Ruth Byrne

PhD student, Associate Lecturer


Historians increasingly have access to huge amounts of textual data. My research explores the potential of interdisciplinary methods as means of approaching the ever-growing digital archive.

Click here for a video summary of my research.

My thesis uses corpus linguistics; the machine-assisted analysis of language in very large bodies of text, to examine the language of migration in nineteenth century newspapers. I focus specifically upon representations of 'aliens' and refugees. The research is part of an ESRC Studentship in collaboration with the British Library. Their vast digital collections give us an insight into the shifting language of immigration and refuge in Victorian Britain.

My research was awarded the 2018 Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship by the Research Society of Victorian Periodicals (RSVP).

Affiliated with CASS (Corpus Approaches to the Social Sciences)

My research interests include:

  • corpus linguistics
  • digital humanities
  • migration studies
  • immigration
  • refugees
  • nineteenth century Britain
  • digitisation
  • media history
  • the press