Since 2014, we have welcomed a number of visiting scholars who wish to pursue their own research projects to make use of materials held in the Library’s Special Collections. These awards provide financial support towards the costs of travel and accommodation, while pursuing a research project directly relating to the University’s collections. Special Collections is home to the University’s historic collections of books, manuscripts, archives and photographs.
We look forward to welcoming the following four Special Collections Visiting Scholars to Special Collections over the course of summer 2017:
Caroline Douglas is an artist and lecturer in photography. She is currently based between Edinburgh and London, undertaking research into the role of women in Scotland in the early history of photography. She was artist in residence at the Stills Gallery in 2008, the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2009, Fondazione Fotografia in Modena in 2010 and Proekt Fabrika in Moscow in 2011. She has exhibited widely internationally. She was also the recipient of the 9th Helen Keller International Award in 2011 for her work Playboy Entertainment for Men (2011) and worked with the Scottish National Portrait Gallery for An Attendant’s Portrait (2011). Caroline’s more recent research Zero Hours Creativity was published in Uncertain States (2015).
Caroline will use the early photographic collections to explore the history of women in early photography in Scotland.
Dr William Hepburn (University of Aberdeen) will focus on the Newburgh Burgh Court Book (1459-1479 B54/7/1), which is one of the oldest municipal registers surviving in Scotland. He hopes that his project will provide evidence about the use of the written word in late medieval Newburgh and will situate the register within a wider study of the emergence of municipal registers across Scotland and Europe in the later middle ages and the role they played in the literate culture of towns.
Dr Robin Mills (University College London) will conduct research on archival material relevant to his research on the Scottish Enlightenment. Dr Mills’ current project, provisionally entitled ‘Religion and the Science of Human Nature in the Scottish Enlightenment’, aims to be the first sustained study of how the Scottish literati transformed the European understanding of religion. He will be focusing on the papers of Sir Hugh Cleghorn (1751–1836). Sir Hugh was appointed professor of Civil and Natural History at St Andrews from 1773, but found St Andrews too narrow a stage for his energy and ‘bigness of mind’, and became first Colonial Secretary to Ceylon.
Dr Alice Taylor (King’s College London) will study two legal manuscripts dating from the 15th (msKF51.R4) and 16th centuries (ms39000) to enable her to complete a printed edition of Scottish medieval law, Assisae et Statuta Regum Scottorum: Compilations of Royal Laws from the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, which will be published in a single volume by the Stair Society, Scotland’s leading society for the academic study of its law.
We will be arranging Visiting Scholar talks over the summer, please check the website for details over the next few weeks.