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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Durham Residential Research Library Fellowships

Applications for the Durham Residential Research Library Fellowships are currently closed. Please check back here for future calls or subscribe to our mailing list, via our homepage, to receive notifications.

The Durham Residential Research Library hosts researchers for Visiting Fellowships, from one to three months in duration. In addition, a series of named fellowships are available to work on particular collections or subject areas.

The Durham Residential Research Library aims to enable and foster research across the three historic collections of Durham – those held by Durham Cathedral, Ushaw College, and Durham University, including Palace Green Library and the Oriental Museum. They include not only libraries, but also archives, collections of visual and material culture, and architectural assets. The purpose of the Visiting Fellowships is to support research into these globally significant collections.

In addition to the general scheme, there are several named visiting fellowship programmes. The Lendrum Priory Library Fellowships specifically support work on the surviving contents of Durham Cathedral’s medieval priory library. This collection is currently the focus of a large-scale digitisation project, Durham Priory Library Recreated. The Holland Visiting Fellowships support research into any of the collections held in Durham.

Fellows will be encouraged to work collaboratively with academic subject specialists, librarians, archivists and curators to realise the collections’ research potential, and to develop innovative research agendas. They will also be encouraged to participate in the life of the University, particularly its broad range of seminar series.


IMEMS Library Fellowships

In 2015, thanks to a generous donation from Joanna Barker, IMEMS launched the IMEMS Library Fellowship Scheme, which ran for four years as a precursor to the Durham Residential Research Library. Details of past IMEMS Library Fellows can be found below.

+Gašper Jakovac

1 May 2019 – 1 June 2019

Gašper Jakovac

Poems, Songs, and Ballads in Hunter Manuscripts

Gašper Jakovac specializes in early modern drama, provincial entertainment, and post-Reformation Catholic culture in England. He was a doctoral researcher on the AHRC-funded Records of Early English Drama North-East project at Durham University (2014–2018). From January 2015 to December 2016, his studies were also supported by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. His research has recently been published in British Catholic History.

Gašper is currently working on a monograph entitled Entertainment and Performance in the English Catholic Community, 1558-1642. The book seeks to comprehensively consider how in post-Reformation England, Catholics, a persecuted religious minority, used performative entertainment, such as drama, dance, music, equestrian sports, as well as traditional ceremonies and customs, to articulate and fashion specifically Catholic identities, values, anxieties, hopes, and beliefs. As an IMEMS Library Fellow, he will conduct research on seventeenth-century poems and songs from the manuscript collection of Durham antiquarian Christopher Hunter (1675-1757). A number of compositions on religious and polemical subjects collected by Hunter are original and of local provenance. Gašper will attempt to establish their authorship, performance history, and significance in relation to contemporary religious controversies, examining in particular their (anti-)Catholicism.

+Janne Skaffari

30 April - 29 May 2019

Janne Skaffari

Multilingual Practices in Manuscripts from the Long Twelfth Century

Janne Skaffari, senior lecturer in English language and linguistics at the University of Turku, Finland, has worked on the language and texts of post-Conquest England both before and after earning his doctorate last decade. The primary focus of his research is on language contact and its consequences, including both adoption of loanwords and code-switching between two or more languages; the latter has gained prominence in historical linguistics in the last few years. Some of Janne’s recent work has been published in the volume Multilingual Practices in Language History: English and Beyond, edited by Pahta, Skaffari and Wright (2018).

At Durham, Janne Skaffari will be examining manuscripts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, a period with relatively little vernacular text production in England. The manuscripts contain evidence of interaction between Latin and English but have not yet been examined within the framework of historical code-switching research. Several of them are religious texts in Latin that contain small amounts of English, including verse and glosses. Careful consideration of the manuscript context of the language-switches, including their intra-textual translations into the main language and verbal and visual flagging of the embedded language, is expected to shed new light on the multilingual practices of the period.

