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Professor of History, The University of Melbourne

Andrew May is a social historian with broad interests across urban, colonial and imperial history. As an urban historian he has published widely on the social experience of the Australian city, its public spaces and communal rituals, its suburban qualities, and its cosmopolitan cultures. As Director of The Encyclopedia of Melbourne, he guided that project's development from the mid 1990s to its publication by Cambridge University Press in 2005. His interests in multimedia have seen him involved in the development of history in new media formats, including Melbourne Podtours, eGold, Pathways to the Past (a learning module on using images as historical evidence), and eMelbourne (the Encyclopedia of Melbourne in online format). As a historian of imperialism, he also has a particular interest in imperial networks of science, religion and governance. His latest book "Welsh missionaries and British imperialism: The empire of clouds in north-east India" was published by Manchester University Press in 2012. He has served on advisory committees of the National Trust, City of Melbourne, Public Record Office Victoria, Heritage Victoria, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Immigration Museum, Royal Historical Society of Victoria, Melbourne Museum, and the National Archives of Australia. He currently serves as Historian member of the Victorian Heritage Council. In 2006 he was awarded the 'Individual Contribution to Profile' award in the City of Melbourne's 'Melbourne Awards'.


  • –present
    Professor of History, University of Melbourne


  • 2004 
    University of Melbourne, PhD


  • 2012
    Welsh missionaries and British imperialism,
  • 2005
    The Encyclopedia of Melbourne,
  • 2001
    Espresso! Melbourne Coffee Stories,
  • 1998
    Melbourne Street Life,

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Historical Association
  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria
  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Institute

Research Areas

  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) (210303)
  • Asian History (210302)