Rawdon Brown and the Brown Archive in The National Archives
Rawdon Brown was born in 1806 and, from 1833 until his death in 1883, lived in Venice, virtually without a break. There, he quickly became a self-taught expert on the city and on its records and came to be employed by the Master of the Rolls to calendar material held in Venice – and to some extent elsewhere in north-eastern Italy – relating to the British Isles. The Calendars – published by him, and after his death by others largely drawing on material he had identified – are a rich source, not only for Anglo-Venetian relations but for the history of Europe as a whole. Much of his ‘archive’ is now held in The National Archives and constitutes a remarkably rich but sadly under-explored resource.
Dr John Law is a graduate of St Andrews and Oxford; he is currently Reader in History at Swansea University. His research interests lie in late medieval and early renaissance Italy, and in the ‘reception’ of these periods in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. He has served as editor of the Society for Renaissance Studies’ journal Renaissance Studies, and was chair of that Society for three years. He is currently chair of the Swansea branch of the Historical Association