University Library Announces Visiting Scholarship Scheme

Desks in Martyrs Kirk Research Library

Desks in Martyrs Kirk Research Library Reading Room

2013 - Martyrs Kirk-1To celebrate the opening the new Martyrs Kirk Research Library, the University of St Andrews is pleased to announce a new scheme of visiting scholarships. These scholarships will underwrite the costs of a period of work with the University’s Special Collections of rare books, archives and photographic material. “The Library is delighted by this initiative,” says John MacColl, University Librarian & Director of Library Services, “Our wonderful Special Collections merit the attention of researchers in many fields and from all around the world. The new home we have provided for a Special Collections Reading Room in the Martyrs Kirk provides an inspiring study location for the scholars whom we look forward to welcoming to St Andrews and the Library.”

books on shelvesThe University Library’s Special Collections Division is the home of the University’s outstanding collection accumulated throughout the six hundred years of the University’s history. The Division is responsible for over 210,000 rare books, 800,000 photographs and several linear kilometres of manuscript and archival material. The collection is especially rich in the History of Science, Theology and Church History, Literary Studies and Photography. In addition to a substantial collection of incunabula and early printed books, the library has a significant eighteenth-century collection dating from its period as a copyright deposit library (1710-1836). The University archives also include an exceptional collection of materials relating to the University from its earliest days to the modern period, to Fife and to the city of St Andrews.

From the beginning of December 2013, the Special Collections Reading Room, to which all materials will be delivered for consultation, will be located within the newly renovated Martyrs Kirk Research Library in the heart of historic St Andrews. This new Reading Room will provide 14 reader seats for the dedicated use of Special Collections material; the New Park seminar room, also located in Martyrs Kirk Research Library, has already been in regular use for instruction using Special Collections material by academic and library staff.

Norman Reid, Head of Special Collections, with the "St Andrews Psalter" (photograph by Peter Adamson)

Norman Reid with the “St Andrews Psalter” (photograph by Peter Adamson)

“I’m delighted that this scheme offers another excellent means of spreading the word about the wonderful collections kept by the University of St Andrews to the international scholarly community.”

-Norman Reid, Head of Special Collections

Stained glass from Martyrs Kirk Research Library

Stained glass from Martyrs Kirk Research Library

The scholarships are open to all interested researchers, whether or not affiliated to a university. Applications for 2014 should be submitted electronically using this application form by 28 February 2014.  A longer description of the research highlights of the University’s Special Collections can be found here. Further enquiries can be addressed to Professor Andrew Pettegree at admp@st-andrews.ac.uk.

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