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School of History

Dr Katherine McDonough

Research Fellow



Katie is a historian of eighteenth-century France working at the intersection of political culture and the history of science and technology. She completed her PhD in History at Stanford in 2013. She has taught at Bates College (Maine, US) and was a postdoctoral researcher in digital humanities at Western Sydney University (Australia). Before joining the Turing Institute, Katie was a digital history specialist in the Department of History/Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research at Stanford University.

Her first book manuscript, 'Public Works Laboratory: Building a Province in Eighteenth-Century France' is a spatial history of the corvée, the forced labor regime used from the 1730s until the Revolution on highway construction sites.

At the Turing, Katie works on the Living with Machines project (, a digital history of industrialization in nineteenth-century Britain. She is a Research Fellow in History at Queen Mary.

Turing Research Profile:


Research Interests:

Eighteenth-century France, Infrastructure, Archives, Spatial History, Geographic Information Retrieval

Digital Projects
French Revolution Data Project, PI with Dan Edelstein, 2018-present.

OHTAP (Oral History Text Analysis Project), with Estelle Freedman, Natalie Marine-Street, Hilary Sun, Preston Carlton, 2018-2019.

GÉODISCO and Spatial Histories of the Encyclopédie,, Co-I with L. Moncla, D. Vigier, T. Joliveau, A. Brenon, in collaboration with ARTFL, University of Chicago, 2017-present.

Mapping Print, Charting Enlightenment,, Western Sydney University, Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2016-17.

French Revolution Digital Archive,, Stanford University and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Research Assistant, 2010-11.




Public Works Laboratory: Building a Province in Eighteenth-Century France. Manuscript in progress.

Refereed Journal Articles

Katherine McDonough, Ludovic Moncla, and Matje van de Camp, “Named Entity Recognition Goes to Old Regime France: Geographic Text Analysis for Early Modern French Corpora,” International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Special Section: Spatial Computing and Digital Humanities, (2019) vol. 33 (12): 2498-2522.

Katherine McDonough, “La corvée en Haute et Basse Bretagne: les pratiques et les plaintes des paroisses sur les grands chemins en 1769,” Mémoires de la Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne, (2012) vol. XC, 329-349.

Book Chapters

Katherine McDonough, “Putting the Eighteenth Century on the Map: A Proposal for Early Modern French Geospatial Data Development,” in Digitizing Enlightenment, ed. by Glenn Roe and Simon Burrows (Oxford Studies in the Enlightenment/Liverpool University Press, 2019).

“Un domaine provincial? Les États de Bretagne, le domaine royal et la construction des routes au XVIIIe siècle,” in Le financement des infrastructures de transport, ed. by Anne Conchon, David Plouviez, and Eric Szulman (Paris: Comité pour l’histoire économique et financière de la France, 2019).

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceedings

(Under Review) Mariona Coll Ardanuy, Katherine McDonough, Amrey Krause, Daniel CS Wilson, Kasra Hosseini, “Resolving Places, Past and Present: Toponym Resolution in Historical British Newspapers Using Multiple Resources,” ACM SIGSPATIAL GIR’19, 13th Workshop on Geographic Information Retrieval, Lyon, France, 28-29 November, 2019.

Ludovic Moncla, Katherine McDonough, Denis Vigier, Thierry Joliveau, and Alice Brenon, “Toponym disambiguation in historical documents using network analysis of qualitative relationships,” GeoHumanities '19: 3rd ACM SIGSPATIAL Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, Chicago, IL, 5-8 November, 2019.

Katherine McDonough, Ludovic Moncla, and Matje van de Camp, “Expérimentation de méthodes d'extraction d'informations géographiques pour les documents historiques,” SAGEO 2018, Atelier Humanités Numériques Spatialisées (HumaNS’2018), 6 November 2018.

Katherine McDonough and Matje van de Camp, “Mapping the Encyclopédie: Geographic Text Analysis for the French Enlightenment,” ACM SIGSPATIAL Workshop on Geospatial Humanities, 7 November 2017.

Anne Conchon and Katherine McDonough, “Road Construction Sites in 18th-century France: Labor and Administration in Action,” Nuts and Bolts of Construction History: Culture, Technology, and Society, R. Carvais, A. Guillerme, V. Nègre, and J. Sakarovitch eds. (Paris: Picard, 2012) vol. 2, 165-172.

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