Vanessa is Professor at The University of Sheffield, where she is Director of City and Cultural Engagement. She chairs numerous initiatives and organisations including Renew Sheffield, the Culture Consortium, and Early Film and Popular Entertainment. She is the academic lead for the University’s Public Engagement & Impact team and is the Director of Festival of the Mind. She is also founder of the National Fairground Archive (NFA) at the University Library which she set up in 1994, and managed until 2016. A leading authority on Victorian entertainment and film, and new variety and circus, Toulmin’s publications have included the books The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon (2004) and Electric Edwardians (2006).