THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Medieval manuscripts blog

13 November 2020

PhD placement on Irish manuscripts

Are you doing a PhD using medieval or early modern manuscripts written in Irish? Perhaps you are considering a curatorial career? We are now advertising an opportunity to do a placement with us in the medieval manuscripts section at the British Library in 2021.

The Library holds a collection of over 200 Irish manuscripts which includes many important medical, literary and legal texts. Two of these manuscripts have recently been on loan. The 16th-century legal and grammatical miscellany compiled by Domhnall Ó Duibhdábhoirenn (Egerton MS 88) was loaned to Galway City Museum in 2019.

A manuscript page written in Irish, in two columns

An Irish legal and grammatical miscellany: Egerton MS 88, f. 65r

And we loaned the Gospels of Máel Brigte (Harley MS 1802), produced in Armagh in the 12th century, to the Ulster Museum in Belfast this year.

A manuscript page showing a coloured lion, the symbol of St Mark

The evangelist symbol of the lion of St Mark: Harley MS 1802, f. 60v

We are now advertising a placement for a PhD student with experience working with manuscripts written in Irish. The placement will focus on creating new online records and updating existing records in our Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. The placement is available for three months full-time, or up to six-months part-time, between May and December 2021. Full details are on our website.

The Library is currently participating in the Digital Resources for the Medieval Gaelic World network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Irish Research Council. This network is focusing on the impact of digitisation on research into medieval Ireland and Scotland. We hope to extend the digital coverage of our Irish manuscripts in the future. The online catalogue records that the placement student works on will be an important first step towards that goal.

As well as working on the catalogue records, the successful applicant will be involved in a range of different curatorial activities. These will include helping to promote awareness and understanding of the Irish manuscripts in the Library’s collection so, if you fit the bill, you could find yourself writing your own posts about Irish manuscripts for this Blog next year.

The scheme is open to all current PhD students who have the right to study in the UK. International PhD students are eligible to apply, subject to meeting any UK short-term study visa requirements. Further details about eligibility, funding, conditions and how to apply are also on our website. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 18 December.

If you have any queries about the placement, you can email our colleagues in the Research Development team (Research.Development@bl.uk) who will be happy to help.

Claire Breay

Follow us on Twitter @BLMedieval