Earle Havens

Earle Havens

Director of the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance and the Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts, Sheridan Libraries


Research Interests: early modern books, special collections, Italian Renaissance

Education: PhD, Yale University (History and Renaissance Studies)

Earle Havens scholarship and teaching focus on the history of the book and the material culture of texts from classical antiquity to the Renaissance. My current book projects include a study of 16th-century illicit printing, book smuggling, and scribal publication in the Catholic underground in Elizabethan England; a volume of essays on early modern literary forgery (with Walter Stephens, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, JHU) through the JHU Press (2018); and a critical edition of the lives of the Roman Catholic Elizabethan Earl and Countess of Arundel, with Elizabeth Patton (Humanities Institute, JHU) and Susannah Monta (Department of English, University of Notre Dame) through the Toronto/PIMS series (projected 2019). He also serve as editor of a new monograph series with Ann Blair (History Department, Harvard University) and Anthony Grafton (History Department, Princeton University) called “Information Cultures” for the JHU Press, addressing the cultures, technologies, organization, and material transfer of historical information from antiquity to the digital age.

His work also encompasses digital scholarship, primarily as Principal Investigator of an international digital humanities research consortium with co-PIs Anthony Grafton (History Department, Princeton) and Matthew Symonds (Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, University College London). This five-year (2013-18) Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project, the "Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe" (AOR), involves the digitization, transcription, and encoding into machine-readable and searchable forms the dense manuscript annotations left in the margins of printed books by the Renaissance readers Gabriel Harvey and John Dee. The AOR team--which includes technologists and programmers, rare book curators, humanities postdoctoral researchers, and graduate student transcribers--is adapting a web-based viewer to facilitate dynamic user interface with these complex and composite textual sources. Our collective purpose is the scholarly exploration of methods, traditions, and strategies of reading in early modern Europe, systematically and through a data-rich research environment.

For more information, see the AOR project website.