Loyola University Chicago

Department of History

Faculty and Staff Directory


Title/s:  Associate Professor
Director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities

Office #:  Crown Center 525

Phone: 773.508.2215


CV Link: Roberts CV 2018


Kyle Roberts (Williams College, BA '95; University of Pennsylvania, MA, PhD '07) is Associate Professor of Public History and New Media in the History Department and Director of the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago. He teaches courses on public history, digital humanities, religion, and North America and the Atlantic World in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries.  He is the Project Director of the Jesuit Libraries Project, an initiative to recreate Loyola's first library catalogue in a virtual library system, and the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project, a virtual archive and participatory community dedicated to the study the history of acquisition and use of books in Jesuit colleges, houses, and universities.  In 2016, he won the Edwin T. and Vivijeanne F. Sujack Award for Teaching Excellence, the highest honor for teaching in the College, and in 2017, the Sujack Master Researcher Award.

Professor Roberts’ scholarship explores the intersection of religion, urbanization, and print culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century Atlantic World.  His first book, Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (Chicago, 2016), explores the underappreciated role the religious played in shaping the growth of the modernizing American city and won the 2015 Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize from the New York State Historical Association.  Evangelical Gotham uses a broad range of source material and cutting-edge digital technologies to understand the urban religion of antebellum Evangelicals.  As a postdoctoral fellow at Queen Mary, University of London from 2009-2011, he worked with a team of researchers, archivists, and technical advisors to create Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System, an innovative reconstruction of the holdings and borrowings of the leading English dissenting academies.  He is the co-editor, with Stephen Schloesser, of Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience 1814-2014 (Brill, forthcoming 2017) and, with Mark Towsey, of Before the Public Library: Reading, Community, and Identity in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850 (Brill, forthcoming 2017). He is at work on a book based on the Jesuit Libraries Projects that explores the intersection of urban Catholicism and print in the nineteenth-century Midwest.  He is also the author of several past and forthcoming articles and essays on library, book, and urban religious history.  His 2010 article “Rethinking The New-England Primer,” won the 2013 Schiller Prize from the Bibliographical Society of America.

Before coming to Loyola, Professor Roberts was the Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society (2007-2008) and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University (2008-2009).

Professor Roberts worked for several years in the museum field at Harvard University before graduate school and continues to be actively interested in the connections between public history and the digital humanities.  He is a founder and former convenor of the London Digital Humanities Working Group, a founder of the English Atlantic Writing Group, a Project Partner in the AHRC-funded Community Libraries: Connecting Readers in the Atlantic World, 1650-1850 research network, and the former New Media Editor for Common-place, the premier online journal of early American history, literature, and culture.

Research Interests

Public History, Digital Humanities, Early America, Atlantic World, Religion, Urban History, Print Culture, Material Culture.

Courses Taught

Selected Publications

Evangelical Gotham: Religion and the Making of New York City, 1783-1860 (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014,
edited with Stephen Schloesser (Brill Press, forthcoming 2017)

"Religion in the American City, 1600–1900," American History: Oxford Research Encyclopedias (April 2016)

“The Digital Future of Jesuit Studies,” Catholic Library World 85:4 (June 2015) – edited special issue with five articles by Loyola students.

Dissenting Academies Online: Virtual Library System, with Rosemary Dixon and Dmitri Iourinski, (Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies, 2011)

“Rethinking The New-England Primer,” Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 104:4 (December 2010)

“Locating Popular Religion in the Evangelical Tract: The Roots and Routes of The Dairyman’s Daughter,” Early American Studies, Spring 2006