+Abdul Azeem

1 April – 26 April 2019

Abdul Azeem

Contextualising Sir John Marshall’s Photographic Collection at Durham

Abdul Azeem has done his PhD on “Classification and stylistic analysis of Zar Dheri sculptures (Shinkiari-Hazara)” from Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad – Pakistan under supervision of eminent archaeologist of Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Khan. His PhD thesis brings forth to light the dominant influences of Buddhist art of Swat (ancient Uddhiyana) on the sculptures of Zar Dheri, Shinkiyari, district Mansehra in Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan through diversified approach including analytical and comparative studies of sculptures from different areas of the ancient land of Gandhara. By virtue of educational background and practical training, he is more inclined to the study of Gandhara art in general and the study of the Buddhist religious and secular establishments in the greater Taxila Valley and the sculptures from this area. He has taken part in many important archaeological excavations in the Taxila Valley and has also been the Officer-in-Charge of the monuments and sites in the valley for many years in his position as the Head of the Sub-Regional Office, Department of Archaeology and Museums, Peshawar expanding jurisdiction from Gilgit-Baltistan through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Taxila Valley.

He has diversified experience by virtue of his postings at different positions including Head of the National Museum of Pakistan that houses the choicest collection of Gandhara art and overall In-charge of Swat Museum. He has in-depth study of the collection of Peshawar Museum housing one of the best and largest collection of Gandhara art and that of Lahore Museum also housing some of the best pieces of Gandhara art. He stayed at Taxila for quite long during archaeological excavations at Hathial, Bhir Mound and Monastic Complex of Badalpur and has been a regular visitor to the Buddhist establishments in the Taxila valley for their study and evaluation of their state of preservation. As a keen follower of Sir John Marshall who pioneered extensive archaeological excavations in Taxila Valley, he takes great interest in his research and the sites explored and excavated by the great archaeologist.

For his Post-Doctorate study titled “Contextualising Sir John Marshall’s Photographic Collection at Durham”, he will study the precious and a large photographic collection presently preserved in Durham University. This will be a very unique opportunity for him to examine these photographs taken almost a century from now when Sir John Marshall was conducting archaeological excavations in the Taxila Valley and compare the state of preservation of the archaeological sites at the time of Marshall with present state of preservation of these sites. While submitting a comprehensive research-based report on conclusion of my study both at Durham and in Pakistan, it will be a great achievement to also submit a proposal to the two provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who are holding parts of the monuments and sites after devolution of 2011, for taking practical steps for their preservation.

To read the full report please click here.

+Eilish Gregory

1 May 2018 - 1 June 2018

Eilish Gregory 

Catholic Integration in English Society, 1642-1689

Eilish Gregory did her undergraduate and master degrees at the University of Kent before moving to University College London for her early modern history doctorate. Her thesis, ‘Catholics and Sequestration during the English Revolution, 1642-60’, explored how Parliament’s policy towards English Catholics altered during the English Revolution by examining their experiences of the sequestration and compounding system. The thesis analysed how Catholics accessed guidance on how to manoeuvre themselves through the new sequestration and compounding process, and scrutinised how Catholic petitioners utilised their networks with influential Protestants. Through these networks, it was revealed that moderate politicians were temperate towards Catholics of social privilege, and established that English Catholics were not the primary focus of sequestration during the English Revolution, but that the legislation focused instead on those who were deemed a political threat to the Commonwealth. A chapter on Catholics and Catherine of Braganza entitled ‘Queen Catherine of Braganza’s Relationship with her Catholic Household in Restoration England’, will be published later in 2018 in the edited volume Forgotten Queens in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Political Agency, Myth-Making, and Patronage.

