A first year PhD student, Darren is basing his doctoral research on the establishment of a large-scale, online database that will compile and document the constituency of the Jacobite movement during 1745-46. Even within the vast corpus of letters, court records, transportation lists, and muster rolls that form the backbone of what we currently know about the framework of 18th-century Jacobitism, there are inconsistencies, gaps, and deletions, thus admitted by many scholars who have previously attempted to collate this data. Such a definitive repository, undertaken in a technically modern and flexible format, would be an authoritative source for present and future Jacobite scholars. The creation and maintenance of this database is the centrepiece of Darren’s doctoral research, which will undoubtedly yield a large number of cultural, social, religious, and military topics about Jacobite constituency for detailed and discrete chapters within his forthcoming doctoral thesis. During the creation and establishment of the database, he will be harnessing a number of technical assets in order to build, maintain, and promote its functions, including remote collaboration, curation, and research; digitisation of and linking to primary source documents; and concurrent documentation of Jacobite personalities on a dedicated webpage within the database’s online domain. While still an ambitious project, limiting the entries to having a context within the ‘Forty-Five makes it attainable over the course of a PhD programme, though there will certainly be room to connect it with the wider fabric of the ‘Jacobite Century’ as more data enters the field. Its living format will allow the database to be expanded after its initial scope and context is described, following the progression of technology and its increasing use in historical study and digital documentation.
As mentioned above, concurrent with this will be a blog-format website that will pull known and unknown characters from the Jacobite conflict and give them background and context in a more accessible manner than in an academic database. This will be akin to the excellent Boston 1775 and British Soldiers, American Revolution sites already established that focus on 18th-century happenings “across the pond”. These both provide an enthusiastic and bite-sized “logbook” of the personalities that existed, and I find them to be presented in a way that spans the gap of years so the modern reader doesn’t feel so disconnected from the context described. This space will be updated frequently with links as the projects progress and more detail is added to them, and also as new projects arise.