PhD placement opportunity at the British Library: First World War French Posters
PhD students are invited to apply for a placement which focuses on the British Library’s collection of French First World War posters. Working with the European and Americas collections curatorial team, this three-month placement offers an exciting opportunity to research, catalogue and promote the collection to the widest possible audience in the context of the anniversary of the First World War.
H. Delaspre, L’infanterie française dans la bataille. Tab. 11748.a. Box 3, poster 238.
The collection, which spans the period 1914-1918, consists mostly of propaganda posters and includes advertisements for war loans, calls for donations to charitable causes, and official proclamations. One third of the posters are illustrated and the rest are text based.
The project will enhance the discoverability and public awareness of this collection (there are some 350 posters, but only one generic catalogue record which hides the wealth and appeal of the collection). The posters constitute invaluable primary material for research. They promote national identity, aim to sustain the morale of the home front, and demonstrate solidarity between the French army and the Allies.
Andrée Médard, Fumeurs de l’arrière économisez le tabac pour que nos soldats n’en manquent pas. Tab. 11748.a. Box 6 poster 247.
During their placement at the British Library, the PhD student will produce descriptive records for the posters, researching and recording their key features (issuing organisation, artist, date, location, and context). These records will be made visible in the Library’s online catalogue.
The student will also promote the posters and their research findings by contributing posts about the collection to the European Studies blog and twitter account. They will also have the opportunity to write an article on the collection for publication and to contribute to Library events.
Daniel Ridgway Knight. 3e Emprunt de la Défense Nationale. Le bas de laine français. 1917. Tab. 11748.a. Box 3 poster 269.
The placement is open to PhD students from all disciplines and academic backgrounds; however, good knowledge of written French is essential, and knowledge of early 20th century European history and/or visual arts would be an advantage.
Victor Prouvé. Hygiène de Guerre. 1918. Tab. 11748.a. Box 2 poster 302.
The research placements offered through this scheme are opportunities for current PhD students to apply and enhance research skills and expertise outside of Higher Education as part of their wider research training and professional development. They are training and development opportunities to be undertaken within this specific context and are therefore different to the paid internships or other fixed-term posts that the Library may occasionally make available.
Please note that – unlike for an internship or a fixed-term post – the British Library is unable to provide stipends or payment to PhD placement students. It is therefore essential that applicants to the placement scheme obtain the support of their PhD supervisor and Graduate Tutor (or someone in an equivalent senior academic management role) in advance and that, as part of their process, they consult their HEI to ascertain what funding is available to support them.
After the interview stage, students who have been offered a placement and are not able to cover the costs through funding from their university or other sources may apply to the Library’s PhD Placement Travel Fund to request help to cover day-to-day commuting expenses or one-off relocation travel costs only. Please note that this Fund is limited and the success of an application to it cannot be guaranteed.
To support self-funded and part-time students, the placements can be done on a part-time basis, and some remote working is possible.
Lucien Jonas. Emprunt de la libération. Souscrivez. 1918. Tab. 11748.a. Box 6 poster 279.
Teresa Vernon, Lead Curator Romance Collections / Irène Fabry-Tehranchi, Curator Romance Collections