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Professor honoured for contribution to society

24 September 2019

English Literature expert recognised as Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Professor of English Literature Julia Thomas has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

The long-standing academic has been recognised for her outstanding and internationally-recognised contribution to society within the arts in bringing forgotten book illustrations to light through digital archives.

Fellows past and present include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Charles Dickens, Stephen Hawking, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Karl Marx and Adam Smith.

Director of the Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration and The Illustration Archive, Professor Thomas has specific interests and expertise in Victorian visual and material culture, word and image studies, and digital humanities.

The Illustration Archive remains the world’s largest resource of searchable online illustrations, making more than a million illustrations available globally thanks to Arts and Humanities Research Council project funding.

Professor Thomas commented: 'I am delighted to receive this honour, which recognises my work making historical illustrations digitally available across the world. I look forward to working with the RSA in continuing to promote the cultural riches and significance of the arts.'

Founded in 1754, the Royal Society of Arts, also known as the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, aims to enrich society through ideas and action. Fellowship of the RSA (FRSA) is an award granted to individuals that the RSA judges to have made outstanding achievements to social progress and development.

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