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PhD Studentship: The Origins and Development of the Cotton Collection at the British Library

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The University of East Anglia (UEA) and the British Library (BL) are pleased to announce the availability of a fully funded Collaborative doctoral studentship from October 2022 under the AHRC’s Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Scheme.

The library of Robert Cotton (1571-1631), now a cornerstone of the BL’s globally-significant collections, has been described as ‘the most important collection of manuscripts ever assembled in Britain by a private individual’. This CDP offers a unique opportunity to produce an original piece of research on the origins and/or seventeenth-century development of Cotton’s extraordinary collection.

This project will be supervised by Dr Thomas Roebuck and Dr Katherine Hunt, University of East Anglia, who are experts in early modern scholarship and collecting practices; and Julian Harrison and Dr Andrea Clarke, lead curators of Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the BL. The award holder will be based at UEA, and will also be based at the BL for a significant proportion of the studentship. At UEA, you will join a thriving Medieval and Early Modern research community and have access to a host of training opportunities, and at the BL you will benefit from behind-the-scenes access, learning from other professionals across the Library, and an extensive internal training offer. You will also join the wider cohort of CDP-funded students across the UK, and will be eligible to participate in CDP Cohort Development Events. This studentship can be studied either full- or part-time.

We encourage the widest range of potential students to study for this CDP studentship and are committed to welcoming students from different backgrounds to apply. We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds as they are currently underrepresented at this level in this area. Students should have a Master’s Degree in a relevant subject or demonstrate equivalent experience in a professional setting.

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