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10 November 2020

PhD placement opportunity – The Royal Music Library: understanding provenance and collecting practices

We are pleased to announce a PhD placement opportunity to work in Music Collections on the project:

The Royal Music Library: understanding provenance and collecting practices

Royal Music Library

About the PhD placement scheme:

The scheme is open to current PhD students and offers an opportunity to work on a 3-month project in a specific area under the supervision of Library staff, and enables students to broaden their skill set, engage with research outside the academic context, and experience different career paths.

About the project

The Royal Music Library consists of music collected by several generations of the Royal Household, reflecting the musical tastes of its successive members. It contains about 1,000 volumes of manuscript music and 4,500 volumes of printed music, dating from the late 16th to the early 20th centuries. Among the many treasures are 97 volumes of Handel’s autograph manuscripts, and scores by Purcell, Steffani, J.C. Bach and Mendelssohn. With a few notable exceptions, such as the provenance of the Handel manuscripts, little is known regarding the provenance of the majority of the music, in terms of when it was acquired and by whom.

The PhD placement student will undertake a bibliographical study of selected parts of the Royal Music Library collection. Findings will improve understanding of its provenance and the collecting practices of members of the royal household, particularly George III, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

The project will help to improve the Music team’s work in curating and promoting this collection through agreed outputs emanating from the research, which will include metadata enhancement; writing content for online exhibitions and blogs; and using digital tools to analyse and visualise the collection.

How to apply

Full details about the project, the PhD placement scheme, and how to apply can be found here:

The deadline for applications is 5 pm on Friday 18 December 2020.

For any enquiries about the PhD placement scheme or project please contact the Research Development team ([email protected]) in the first instance.



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