Universität Erfurt

Dr. Russell Palmer


Forschungszentrum Gotha der Universität Erfurt (FZG)
Schloßberg 2
99867 Gotha


Curriculum Vitae

2019 – 2020
Fellowship at the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt.

Fellowships at the Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Franke Foundations.

PhD in Archaeology, Ghent University.

2016 – 2018
Guest researcher, Herzog August Bibliothek.

Erasmus Internship, University of Malta.

Visiting doctoral student, University of Glasgow.

MA Archaeology, University of Manchester.

BA (Hons) Archaeology, University of Manchester.


Cultural economies and knowledge exchange in the transatlantic trade of German decorated papers (c. 1650-1830)

Decorated papers (Buntpapiere) produced in what is now south and middle Germany found ready domestic and transatlantic markets from the 1670s. By the late eighteenth century they had become mainstream and recognisable commodities throughout German-speaking Europe, frequently cutting across religious and linguistic communities within the Holy Roman Empire, and in the burgeoning American book market, percolating into English-speaking British North America through multilingual printers and booksellers. The project seeks to investigate the production, trade, and consumption patterns of decorated papers in German-speaking Europe and the area encompassed by British North America/ the early American Republic in order to understand the economic and cultural exchange networks in place in the long eighteenth century (c. 1650–1830). Building on recent trends in book history and material culture studies, decorated papers constitute both objects of study and primary evidence, and the initial task of the project involves building up an extensive corpus of decorated papers. Their empirical investigation will be integrated with the study of written sources—business records of printers, paper makers, and consumers—in order to reconstruct the financial and cultural economics, as well knowledge transmissions imbued in the multifarious decorated paper trade. Treating decorated papers as material culture enables me to conceive of them as vectors through which I can explore the migration, transfer and reception of technical and cultural knowledge, embedding the production, consumption, and flows of decorated papers within the broader paradigms of cultural history. Initial collections to be explored include the private library of Duchess Luise Dorothea and the Theaterbibliothek (Forschungsbibliothek Gotha), the production of paste papers by the Moravians at Neudietendorf, and material recorded previously at the Library Company of Philadelphia.


Material culture history

Decorated papers (Buntpapiere)

German-American history (c. 1600–1850)

Historical archaeology

Ceramics (esp. British and Maltese)

Colonial history

Auszeichnungen, Stipendien, Forschungsaufenthalte

Dr. Liselotte Kirchner Fellowship, Francke Foundations, Halle.

Barra International Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Herzog-Ernst Fellowship, Gotha Research Centre of the University of Erfurt.

2015 – 2016
PhD Scholarship. University Research Council (BOF), Ghent University.

Research stay in Malta. Flemish Research Council (FWO).

Research stay in Malta. Research Council of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (CWO), Ghent University.

GMAC Student Travel Award. Society for Historical Archaeology.


Articles in Peer Reviewed Journals

* Journal listed in Web of Science Master Journal List (http://mjl.clarivate.com)

* (with Simone Raneri, Paolo Mazzo, Nicholas C. Vella, Germana Barone and Wim De Clercq) Neighbourly ties: Characterizing local and Sicilian pottery in post-medieval Malta. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 19 (2018): 575–587. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.03.038.

Graffiti as Historical Data: The British Army and the Inquisitor’s Palace (Birgu) in the early nineteenth century. Melita Historica 17.2 (2018): 37–49.

* Contextualizing the Cruel Sufferings of Katharine Evans and Sarah Cheevers: a historical materialist perspective. ANQ-A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 31.1 (2018): 11–17. DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/0895769X.2017.1340825.

A Functional Analysis of Glass from an Officers’ Mess, Malta. Malta Archaeological Review 11(2012–2013, published 2017): 41–50. 

* (with Laura McAtackney). Colonial Institutions: Uses, Subversions, and Material Afterlives. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 20.3 (2016): 471–76. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-016-0353-6.

* Religious Colonialism in Early Modern Malta: Inquisitorial Imprisonment and Inmate Graffiti. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 20.3 (2016): 548–561. DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-016-0359-0.

* Maltese Ceramics and Imperial Foodways: An Exploration of Nineteenth-century Red Wares. European Journal of Archaeology 17.4 (2014): 678–701. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1461957114Y.0000000067.

* Coleridge, Material Culture, and Malta. ANQ-A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 27.1 (2016): 5–12. DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0895769X.2014.880145.

As Editor

(with Laura McAtackney) Colonial Institutions: Uses, Subversions, and Material Afterlives. Special Issue of International Journal of Historical Archaeology 20.3 (2016).

Minor publications, Reviews and Conference Reports

Gran Bretagna e Italia tra Mediterranea e Atlantico: Livorno – ‚un porto inglese‘/Italy and Britain between Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds: Leghorn – ‘an English port’ edited by Hugo Blake. (Sesto Fiorentino: All’Insenga del Giglio, 2017). Post-Medieval Archaeology 52.3 (2018): 430–31. DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/00794236.2018.1515421.

Conference Report: Trans-imperial Cooperation and Transfers in the Age of Colonial Globalization: Towards a Triangular History of Colonialism?, 22.03.2018 – 24.03.2018 Gotha / Erfurt, in: H-Soz-Kult, 03.05.2018, www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-7679.

Daily Life in a Nineteenth-Century Officers’ Mess: Historical Archaeology at the Inquisitor's Palace. Tesserae: Bulletin of Heritage Malta 1.1 (2016): 20–27.

(with Natascha Mehler). Historical Archaeology at EAA Istanbul, Sept. 10-14, 2014. The SHA Newsletter: Quarterly News on Historical Archaeology from Around the Globe 47(4) (2014): 5–6.



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