European studies blog

Exploring Europe at the British Library

20 January 2023

PhD placement opportunity: Enhancing access to manuscripts and archives in the French language

The British Library has released a call for applicants for PhD placements in 2023–24. The PhD placement scheme supports the professional development of researchers for future career paths both within and outside academia.

One of these placements, ‘Enhancing access to manuscripts and archives in the French language’, offers an opportunity for a PhD student currently registered at a UK university to work alongside curators to make French language material in the archives and manuscript collections (after 1600) more accessible to researchers and members of the public.

The Modern Archive and Manuscript collections (1601–1950) contain a wealth of exciting historical, scientific, political, and literary material. They include letters and manuscripts by French writers and historical figures such as Voltaire, the Chevalier d’Éon, Napoleon, George Sand, and Charles Baudelaire, and Royal, scientific, and diplomatic correspondence.

Charles Baudelaire, 'Les sept vieillards' and 'Les petites vieilles' [1859]. Fair copy made for Victor Hugo to whom the poems are dedicated

Charles Baudelaire, 'Les sept vieillards' and 'Les petites vieilles' [1859]. Fair copy made for Victor Hugo to whom the poems are dedicated. Zweig MS 136, f1r

You will undertake research into the manuscript collections and write a structured collection guide for the website that provides an overview of the main collections of French manuscripts and archives (after 1600) in the British Library and guidance about how to find them in the catalogue and access them (online or in the Reading Room). The placement also offers opportunities to catalogue or enhance the description of a small archive or group of manuscripts, to write a blog post to promote the guide and/or one of the collections, and to deliver a staff talk or contribute to an event to promote the French collections.

Please see the project description on the website for further information and read the Application Guidelines carefully before applying.

The deadline for this call is: 5pm on Monday 20 February 2023.

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