Dr Alexander Lock

Alexander Lock
Curator of Modern Archives and Manuscripts
Early modern manuscript culture, c. 1600-1800; British political history; the post-medieval legacy of Magna Carta; eighteenth-century cultural history; oral history
Related Offices
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Oral historian with the History of Parliament Trust

Alexander Lock is Curator of Modern Archives and Manuscripts. He holds an AHRC funded doctorate in history from the University of Leeds and has published on the religious, political and constitutional history of Great Britain from the eighteenth-century to the present. 

He was lead researcher for the British Library's highly acclaimed exhibition Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy (2015) and a curator of the Library's sell-out exhibition, Harry Potter: A History of Magic (2017-2018), which later toured to New York (New-York Historical Society, 2018-2019). 

He is the British Library’s convenor for the MA Early Modern English Literature: Text & Transmission which he teaches in collaboration with the English Department at King’s College London. 

Since 2012 he has worked as an oral historian with the History of Parliament Trust recording interviews with former Members of Parliament for a major archive hosted by the British Library.



  • Catholicism, Identity and Politics in the Age of Enlightenment (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2016)

Edited books

  • Alexander Lock, Julian Harrison, Joanna Norledge, Tanya Kirl, et al., eds, Harry Potter: A History of Magic (London: Bloomsbury, 2017) 

See more articles and chapters by Alexander Lock.


  • 'Reform, Radicalism and Revolution: Magna Carta in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain', in Magna Carta: History, Context and Influence, ed. by Lawrence Goldman (London: Institute of Historical Research, 2018), pp. 101-116
  • ‘Magna Carta in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’, in New Explorations in British History: Medieval English Society and Law, ed. by Qian Chengdan & Gao Dai, trans. Li Xin & Cheng Zihang (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2018), pp. 220-238
  • ‘Magna Carta in Colonial America’, History Today, vol. 65, no. 7 (2015), pp. 40-46