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Dr Oliver Dunn

Dr Oliver Dunn

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Oliver Dunn is available for consultancy.

Faculty of History
West Road
Cambridge UK

Cambridge CB3 9EF
Office Phone: 01223335314


When I finished a BA degree in history at Bristol University in 2007 I worked for a while in marketing before being contacted by a friend at Cambridge University who was working as Research Assistant for Campop collecting something called Occupational Data from parish registers. I was advised they needed someone, like me, who had some experience in historical research and a driving licence. The project Deputy Director a this time, Leigh Shaw-Taylor, therefore hired me as a driver/data entry clerk on his Occupation Structure of Britain project. After a year or two visiting a great many English and Welsh archives with my friends, I started an MPhil at Cambridge. After completing this, in 2010, I managed to be selected for full funding for a PhD at the European University Institute, Florence, where I was introduced to various themes from global to cultural history while I researched political corruption and early English customs taxation. After completing my doctorate in Florence, I moved back to the UK and worked in retail compliance for a year or so, before being saved again by Leigh who employed me to work on shipping economics in his Transport, Energy and Urbanization c.1670-1911 project in 2016. I continue this work, but range among the various research projects at Campop and my own interests increasingly in the sphere of digital humanities.

Research Interests

British ports, routes, shipping, and trade, 1500-1914.

Development of advanced methods for the digitisation of historical sources of big data.

Customs and the British fiscal state.

Practices and concepts of historical corruption. 


I am Methods Fellow with Cambridge Digital Humanities Learning. I run four digital humanities workshops.

I lecture in History on subjects in Papers 9 and 10.


  • Economic, Social History
  • British social history c.1600-1850
  • Modern British History