At Durham, she will be scrutinising the family papers of leading northern Catholic magnates, which include the Kennett, Radclyffe, and Derwentwater papers, as well as official documents for the north-east of England. The project will examine how the English Catholic community participated in local and national society from 1649 until 1689. Firstly, she will analyse how Catholic and Protestant relationships functioned by examining the extent to which Catholics were punished for religious reasons. Secondly, she will focus on how gentry Catholics demonstrated their loyalty as English subjects by examining how they participated in their communities through roles such as commissioners of sewers when Catholics were barred from holding official roles because of their religion. By examining the English Catholic community she will reveal the extent to which Catholics integrated within seventeenth century society, and will demonstrate how relationships with Protestants and fellow Catholics developed across the period.

Read Dr Gregory's end-of-Fellowship report

+Giuseppe Guazzelli

3 April - 4 May 2018

Giuseppe Guazzelli

A Martyrology in its context: Durham Cathedral Library, Ms. B. IV. 24

Giuseppe A. Guazzelli completed his “Dottorato di Ricerca” in Religious History at Univesity “La Sapienza” in Rome in May 2015 with a thesis entitled Liturgia, Tempo dei Santi, Historia Sacra: i primi martirologi a stampa (1475-1584). His research explored the history and the development of the Martyrology, namely a liturgical book listing day by day the faestdays of the saints, during the transition from the manuscript to the print. For the years after the Reformation he concentrated above all on Catholic Martyrologies. The main achievements of his research are published in A. K. Frazier (Ed.), The Saint between Manuscript and Print: Italy 400-1600, Toronto 2015.

During his tenure Giuseppe A. Guazzelli will work on the martyrology contained in the Ms. B.IV.24 of the Durham Cathedral Library. The main model of this martyrology seems to be the 9th-century Usuard’s Martyrology, but a close and analytical examination of the manuscript could reveal how the general model was changed and implemented in the local context –the choir of the Durham Cathedral- where it was read daily for centuries. Ultimately, Giuseppe A. Guazzelli hope that his research will provide a case study both of the history of the martyrology and of the liturgical life at Durham.

Read Dr Guazzelli's end-of-Fellowship report

+Anna Reynolds

16 March 2018 16 April 2018

Anna Reynolds

Binding Waste in Early Modern England

Anna Reynolds submitted her PhD ‘Privy Tokens: Wastepaper in Early Modern England’ at the University of York in 2017. Her research uncovers the use of wastepaper as a material practice and as a figurative resource in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, situating extant repurposed pages alongside the tropes and metaphors in a range of texts. Her interests include the work of Martial, Thomas Nashe, John Taylor, Thomas Middleton, and Thomas Urquhart, and the broader concerns of book destruction, book collection, and the archive. Her more recent research explores the relationship between paper, almanacs, and the human body in the early modern period, and the cultural history of waste fragments as they were collected, dispersed, and archived between the sixteenth century and the present day. Her article, ‘Such Dispersive Scattredness: Early Modern Encounters with Binding Waste’, has been published in the Journal of the Northern Renaissance (2017).

During her time at Durham, she will be surveying the binding waste extant in the Bamburgh, Cosin, Routh, and Ushaw libraries. By examining the materials used as waste (monastic fragments, contemporary documents, printed waste, and, by the late seventeenth century, damasked waste sheets) and the binding format (wrappers, flyleaves, pasteboard, guards), she will seek to outline a chronology and pattern of repurposing in the early modern period. Attention to printers, binders, and book-buyers who made particularly persistent use of repurposed pages will provide evidence of a widespread English, and often trans-European, wastepaper trade.

Read Dr Reynolds' end-of-Fellowship report

+Matteo Binasco

1 - 30 September 2017

Matteo Binasco

"The Convento dos Inglesinhos". A new assessment of the English College of Lisbon and its connections with the other English Colleges on continental Europe

After completing his BA in history at the University of Genoa, Matteo Binasco earned his Masters degree at Saint Mary's University of Halifax in Canada. He completed his PhD in history at the National University of Ireland in Galway. He has been a short-term fellow at the Institute of Canadian Studies in Ottawa and a fellow at the John Carter Brown in Providence. From February 2010 - January 2013 he was research fellow at the Istituto di Storia dell'Europa Mediterranea of Italy's National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). Since mid-September of 2014 he has been a post-doctoral research fellow at the CUSHWA Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the Rome Global Gateway, University of Notre Dame.

