About the Project

The Grub Street Project was established in 2005 by Allison Muri. At that time digital publishing was still seen very much as a new "Grub Street," and all too often critiqued as a specious and ephemeral form. The name was also inspired in no small part by Pat Rogers' Grub Street: Studies in a Subculture first published in 1972. The goal of the project is to visualize the literary and cultural history of London. This includes mapping the city's print trades and other trades, its imagined literary representations, and its real histories. Mapping such locations and events centuries later, however, presents no small challenge. In 1704 Jonathan Swift complained of the seemingly ephemeral literary productions in London where vast numbers of written works were "hurried so hastily off the scene, that they escape our memory, and delude our sight" like a topography of ever-changing clouds. Today, the obstacles to posterity that Swift condemned resurface in any attempt to study the relationships between 18th-century printed materials, texts, authors, printers, booksellers, publishers, and readers. For example, while we might be able to determine where a book was printed or "to be sold," patterns of production, selling, buying, and reading are harder to see. Moreover, the ephemeral nature of London's topography itself presents difficulties for the researcher. Mapping booksellers and printers continues to be a work in progress. The notorious Grub Street is no more, and traces of the printers' premises there exist today only as vague addresses such as "neere the lower pumpe" or "neer Cripple-Gate." High-resolution "zoomable" maps from 18th-century prints associated with a database of bibliographical and topographical data, trades indexes, and literary texts afford new possibilities for not only seeing the relationships between people, trades, book production, and dissemination of ideas, but also for seeing the topographies of creative imagination.


Allison Muri, University of Saskatchewan: Designer, Director, and Editor, 2005–present

Editorial Board

Frans de Bruyn, University of Ottawa
Nicholas Hudson, University of British Columbia
Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto
Laura Mandell, Texas A&M University
Donald W. Nichol, Memorial University of Newfoundland
David Oakleaf, University of Calgary
Carol Percy, University of Toronto
Pam Perkins, University of Manitoba
Paul F. Rice, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Leslie Ritchie, Queen's University
Pat Rogers, University of Southern Florida
Laura Runge, University of Southern Florida
Peter Sabor, McGill University


people who lived in, worked in, visited, or were otherwise associated with London during the long 18th century

Paul Baines, University of Liverpool (forthcoming)
Pascal Bastien, University of Québec at Montreal (forthcoming)
Jes Battis, University of Regina (forthcoming)
Joël Castonguay-Bélanger, University of British Columbia (forthcoming)
Kevin Cope, Louisiana State University (forthcoming)
Brian Cowan, McGill University (forthcoming)
Frans de Bruyn, University of Ottawa (forthcoming)
Nicholas Dion, Université de Sherbrooke (forthcoming)
Leigh Dillard, University of North Georgia (forthcoming)
Claire Grogan, Bishop's University (forthcoming)
Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta (forthcoming)
Nicholas Hudson, University of British Columbia
Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)
Kathleen James Cavan, University of Saskatchewan (forthcoming)
Sharon L. Jansen, Pacific Lutheran University
Mary Astell (1668–1731)
Hester Lynch Piozzi (1741–1821)
Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto (forthcoming)
Elizabeth Kraft, University of Georgia (forthcoming)
Heather Ladd, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (forthcoming)
John Levin, School of Advanced Study, University of London (forthcoming)
Dana Lew, University of Toronto (forthcoming)
Austin Long, University of Toronto (forthcoming)
Mary Helen MacMurran, University of Western Ontario (forthcoming)
Laura Mandell, Texas A&M University (forthcoming)
David McNeil, Dalhousie University (forthcoming)
Alexis McQuigge, University of Regina (forthcoming)
Heather Meek, University of Montréal (forthcoming)
Benoît Melançon, University of Montréal (forthcoming)
Allison Muri, University of Saskatchewan
John Broughton (1704–8 January 1789)
James Figg (d. 8 December 1734)
Eliza Haywood (ca. 1695–1756)
Edith Pope (1643–1733)
Jessica Munns, University of Denver (forthcoming)
Donald W. Nichol, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
David Oakleaf, University of Calgary (forthcoming)
Mary Ann Parker, University of Toronto (forthcoming)
Carol Percy, University of Toronto (forthcoming)
Katherine Quinsey, University of Windsor (forthcoming)
Kathryn Ready, University of Winnipeg (forthcoming)
Paul F. Rice, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Thomas Attwood (1765–1838)
Thomas Augustine Arne (1710–1778)
William Boyce (1711–1779)
James Hook (1746–1827)
Theodore Edward Hook (b. 1788)
Michael Kelly (1762–1826)
William Shield (1748–1829)
John Christopher Smith (1712–1795)
Stephen Storace (1762–1796)
Matthew Risling, St Mary's University, Calgary (forthcoming)
Leslie Ritchie, Queen's University
William Woodfall (1745–1803)
Pat Rogers, University of South Florida, Tampa
John Arbuthnot (16671735)
Martha Blount (1690–1763)
Sir John Blunt  (1665–1733)
Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington (16941753)
Edmund Curll (1683–1747)
Daniel Defoe (ca. 1660–1731)
Arabella Fermor (ca. 1689–1738)
Celia Fiennes (1662–1741)
John Moore (d. 1737)
Anne Oldfield (1683–1730)
John Oldmixon (1673–1742)
Matthew Prior (1664–1721) 
Margaret Caroline Rudd (1745–1798)
Elkanah Settle (1648–1724)
Mary Toft (1701–1763)
Laura Runge, University of Southern Florida (forthcoming)
Kandice Sharren, University of Galway (forthcoming)
Armelle St-Martin, University of Manitoba (forthcoming)
Peter Sabor, McGill University
Frances Burney (1752–1840)
Kandice Sharren, University of Galway (forthcoming)
Diana Solomon, Simon Fraser University (forthcoming)
Isabelle Tremblay, Royal Military College (forthcoming)
Philip Trotter, University of Toronto
Isaac Brandon (1769–1847)
Lisa Vargo, University of Saskatchewan (forthcoming)
Mary Waters, Wichita State University (forthcoming)

