23 May 2022
Medieval and Renaissance Women: PhD placement
The British Library is currently digitising some of its manuscripts, rolls and charters connected with women from Britain and across Europe, from the period between 1100 and 1600. You can read more about the project on the Medieval Manuscripts Blog.
The opening page of the Book of Margery Kempe, the oldest autobiography in English: Add MS 61823, f. 1r
As part of the Medieval and Renaissance Women project, the funders, Joanna and Graham Barker, are providing financial support for a six-month PhD placement, starting in summer 2022. The successful candidate will be based for the duration of the placement with the Library’s Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts section at St Pancras, London. They will gain experience of cataloguing pre-1600 western manuscripts, and they will promote the Library’s collections by writing blogposts and text for the British Library website.
This placement will provide the successful candidate with a broader understanding of curatorial roles in a major research library, as well as experience of working with manuscripts (including rolls and charters) in a variety of genres and languages. They will gain insight into the Library’s digitisation processes, and they will benefit from day-to-day contact with the curators and hands-on access to the Library’s collection of pre-1600 manuscripts. During their time at the Library, the placement student will also have access to a wide range of workshops, talks and training.
The Medieval and Renaissance Women PhD placement is intended to support early career development and is suitable for students who may wish to pursue further academic research or are considering a career in a library, museum or similar heritage organisation. Students who have undertaken previous doctoral placements or internships with the Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts team at the British Library have subsequently gone on to hold academic positions at universities in the UK and USA, to become curators, cataloguers and researchers in major libraries, or to work in heritage organisations.
Applicants for this position should be engaged in doctoral research at a university or higher education institution in the United Kingdom. International students are eligible to apply, subject to meeting any UK visa residency requirements. Their field of research should be in a discipline related to the study of medieval and early modern manuscripts, such as history of art, history, languages and literature. The ability to read Latin and other western languages is an advantage, as is knowledge of medieval and/or early modern palaeography and codicology. The Library will provide training in cataloguing western manuscripts, and in writing blogposts and other interpretative text.
The seal of the Empress Matilda (1140s): Add Ch 75724
Prospective applicants should submit the attached form, in which they are asked to answer the following questions:
- Title of your PhD
- Please provide a brief summary of your research for a non-specialist audience (maximum 100 words)
- Please explain why you are interested in a placement at the British Library in particular (maximum (100 words)
- Please describe why this placement appeals to you, and what skills you will gain from it (maximum 400 words)
- Please outline any relevant skills, experience and interests you would bring to this placement (maximum 300 words)
- Please provide any additional information that you think would strengthen your application (maximum 200 words)
You should obtain approval from your PhD supervisor before submitting the application. The placement is for a maximum 6 months and should be undertaken before 31 March 2023. This is a funded placement (£1,600 per month, to a maximum £9,600).
How to apply
Please ensure that you have carefully read the Application Guidelines before completing and submitting the Application Form.
The deadline for applications is 11.59pm on Monday 13 June 2022. Online interviews for the shortlisted candidates will take place in the second half of June.