Dr Binasco's main area of interest is the development of the clerical networks within the Atlantic area during the early modern period. He authored Viaggiatori e missionari nel seicento, edited Little do We Know,and has published thirty-one articles and essays. He is also currently completing a guide to the material on American Catholicism contained in the archives and libraries of Rome. The research award offered by the IMEMS allowed Matteo to consult the relevant material pertaining to the English College of Lisbon. This is a crucial step in order to examine this still-unknown institution, and how it succeeded to establish a missionary network with the other English Colleges on Continental Europe during the early-modern period.

Read Dr Binasco's End-of-Fellowship Report

+Derek Dunne

24 April - 24 June 2016

Derek Dunne

Rogues’ Licence: Counterfeiting Authority in Early Modern Literature

Derek Dunne is the author of Shakespeare, Revenge Tragedy and Early Modern Law: Vindictive Justice (Palgrave, 2016). This project carries the working title Rogues' Licence: Counterfeiting Authority in Early Modern England, with a planned monograph on Shakespeare's Licence: The Power of Paperwork in Early Modern Literature & Culture.

The project combined archival research on early modern licences and related documents with analysis of literary texts in terms of forgery, counterfeiting, and discourses of authority. Elizabethan and Stuart plays had to be licenced for performance, and works of literature needed a licence before going to print. While this historical fact is known, this research uses it as an interpretive entry-point into the nexus between government bureaucracy and literary production for the first time. At once a material condition of print or performance and a metaphorical promise of excess, the licence is shown to be a defining document of early modern English culture.

The holdings at Durham Cathedral and the Durham University’s special collections offered unprecedented access to a variety of pre-modern paperwork not usually preserved. This greatly enhanced the material basis so crucial to this research project.

Read Dr Dunne's End-of-Fellowship Report

+Liam Temple

10-21 April and 1-12 May 2016)

Liam Temple

Mysticism among the English Poor Clares, 1580-1680

Liam Temple completed his PhD in History at Northumbria University in January 2016 with a thesis entitled ‘Holy and Peculiar People: Mysticks and Mystical Theology in England, 1605-1705’. His research explores examples of both Protestant and Catholic mysticism in the seventeenth century, drawing particular attention to the way mysticism encouraged overlap and dialogue between the two confessions. He has published two journal articles concerning mysticism in Women’s Writing and British Catholic History, and also has a chapter in a forthcoming collection entitled Protestants and Mysticism in Reformation Europe.

During his fellowship Liam focussed on the seventeenth-century manuscript and print material in the Poor Claires’ Library collection. Drawing on his previous research into English Benedictine mysticism, he explored the wide range of devotional and spiritual works collected by the English Poor Clares, focusing especially on works of spiritual direction used by the nuns which were originally written for different female religious communities. He aims was to explore how the library’s collection of works by Benedictine, Carmelite, Jesuit and Augustinian confessors and authors can shed new light on the interconnected nature of spiritual direction in the seventeenth century.

Read Dr Temple's End-of-Fellowship Report

+John Kuhn

15 June - 15 July 2016

John Kuhn did his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas before moving to Columbia University for his English doctorate. His dissertation, Making Pagans: Non-Abrahamic Religions on London's Stages from Marlowe to Southerne, turns to material performance history to examine the theater's contributions to ideas about radical religious difference in Stuart England. In addition to his work on drama, he has published two pieces on the poetry of George Herbert and the politics of the early 1630s, one forthcoming in English Literary Renaissance and the other in a collection entitled Prophecy and Eschatology in the Transatlantic World, 1500-1700.

At Durham, he will be working with Hunter MS 27, which contains a unique contemporary Latin translation of George Herbert's "The Church Militant," as part of a larger project on the relationship between the early Stuart colonial project and theories of the apocalypse.

