scholarly friendship networks in the early modern period. As the Irish member for the International Commission for the History of Universities I am committed to the study of curriculum and universities and am particularly interested in the interplay of science and religion in early modern Europe. I am also continuing my work on the history of libraries, both from a history of ideas perspective and, increasingly, from the point of view of the book as material object, given the wonderful resources of the Edward Worth Library where I work.
- Elizabethanne Boran and Crawford Gribben (eds.) Enforcing the Reformation in Ireland and Scotland: 1550-1700, (St. Andrews Studies in Reformation History: Ashgate, 2006).
- ‘The Sceptical Collector: Alchemy and Chemistry in Early Modern Irish Medical Libraries’, in Danielle Westerhof (ed.) The Alchemy of Medicine and Print (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2010), pp 75-88.
- ‘Writing History in seventeenth-century Ireland: Dudley Loftus’ Annals’ in Muriel McCarthy and Ann Simmons (eds) in Marsh’s Library: A Mirror on the World (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2009), pp 203-33.
- ‘Ussher and the collection of manuscripts in early modern Europe’ in Jason Harris and Keith Sidwell (eds) Making Ireland Roman: Irish Neo-Latin writers and the Republic of Letters (Cork University Press, 2009), pp 176-194.
- ‘A Third Reformation? ‘Persecution and Oppression’ in seventeenth-century Kilkenny’ in Old Kilkenny Review 59 (2007), 52-68.
- ‘Libraries and Collectors, 1550-1700’ in Raymond Gillespie and Andrew Hadfield (eds) The History of the Book in Ireland: Volume III (Oxford, 2006), pp 91-110.
- ‘Malignancy and the reform of the University of Oxford in the mid seventeenth century’ in History of Universities XVII (2001-2), 19 – 45.
- ‘Ramism in Trinity College, Dublin from 1592 to 1641’ in Mordechai Feingold, Joseph S. Freedman and Wolfgang Rother (eds.) The Influence of Petrus Ramus (Basle, 2001), pp 178-201.
Teaching and Supervision
For ten years I taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Department of History, TCD, mainly on the history of ideas in seventeenth-century Europe. I currently teach on a ‘History of Medicine’ module for first year medical students.