Ashleigh Hawkins

Postgraduate Research Student



Ashleigh Hawkins has an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Edinburgh and an MA in Archives and Records Management from the University of Liverpool. Ashleigh was awarded the Eleanor and Reginald Allan Scholarship for 2015/16 and before undertaking her PhD was employed as archivist at Canterbury Cathedral. Alongside her research Ashleigh is the Communications Officer for the Archives and Records Association Section for Archives and Technology, the Archives and Records Association Representation on the Bridging the Digital Gap Board and is PGR Research Theme Champion for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Liverpool.

Research Interests

Ashleigh’s broad area of investigation is consideration of the ways in which Digital Humanities could increase access to and engagement with historic archive collections. Specifically, she uses historic customer records from Barclays Group Archives as a case study, to examine the benefits of Linked Data for use in the archives sector. The Linked Data principles were developed in the mid-2000s and were first applied in the archives sector in 2010. Since then, a number of delimited studies have used Linked Data with various record types but there has been little examination of the benefits of adopting Linked Data for archives and their stakeholders. From examination of a broad body of literature, a practical case study using Linked Data to semantically and geo-location tag a Customer Signature Book of the Bank of Goslings and Sharpe, and focus groups, the study aims to address this gap in the research and develop a multi-purpose framework of the benefits of Linked Data for archives.

Other research interests include sustainability and archives, the history of recordkeeping, and archives and technology. In 2020 she worked in collaboration to publish:

"The Three Character Classic of Archival Work: a brief overview of Chinese archival history and practice", Archival Science (2020)

Thesis Title

"Accounts with Interest: Opening Up the Archives of Barclays Bank."

Using historic customer records Ashleigh’s research seeks to examine the ways in which digital humanities could increase access to and engagement with historic archive collections, and investigate the challenges and opportunities this increased and varied use of historic materials presents those responsible for their care.

Research Group Membership

Ashleigh is a member of the Archives and Records Association, International Council on Archives and Oral History Society.

Research Funding

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)