Read John Kuhn's end-of-fellowship report

+Natasha Constantinidou

9 May - 10 June, 2016

Natasha Constantinidou is a Lecturer in Early Modern European History at the University of Cyprus. She is a consultant on the St Andrews Universal Short Title Catalogue Project, and her research interests lie in the intellectual and cultural milieu of late sixteenth-early seventeenth-century Europe. Her first book, Responses to religious divisions, c. 1580–1620 is to be published by Ashgate in 2015.

The research to be undertaken during the IMEMS Library Fellowship is associated with the project 'Publishing and Marketing the Classics in the Sixteenth Century' which aims to investigate and assess the publishing and the marketing of texts by Greek Classical authors (in Greek) during the sixteenth century. It proposes to examine the rationale behind the publication of these texts in Western Europe, the uses that these were put in, their distribution and popularity and chart the development of these trends throughout the sixteenth century. The proliferation of classical texts during the sixteenth century is considered as given in the scholarship. This project will contribute to aspects of this field that still remain unclear, namely the relationship between humanism and the new editions of classics, as well as their specific output and market.

Read Natasha Constantinidou's end-of-fellowship report

+David Burke

1 March -29 April, 2016

David Burke completed his PhD in History at Durham in 2015; his research investigated the interaction between the secular and clerical worlds of early medieval Ireland through the provision of penance, focusing specifically on the sin of bloodshed, and how this impacted on ideas of legitimate and illegitimate violence.

As part of the IMEMS Library fellowship, David will be examining the fourteenth-century Durham copy of the Liber de ordine creaturarm, a seventh-century Irish text which describes the universe from creation to conclusion, to discern evidence of use or alteration. This is part of a broader project which hopes to examine the family of late copies of this text made at Oxford and Cambridge (12th-15th centuries) to discover, among other things, how and why an early medieval Irish cosmological text remained relevant and popular long after it had been superseded by later works, indicative, perhaps, of a renewed interest in 'scientific' works in this later period.

Read Dr David Burke's end-of-fellowship report

+Anne McLaughlin

18 January - 19 February, 2016

Anne McLaughlin's thesis is on the illuminated manuscripts of Pierre Bersuire's Ovidius Moralizatus, a fourteenth century Latin commentary on Ovid's Metamorphoses under the supervision of Professor Charles Burnett and Dr. Rembrandt Duits. This study focuses on seven central illuminated manuscripts, seeking to place each within its cultural and intellectual context while examining the development, evolution, and use of both the text and its accompanying images throughout the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Her research interests broadly lie in the fields of cultural and intellectual history, with a specific focus on manuscript studies, palaeography, the history of the book, and the development and role of medieval libraries. Prior to embarking on her PhD, she received her degree in Art History with minors in Mathematics and Spanish from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland USA, and completed a MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Dr. Martin Kauffmann.

While at Durham, she wishes to examine, in essence, how medieval thinkers studied, how they accessed and ordered information, how these methods can inform our understanding of the past, and how these ideas changed and evolved throughout the medieval period. As such, her research at Durham Cathedral Library will focus not on a specific set of manuscripts or texts within the collection, but instead upon the medieval documentation and catalogues related to the collecting, ordering, storage and use of books related to, in the broadest sense, Durham Priory. She seeks to investigate how these catalogues, book lists, and other documents describe the storing and ordering of the books as a means of examining the larger ideas surrounding the retrieval, use, and development of knowledge in the medieval period. Furthermore, as Durham Cathedral Library has one of the most intact and thoroughly documented medieval book collections, it will be the ideal place to begin a project which she hopes to expand into looking at the development of other medieval libraries, both domestically and in Europe. She believes that in understanding how the books were stored, what determined their placement and order, and how the location of a book was related to its function in either a collegiate or monastic environment, it will be possible to gain a greater understanding of how those who used these manuscripts in their medieval setting approached and viewed the knowledge contained within the codices themselves.

