Medieval manuscripts blog

03 March 2011

Royal Conference Call for Papers

  A banner advertising a conference on the British Library's Royal Manuscripts

In 1757 King George II presented the approximately 2,000 manuscripts of the royal library to the recently founded British Museum.  These manuscripts, collected by the kings and queens of England from the 9th to the 16th centuries, form the unique collection held by the British Library, known simply as 'Royal.'  The Royal Collection preserves the medieval and Renaissance libraries of the kings and queens of England, and includes within these illuminated manuscripts most of the surviving medieval paintings owned by them. 

From 11 November to 11 March 2012, approximately 150 Royal manuscripts will be featured in a major exhibition at the British Library.  The research for this exhibition has been funded by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  The research team is headed by Dr Scot McKendrick, Head of History and Classics, the British Library, and Professor John Lowden, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

As part of this project the British Library will hold an international conference in December 2011 to encourage collaboration on these manuscripts and discussion of contextual issues of power, stylistic influence, political motivations and rivalries with Europe, public and private devotion, education and knowledge, and artistic production in a variety of media.

Scholars from all disciplines are invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers.  We hope to have sessions on the historical context and formation of the Royal collection, conservation and preservation issues, buildings and royal palaces, and inventories and medieval libraries, in addition to papers devoted to illuminated manuscripts in the Royal collection.  Papers that treat renowned Royal manuscripts and those focusing on lesser-known manuscripts are equally welcome.  The conference proceedings will be published by British Library Publications.

If you would like to take part, please send a short abstract and a concise CV by 31 May 2011 to Dr Kathleen Doyle, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, [email protected], or The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB.

Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

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