Victorian Meme Machine

Dr Bob Nicholson - Victorian Meme Machine

Dr. Bob Nicholson is a cultural historian of 19th-century Britain and America at Edge Hill University and 2014 winner of the British Library Labs Competition.

Published date:

I wanted to find Victorian jokes and bring them back to life

Key points


  • Bob researches the history of Victorian popular culture and was interested in finding and reviving Victorian era jokes
  • He worked with British Library Labs on a project called 'The Victorian Meme Machine' to create a database of Victorian jokes from the Library's digital collection of 19th Century books and newspapers. 
  • The Mechanical Comedian tool mashes Victorian images with jokes and releases them online via Twitter as modern memes. 


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