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Professor Kathryn Eccles

Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow

Kathryn Eccles

Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow


Kathryn is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and Pembroke College. Her research interests lie primarily in the Digital Humanities, ranging from the re-organisation of cultural heritage and higher education in the digital world and the impact of new technologies on Humanities scholarship and scholarly communication, to broader debates surrounding the human and social aspects of innovation and technological change. As the University’s first Digital Humanities Champion, Kathryn was responsible for the Digital Humanities Programme at The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) from 2014-7, including the 2015-16 TORCH Headline series Humanities and the Digital Age.  Her current work focuses on the ways in which museums and cultural heritage organisations can implement new tools and technologies to enhance visitor engagement, and to better understand how visitors engage with collections.

From 2018-20, Kathryn held a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at TORCH where she led the Hashtag Heritage project, working with English Heritage to pilot the use of social media data to understand engagement with free-to-access heritage sites. This project inspired the GLAM Labs Playful Spaces project, which also used social media to map and better understand playful engagement with Oxford’s museums. Kathryn is a Research Affiliate at the Pitt Rivers Museum (2018-) where she led the Open Cabinet project, exploring the use of augmented reality to engage visitors and students with objects in the collections. This work builds on the Cabinet project, which Kathryn has led since 2015, developing an interactive, mobile-optimised digital platform to support and encourage object-based learning. The Cabinet project is a collaboration between the OII, the Oxford University Museums and the University’s IT Services with support from the GLAM Digital Strategy Group. Cabinet built on research developed during Kathryn’s AHRC Early Career Fellowship (2012-3), which examined the role and impact of crowdsourcing in the arts. This research project focused on the potential of new information and communication technologies to promote public engagement with and awareness of museum collections, and to elicit new information about users and usage, including formal and informal learning.

Kathryn has longstanding interests in gender, identity and social change, the subject of her doctoral work in modern British history. As part of the Semantic Map of Sexism  and Offensive Internet projects, her research has sought to understand how and where sexism is experienced, and to expose the interplay between constructions of sexism in both public and private spaces, and how cultures of offensive speech proliferate online.

Kathryn joined the OII in 2008 to work on the Digitised Resources: A Usage and Impact Study with Professor Eric Meyer, the first of a series of JISC-funded projects on usage and impact, leading to the creation of a free web resource, the Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources. Her work has been funded by the AHRC, Google, JISC, and by the University of Oxford’s IT Innovation Fund, GLAM Labs, John Fell Fund, ESRC IAA Fund, Van Houten fund, and Returning Carers Scheme.

Kathryn completed her DPhil in Modern History at the University of Oxford in 2007.


Research Interests

Digital humanities, cultural heritage, museums, arts and cultural industries, crowdsourcing, education, impact, users, wellbeing, digital and public history, history, gender, sexism.

Positions at the OII

  • Associate Professor, June 2023 -
  • Senior Research Fellow, December 2020 -
  • Research Fellow, January 2014 - December 2020
  • AHRC Research Fellow, October 2012 - December 2013
  • Research Fellow, July 2008 - December 2011


Integrity Statement

My work has been financially supported by UK taxpayers, by the AHRC, Google, JISC, and by the University of Oxford through its IT Innovation Fund, GLAM Labs, John Fell Fund, ESRC IAA Fund, Van Houten fund, and Returning Carers Scheme.

I conduct my research in line with the University's academic integrity code of practice.



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Current Courses

Cultural Analytics

This course will give an overview of how computational tools have recently been used to study patterns of cultural change.