Read Dr Anne McLaughlin's end-of-fellowship report

+Magdolna Szilágyi

2 November - 30 November, 2015

Magdolna Szilágyi obtained a PhD in Medieval Studies from the Central European University in 2013. Her book On the Road. The History and Archaeology of Medieval Communication Networks in East-Central Europe based on her doctoral research was published by Archaeolingua in 2014. Prior to her doctoral studies, she obtained MA degrees in English Language and Literature (2003), Medieval Studies (2004), and Archaeology (2005). She was awarded several fellowships and grants at the Central European University in Budapest, at Collegium Hungaricum in Vienna, at the University of Göttingen (DAAD Research Grant), and also at the University of Durham (Hungarian State Eötvös Fellowship; IMEMS Library Fellowship).

Dr. Szilágyi’s research interests are in the areas of medieval archaeology and historical geography. She specialises in historic routes research (dromography) including the archaeology of ancient Roman and medieval roads and bridges, medieval trade and religious travel, transhumance, and spatial networks. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research activities were mainly focused on some regions in Central and East-Central Europe. In the 2015-2016 academic year, she also starts investigating into medieval communication networks in North-East England as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Durham University. Holding a Library Fellowship, she is exploring the construction, maintenance, and use of roads and places of river crossing (bridges, ferry ports, and fords) in medieval England. Furthermore, she is analysing the function, proprietorship, hierarchy, and physical properties of medieval roads as attested by primary sources preserved in the Special Collections of the Palace Green Library.

Read Dr Magdolna Szilágyi's end-of-fellowship report

+Anne Thayer

28 June - 31 July, 2015

Anne T. Thayer is the Paul and Minnie Diefenderfer Professor of Mercersburg and Ecumenical Theology and Church History at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on early printed resources for pastors, such as model sermon collections and pastoral manuals, and their usage in late fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century Europe. She has published Penitence in the Age of Reformations (edited with Katharine Jackson Lualdi, Ashgate, 2000); Penitence, Preaching and the Coming of the Reformation (Ashgate, 2002); and Handbook for Curates: A Late Medieval Manual on Pastoral Ministry (a translation of Guido of Monte Rochen’s Manipulus Curatorum, introduction with Katharine Jackson Lualdi, Catholic University of America Press, 2011).

During her time at Durham, she will be studying the marginalia of Dr. Thomas Swalwell, monk of Durham (1483-1539). Swalwell annotated a number of books from the Durham Priory Library as well as many of his own books. These offer a case study of the use of theological and pastoral resources, indicating the pastoral work of this conscientious monk during a time of significant religious fluidity. Dr. Thayer will focus on Swalwell’s theological education and his practice of copying significant passages from one book into another, bringing texts into conversation with one another.

Read Prof. Anne Thayer's end-of-fellowship report

+Sarah McKeon

1 June - 26 June, 2015

Sarah McKeon is as a postdoctoral research assistant to Professor Elisabeth Salter at the University of Hull. Her recent research has explored the relevance of theories of cognition to the development of a particular literary aesthetic during the late fourteenth century in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower. Of late her attentions have turned increasingly to the work of John Wyclif and the Wycliffite writers as she explores the relevance of prose writing and translation works in the make-up of this literary aesthetic. Her work with Professor Salter deals with late medieval and early modern texts of religious instruction. Thus, her research project at Durham, entitled, ‘Instructing the Senses’ brings these research interests together. She will be working with a manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and using it comparatively to carry out research on the interesting relationship between intellectual ideas and the materiality of the manuscript page. Furthermore, she will examine several manuscripts related to religious instruction, paying particular attention to allusions to the senses and the important place of the sense of sight to the process of literary religious instruction in the late medieval and early modern period.

Research interests: the history of ideas – particularly Boethianism, the late fourteenth century literary aesthetic, theories of cognition, religiosity and religious instruction in the late medieval and early modern period, John Wyclif and the Wycliffite movement, the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and John Gower.

Read Dr Sarah McKeon's end-of-fellowship report