Personal Biography

I completed my D.Phil in the Music Faculty at Oxford in 2018, and am now a Research Fellow at the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, where I am working with the Anthony Baines Archive.

My research focuses on collectors and their historical contexts: my D.Phil project was based on the music collection of John Malchair (1730-1812), and my MSc research was about English musical instruments in the Pitt Rivers Museum, particularly those collected by Percy Manning (1870-1911). Between my masters and doctorate I was employed in the museums sector, and worked in project management for arts and heritage organisations. I was Assistant Curator of Musical Instruments at the Horniman Museum, and part of the Documentation team at the British Museum.

For 2019-20 I’m a Humanities Knowledge Exchange Fellow, working with the English Folk Dance and Song Society on their eighteenth-century manuscript tunebooks.

Research and Teaching

My doctoral research used John Malchair’s tunebooks as a case study to define and place the collection of ‘national music’ historically in the mid-eighteenth century and geographically in England. By analysing Malchair’s methods and his networks I described how the activity of collecting was carried out, and revealed how such music was thought of and categorised in the eighteenth century, before the notion of categorisation by geography had been fully established.

The Anthony Baines Archive project at the Bate Collection focuses on the life and work of Anthony Baines (1912-1997), an organologist, collector, author on the subject of musical instruments, and curator at the Bate from 1970-80. The Archive consists of both personal and academic papers, including manuscript compositions, reproductions of artworks featuring musical instruments, notes on botany, Baines’ war records and photographs, in addition to drafts of his organological books and a great deal of unpublished musical research.


'For the sake of difference among them': John Malchair’s Categorizations of Tunes, 1760-95. Folk Music Journal 11.5:52-66 (2020)

‘John Malchair: tune-collecting in 18th-Century England’. A Handbook for Studies in 18th-Century English Music, XXI:71-88 (2017)

‘‘Good morning, ladies and gentlemen’: songs, music and musical instruments in the Percy Manning collection’, in M Heaney (ed), Percy Manning: The Man Who Collected Oxfordshire. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2017, pp. 221-255

‘Percy Manning, Henry Balfour, Thomas Carter, and the Collecting of Traditional English Musical Instruments’. Folk Music Journal 11.1:25-41 (2016)

‘‘Captain Kennedy’s Mandolin’, and other English musical instruments at the University of Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum’. Journal of Museum Ethnography 23:117-128 (2010)

For an up to date list of my publications, conference papers, and upcoming talks, see  Follow me on Twitter: @littleamiss