PhD Studentship: Digital Resource for Palaeography

The Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King’s College London, is pleased to announce a PhD studentship in digital palaeography funded by a European Research Council project, Digital Resource of Palaeography. The studentship is to be held in the CCH as part of a PhD in Digital Humanities.


The aim of Digital Resource of Palaeography is to bringing the methods and resources of digital humanities to bear on palaeographical exploration, citation and teaching. It involves a web resource which will allow scholars to rapidly retrieve digital images, verbal descriptions, and detailed characterisations of the writing, as well as the text in which it is found and the content and structure of the manuscript or charter. It will incorporate different ways of searching, using images, maps, timelines and image-processing as well as conventional text-based browsing and searching. The palaeographical content will focus on a case-study of vernacular English script from the eleventh century, but the project will allow scholars to test and apply new general developments in palaeographical method which have been discussed in theory but which have hitherto proven difficult or impossible to implement in practice. Some further details of the project are available on the KCL news page s.

The studentship

Applicants should propose a research project which can benefit from and contribute to the Digital Resource in Palaeography project but which remains distinct from it. Possibilities may include the detailed study of a particular manuscript or small group of manuscripts from the corpus of eleventh-century vernacular English script. A comparative study could apply the research methodologies of the ERC project to a different corpus, perhaps focusing on the products of a single scriptorium or scribe, looking at variance and variation in script; or focusing on a corpus that has proven difficult to manage with conventional approaches, such as manuscript fragments. Another possibility may be more methodological, focusing on the possibilities and limits of Digital Humanities in palaeographical scholarship.

The student will be based at King’s College London, in the Centre for Computing in Humanities and will benefit from the CCH PhD Seminar. A second supervisor will be assigned according to the requirements of the project. It is also expected that the student will maintain contact with other departments in King’s, such as History or English. The student will also have access to resources and seminars across the University of London more widely, including Senate House Library and its Palaeography Room, the Institute of Historical Research’s seminars and library, and seminars and expertise at the Institute of English Studies.


For the three years of the studentship (starting no later than October 2011) the grant is c.£14,000 per annum. Students liable to pay fees at the overseas rate are welcome to apply, but should make sure that they can cover the difference between the award and the full overseas fee. The studentship must be held full-time.

Eligibility, Timetable & Application Process

Applicants for these awards are expected to begin PhD study on 1 October 2011. Applicants should hold (or have nearly completed) a Master’s degree or equivalent in Old English, Anglo-Saxon/early Anglo-Norman history, or another relevant area of medieval studies. A good knowledge of the language(s) of the manuscripts under study is required (Old/Middle English and/or Latin), and a background or demonstrable interest in manuscript studies is highly desirable.

Applicants must submit the following documentation by the deadline of 1 March 2011:

  1. An Admissions Application form & all supporting documents – submitted to the Centre for Arts & Sciences Admissions (CASA) via the online admissions portal at
  2. A one page statement of interest including a description of the proposed research, submitted to
  3. A one-page statement of your research training, background and suitability to the project, submitted to
  4. A sample of written work (3000-5000 words), submitted to

An interview will be arranged with shortlisted applicants, either face to face or by teleconference, after the closing date.


Please email Dr Peter Stokes or telephone him on +44 (0)20 7848 2813 in the first instance with any queries about this studentship.


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