Place Descriptions

places in and around London

Paul F. Rice, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Cuper's Gardens
Hampstead Wells
Marybone Gardens
Ranelagh Gardens
Vauxhall Gardens
White Conduit House
Pat Rogers, University of South Florida, Tampa
Fleet Ditch


Allison Muri and Catherine Nygren, University of Saskatchewan
The Dunciad Variorum, 1729 (in progress)
Allison Muri and Benjamin Neudorf University of Saskatchewan
The London Spy Compleat, 1703 (in progress)
Benjamin Neudorf
A True Character of Mr. Pope, and his Writings, 1716
David Oakleaf, University of Calgary
A Trip to Jamaica With a True Character of the People and Island, 1698
Five Love-letters from a Nun to a Cavalier. Done out of French., 1678
Irwin Primer
Laus Ululae, The Praise of Owls, from Curll's Miscellanea, dated 1727 (forthcoming)
Heather Torvi, University of Saskatchewan
The Coffee-House Politician, 1730 (in progress)

Student Contributions

Heather Torvi (MA, English), 2019– : research project: Revealing the Effects of Fake News in the 18th Century: Henry Fielding’s Critique of the Newspaper Trade in The Coffee-House Politician; Research Assistant, 2019–

Banjo Olaleye (PhD, English), 2016– : research project: Ignatius Sancho's London: A Social Reading of Space and Identity in Eighteenth Century London; Research Assistant, 2017–

Rodrigo Yanez (PhD, English), 2015– : research project: Place and autobiographical self-fashioning: literary geography and digital mapping in James Boswell's London Journal 1762–1763; Research Assistant, 2017–

James Yeku (PhD, English), 2014, 2017: Research Assistant

Benjamin Neudorf (BA / MA, English), 2011–14: research, usability testing, co-editor of The London Spy

Catherine Nygren (BA / MA, English), 2010–13: research, usability testing, co-editor of The Dunciad Variorum

Mike Sheinin (BA, Computer Science), 2012: programming, usability testing

Justin Gowen (BA, Computer Science), 2011: programming

Jordan Rudek (MA, English), 2011: Ned Ward research

Edison del Canto (PhD, Interdisciplinary Studies), 2010: conceptual design, The Four Kings of Canada

Meshon Cantrill (MA, English), 2008: research and development of a concept for "The London Game"

Holly Luhning (PhD, English), 2005: data entry, Eliza Haywood research

Jon Bath (PhD, English), 2005: prototyping, TEI markup


Xiaohan Zhang, Web App Developer, 2012–2015


Publications related to the project

Muri, Allison, Catherine Nygren, and Benjamin Neudorf. “The Grub Street Project: A Digital Social Edition of London in the Long 18th Century.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (March 2016).

Muri, Allison. “Beyond GIS: On Mapping Early Modern Narratives and the Chronotope.” Digital Studies / Le champ numérique 6 (2015-2016) Beyond Accessibility: Textual Studies in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Brent Nelson and Richard Cunningham.

Salt, Joel, Ronald Cooley, and Allison Muri. "Electronic Scholarly Editing in the University Classroom: an Approach to Project-based Learning." Digital Studies / Le champ numérique 3.1 (2012).

Muri, Allison. “Graphs, Maps, and Digital Topographies: Visualizing The Dunciad as Heterotopia.” Lumen 30 (2011): 79-98.

Muri, Allison. “Digital Natives or Digital Strangers? Teaching the Eighteenth Century Online, from Ctrl-F to Digital Editions.” Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe & His Contemporaries 2.1 (Fall 2010).

Muri, Allison. “The Grub Street Project: Imagining Futures in Scholarly Editing.” In Online Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come. Ed. Jerome McGann, with Andrew Stauffer, Dana Wheeles, and Michael Pickard (Houston, TX: Rice University Press, 2010), 25-58.

Muri, Allison. “The Technology and Future of the Book: What a Digital ‘Grub Street’ Can Tell us About Communications, Commerce, and Creativity.” In Producing the Eighteenth-Century Book: Writers and Publishers in England, 1650–1800. Ed. Laura Runge and Pat Rogers. University of Delaware Press, 2009. 235-50.