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Archaeology and History

Photo of Dr Harry Smith

Dr Harry Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

H.J.Smith2@exeter.ac.uk


Overview

I am a social and economic historian of the United Kingdom since the eighteenth century. I joined Exeter in January 2024 as a research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project 'The Material Culture of Wills, England 1540-1790'. In this project, as in my previous work, I use large-scale historical data to investigate the economic and other forces which shaped individuals' lives.

I have previously worked on the history of the professions, mortality and morbidity, and entrepreneurship. I continue to research and publish on these areas.

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Research

I work on the social and economic history of the United Kingdom since the eighteenth century. I joined Exeter in January 2024 as a research fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project 'The Material Culture of Wills, England 1540-1790'. 

My research to date has used large datasets to understand the economic and other structures which shape historical lives. I have worked on the history of the professions, entrepreneurship and morbidity. In each case I have developed and used datasets, ranging in size from tens of thousands of people to millions, to allow me and my co-authors to illuminate the lives of individuals who otherwise left little imprint on the historical record.



Research collaborations

Currently I am working on the Leverhulme-funded project 'The Material Culture of Wills, England 1540-1790' along wth Jane Whittle, Laura Sangha, Emily Vine (all Exeter) and Mark Bell (The National Archives).

I continue to collaborate and publish with colleagues from the previous projects on which I have worked, including Laurence Brocklis (Oxford) on the history of the professions, Bob Bennett (Cambridge/LSE) and Carry van Lieshout (Open University) on the history of entrepreneurship, and David Green (King's College London), Nicola Shelton (University College London), Laura Newman (UCL) and Kathleen McIlvenna (Universty of Derby) on the history of morbidity and occupational health

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