Bonnie Mak

Profile picture for Bonnie Mak

Contact Information

230 iSchool
Associate Professor


Before joining the University of Illinois, Bonnie Mak was Postdoctoral Fellow of the InterPARES Project on the preservation of digital records at the University of British Columbia, and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow of the Faculty of Information and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. She received her doctorate in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Mak has been the recipient of grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Newberry Consortium for Renaissance Studies, and the Huntington Library. She was appointed the inaugural Visiting Scholar of the Coach House Institute, University of Toronto for AY2007/08, and inaugural Senior Visiting Fellow of the Center for Humanities and Information at The Pennsylvania State University for AY2015/16.

Her first book, How the Page Matters (University of Toronto Press, 2011), examines the page as a dynamic interface in scrolls, tablets, and codices, from the Middle Ages to today. She is at work on a second book-length project, Information by Design.

Research Interests

  • manuscript studies & book history
  • production & circulation of knowledge
  • history of visualization practices
  • information history
  • aesthetics of information


  • PhD in Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • MA in Medieval Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • BAH in Medieval Philosophy, Queen's University at Kingston


  • "Living Systems: Designing Interfaces for Botanical Engagement,” University of Technology Sydney, co-PI (2019).
  • "The Classroom and the Future of the Historical Record: Humanities Education in a Changing Climate for Knowledge Production," Humanities without Wall Consortium, collaborator (2018-).

Awards and Honors

  • List of Teachers Rated as Excellent; University of Illinois (2018, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2010).
  • Senior Fellow, Center for Humanities and Information; The Pennsylvania State University (2015-16)
  • Faculty Fellow, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities; University of Illinois (2012-13)

Courses Taught

  •     Libraries, Information, and Society
  •     History of the Book
  •     Information History
  •     Thinking and Doing: Making Knowledge Infrastructures Visible (in preparation with Jodi Schneider)

Additional Campus Affiliations

  • Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences
  • Associate Professor, Program in Medieval Studies

Recent Publications

"Manuscript." In Cambridge Critical Concepts: Technology and Literature, edited by Adam Hammond. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, accepted.

"Cataloging." In Transmissions: Critical Tactics for Making and Communicating Research, edited by Kat Jungnickel. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, in production. With Julia Pollack. Release date in March 2020.

"Period, Theme, Event: Locating Information History in History." In Information and Power in History: Towards a Global Approach, edited by Ida Nijenhuis, Marijke van Faassen, Joris Gijsenbergh, Wim de Jong, and Ronald Sluijter. London: Routledge, in production. With Alistair Black. Release date in February 2020.

"Research Box: Making Visible the Infrastructures of Knowledge." In Boxes in Action: A Field Guide, edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, and Maria Rentetzi. Manchester, UK: Mattering Press, in production. With Julia Pollack. Release date in late 2019.

“Everyday Description Safety in the Museum.” Fwd: Museums—Special Issue on “Death to Museums” 4 (2019): 175–182. With Julia Pollack.

Engaging with Archives and Records: Histories & Theories. London: Facet Publishing, 2016. Co-edited with Fiorella Foscarini, Heather MacNeil, and Gillian Oliver.

"Review of Thomas A. Bredehoft, The Visible Text: Textual Production and Reproduction from Beowulf to Maus." Journal of English and Germanic Philology 115.3 (July 2016): 398–401.

"On the Design of the Humanities." interactions 23.4 (July/August 2016): 76–79. With Julia Pollack. doi: 10.1145/2945291