Lydia Murtezaoglu

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Research title: Second Cities of Empire: Glasgow and Calcutta/ Kolkata

Research Summary

‘Second Cities of Empire: Glasgow and Calcutta’ deals with the status of both cities within the imperial network during the nineteenth century. Both cities claimed to be the second city of the Empire, citing their importance to the imperial machine, their commercial significance and their historical position. Second, of course, to London, the metropole from which the Empire was run.

This thesis draws together two projects with their own distinct objectives. Firstly, it is designed to fit within the ‘Second Cities’ British Academy funded conference series. This series works to unite researchers of imperial Glasgow and Calcutta and focus the question on the nature of the relationship between them. Secondly, the project is part of the Leverhulme Trust funded Collections project, which aims to employ interdisciplinary approaches to address both historical and contemporary collections. Consequently, this project uses processes of collecting to better understand how Glasgow and Calcutta employed, curated and deployed their positions as second cities of the empire. To do this I analyse public collections, such as museums, which were created in this period. These collections illustrate how the cities wanted to reflect its own culture and that of others.


Grants & Awards

  • Leverhulme Trust, 2016 – Present, funded PhD studies and supplementary activities, including, a three month research trip in India, exhibitions in Cambridge and the Isle of Lewis, conferences in Leeds, London and Indianapolis, as well as, research in the British Library.


  • Second Cities of Empire: Scotland in India/ India in Scotland, University of Glasgow 2017
  • Collecting and Collectibles, PCA/ ACA 2018 Conference, Indianapolis


  • History 1A: Scotland’s Millennium: Kingdom, Union and Nation, c. 1000-2014
  • History 2B: An Introduction to Global History

Additional Information

Organisational Committees

  • SGSAH Stuff of Research Symposium Committee

Other Roles

  • Researcher on TV series Horrible Histories (series 7 and 8).