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Dr James Campbell MA DipArch PhD (Cantab) RIBA IHBC FSA

Dr James Campbell, MA DipArch PhD (Cantab) RIBA IHBC FSA

Senior University Lecturer (Department of Architecture)

Fellow of Queens' College

Director of Studies at Queens' College


Office Phone: 01223 332970

Research Interests

Dr James Campbell is an architect and architectural historian. He has practised as an architect in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and the United States and still acts as a conservation consultant as Director of Cambridge Historic Buildings Group.

His research focuses on three areas: the development of building construction; 17th architecture (particularly Wren and Hawksmoor); and the history and development of libraries. His PhD looked at the work of Wren and seventeenth-century carpentry. His first book, Brick: a World History(2003), was featured as Guardian ‘book of the week’ and is available in eight languages. His last book entitled Building St Paul's(2007) provides an introduction to the key issues in seventeenth century architecture and building construction through a retelling of the story of the building of the cathedral. He is currently working on a book on the history of libraries, to be published in 2012 by Thames and Hudson and editing a book on staircases to be published by Donhead.

He has appeared on a number of television and radio programmes including Divine Designs (Channel 5), Modern Marvels (the History Channel), Making History (Radio 4), Ancient Megastructures (National Geographic Channel), the Today Programme (Radio 4), Robert Elms show (Radio London), The One Show (BBC 1) and Excess Baggage (Radio 4).

Dr Campbell is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and Chairman of the Construction History Society.

He is Director of Studies and Fellow in both Architecture and History of Art in Queens’ College.
Current PhD Students:

Magdalini Makrodimitri Heating Historic Churches 2009-present

Nicholas Bill The Development of the Engineering of Timber Railway Bridges in the 19th century 2010-present

Dr Campbell welcomes applications from any potential PhD students interested in researching any aspect of the history of building construction from all parts of the world. Successful applicants will normally be required to sit for an MPhil or MSt in the first instance (either an MPhil by Research or on the History of Architecture MPhil in the History of Art department or the MSt in Building History) on the successful completion of which they will be allowed to proceed to the PhD. Applicants must to be eligible to apply to a UK funding body or have their own source of funding and they have to meet the other entrance requirements of the University. Applicants are advised to send their research proposals to Dr Campbell before they submit their formal application. Formal applications should be made in January or February to the Board of Graduate Studies for students wanting to commence their studies the following October.

Dr Campbell welcomes applicants for the History of Art Department's MPhil.