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Victoria Pickering

Victoria Pickering

Plant Humanities Fellow, 2019–2020

Victoria Pickering joins Dumbarton Oaks from the British Museum, where she was a postdoctoral researcher working on the Leverhulme Trust–funded project “Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of His Collections” (2016–19). The project, combining traditional and digital humanities, focused on making catalogues of natural history collections machine readable in order to understand how the physician Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1759) and his contemporaries collected, organized, and classified the world. Pickering’s AHRC-funded PhD at Queen Mary University of London, entitled “Putting Nature in a Box: Hans Sloane’s ‘Vegetable Substances’ Collection,” explored how these 12,523 botanical specimens, brought together between the 1680s and 1750s,  played a role in the production, exchange, and circulation of natural knowledge. In late 2017, she curated an exhibition at the British Museum entitled A Physician’s Cabinet. Most recently, Pickering has coauthored a chapter for the volume Curious Encounters: Voyaging, Collecting, and Making Knowledge in the Long Eighteenth Century, edited by Adriana Craciun and Mary Terrall (University of Toronto Press, 2019).