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Dr Toni Weller

Job: Visiting Research Fellow in History

Faculty: Art, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: n/a

E: tweller@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/humanities


Personal profile

Dr Toni Weller is a Visiting Research Fellow in History, formerly Senior Lecturer in History, at De Montfort University.

Toni’s research interests are focused around the interdisciplinary field of information history. Specifically, she is interested in how information was thought of and used in a social and cultural capacity, as a distinct move away from the traditions of thinking of information in terms of its technological or organisational tools and processes.

Most of her work focuses on the Victorians and the long nineteenth century in Britain, but it also has links to contemporary issues around the history and origins of our own information age and the history of the information state.  She is also interested in the role of history in the digital age.  Toni has lectured and published internationally and is recognised as one of the leading scholars in the field of information history.

Publications and outputs 

Click here to view a full listing of Toni Weller's publications and outputs.|

Key research outputs

T. Weller (Ed.) (2012), History in the Digital Age (Routledge)

T. Weller (2012), ‘The Information State: A Historical Perspective on Surveillance’, in Kirstie Ball, Kevin Haggerty, David Lyon (Eds), Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (Routledge), pp. 57-63

T. Weller (Ed.) (2010), Information History in the Modern World: Histories of the Information Age (Palgrave Macmillan)

T. Weller (2010), ‘The Victorian information age: nineteenth century answers to today's information policy questions?’, History & Policy, http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-104.html| 

Research interests/expertise

  • Information history theory and historiography
  • Long nineteenth century in Britain
  • History of the Information Age
  • History of the Surveillance State
  • History in the Digital Age


  • PhD Information History (City University, London)
  • MA History (Newnham College, University of Cambridge)
  • MSc Information Science (City University, London)
  • Introductory Certificate to Teaching in Higher Education

Courses taught

In Dr Weller’s previous position as a Senior Lecturer in History at De Montfort (2008-2011), she was module leader for HIST 1014 Britain in Transition and HIST 2002 Britain Since 1939.  Toni also taught on HIST 1009 The Making of the Modern World and HIST 1002 Presenting and Representing the Past, as well as supervising dissertations. 

At previous institutions Dr Weller has also taught on research methods and historiography, the history and origins of the information society, an introduction to information history, and the history of information management, as well as classes on Victorian information culture. 

Honours and awards

Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, 2010. Awarded in recognition of the quality and impact of Toni’s teaching, voted for by the students themselves.

Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award Winner (Highly Commended), 2008. Annually awarded in recognition of exceptional doctoral research.

Membership of external committees

In 2007 Toni was elected Chair of the national Library and Information History Group (LIHG), the first woman to hold the office since the Group was established in 1962. After stepping down as Chair, she remained on the committee until 2012.  Toni was also a member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Policy Forum, a national body which met tri-annually to discuss and form information policy for the Institute.


Membership of professional associations and societies

Social History Society, Historical Association, Library & Information History Group, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).


Conference attendance

Convened conferences and convened conference panels:

Organiser and Chair of the Library and Information History Annual Conference, CILIP, London, March 2009

On plenary panel (with James Raven, University of Essex and Alistair Black, University of Illinois), of the international annual conference of the Library & Information History Group, London, March 2009, discussing Future Directions for Information History

The Dichotomy of Representation: The Private and Public Self in the Nineteenth Century Knowledge Culture – convened strand for the Social History Society Annual Conference (with Edward Higgs and Helen Yallop), University of Warwick, April 2009

Searching for Culture: Etiquette, Self-Education and the Aspirant Classes – convened strand for the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing & the Library and Information History Group (with Peter Hoare and Lauren Christos), Oxford Brookes University, June 2008 

Recent Conference Papers and Invited Talks:

The Origins of the Information Age: Surveillance, Knowledge and Power in Victorian Britain, Cultural Exchange Week, De Montfort University, Leicester, March 2010

Exploring Information History: The Past Through the Eyes of the Information Age – given at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign, USA, August 2009

History in the Information Age: A Mutable Past and Present? 29th Irish Conference of Historians; University of Limerick, Ireland, 12-14 June 2009

Information History: Exploring an Emergent Field – given at the Department of Historical and Social Studies, De Montfort University, Leicester, October 2008

Polite Information: Victorian Etiquette Books as Alternative Tools of Learning. Teaching and Text. Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing Annual Conference, Oxford Brookes University, 24-28 June 2008

Applying Information History: The Relevance of Information History to Contemporary Information Policy and Planning – given at the Department of Information Science Summer Seminar season, City University, London, June 2008

Introducing Information History: Concepts, Questions and Research - given at the Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, UK, November 2007

Information History: The Historical Culture of Information. Social History Society Annual Conference, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, 27-29 March 2008

Preserving Knowledge through Popular Victorian Periodicals: An Examination of the Penny Magazine and the Illustrated London News, 1842-1843. Making Connections Between Library, Book, Reading and Information History. Faculty of Information and Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University, 7-8 June 2007

The Role of Behavioural Etiquette as a Social Regulator during the Nineteenth Century. Social History Society Annual Conference, University of Exeter, 30 March - 1 April 2007

Information History: Its Importance, Relevance, and Future - given at the Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Lund, Sweden, February 2007

Professional esteem indicators

  • Editor-in-chief, Library & Information History, 2009-2012
  • Editorial Board Member, Library & Information History, 2012-
  • Editorial Board Member, Information & Culture: A Journal of History, 2012-2015
  • Associate Editor for a special information history issue of the American Journal of Information Technology, 2012
  • Reviewer for Cultural and Social History, Library and Information History, the Journal of Documentation, Book History, the Journal of Research Practice, and for the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.

Case studies

Article on Dr Weller’s work in BBC History Magazine: Chris Bowlby (2010), ‘The Victorians Were Every Bit as Inquisitive as As', BBC History Magazine, November, 11 (11), p. 51, http://www.bbchistorymagazine.com/feature/victorians-were-every-bit-inquisitive-us|

Toni’s 2010 article ‘An Information History Decade: A Review of the Literature and Concepts, 2000–2009’, Library & Information History, 26 (1), pp. 83-97, has been translated into Hungarian (‘Egy információtörténeti évtized: a szakirodalom és az elméletek áttekintése, 2000-2009’), for publication in the prestigious Hungarian history quarterly, AETAS, in press for 2012/2012. The article is preceded by a nine page interview with Toni on the field of information history (‘The Beauty of Information History’ or ‘Az információtörténelem gyönyörűsége’).

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