Victoria Mills is about to enter her final year as a PhD student at Birkbeck and is writing a thesis on the representation of collectors and collecting in Victorian literature. Her research focuses on the construction of identities (particularly gender identities) through collecting and explores how collecting can be seen as a representative strategy where the collector is viewed as a figure for the novelist and the novel as akin to a collection. Prior to embarking on a PhD, Victoria worked at the V & A Museum and is an Associate Tutor in the Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. She has articles on the gendering of nineteenth-century collecting forthcoming in Women's History Review (2008) and in Illustrations, Objects and Optics (Palgrave, 2008).
Participants in the forum were asked to consider a series of questions regarding the nature of the material object in virtual space; the relationship between object, image and text in digital format; and issues around access and the politics of online collections. All participants have worked or are working on nineteenth-century digitisation projects, and were asked to discuss these issues in relation to their experiences of digitising material artefacts.