Who is…

Portrait of Jane Lancaster

I am an independent public historian who writes and lectures about American women, local history and the history of organizations.

I have won numerous awards for my writing and teaching.

My latest project is a history of Brown University, due to be published in time for Brown’s 250th anniversary in 2014 and I am currently completing a biography of Madame Eliza Jumel, a true ‘rags to riches’ story set in 19th century New York.

I help individuals and organizations research their past, help with their archives, conduct oral histories, and write their histories. Recent projects include a militia organization, the YWCA, a long-established women’s charity and a millowner’s family.

I have also published numerous articles and spoken on three continents to groups as diverse as college classes, senior citizens and second graders.I lecture frequently through the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities speakers program.

I was born in England, and moved to the United States with my family in 1987. I live in Providence, Rhode Island.

I  have lived in Australia and Thailand, and still travel extensively. In the last few years I have visited Vietnam, South Africa, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Cuba and Ireland, and traveled by train across Canada. In that same period I published three books, worked as an archives consultant to the Pembroke Center at Brown University and taught history at Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design.

My husband was an economics professor, and my two sons are  involved in mysterious high-tech pursuits. I earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, politics and sociology from the University of Birmingham in England, and much later, a master’s and doctorate in history from Brown University.