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A student using a magnifying glass to look at a manuscript in the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Research Collections Joseph Wilson

Edinburgh Manuscripts is a multi-disciplinary research cluster aiming to foster dialogue and collaboration between researchers, librarians, students and curators who are working on manuscripts local to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Manuscripts: Composition and Collection (EMCC) aims to promote, unite and strengthen current research into manuscript collections in Edinburgh. Our focus is both local and broad in scope, inclusive of work on transmission of manuscripts between Edinburgh and across the world throughout all periods of history. We also aim to consolidate partnerships between academic departments in the University of Edinburgh and the local research institutions of the Centre for Research Collections (CRC), the National Library of Scotland (NLS), and the National Museum of Scotland (NMS). We hope to improve postgraduate access to palaeography skills and object analysis by facilitating workshops and collaborative teaching with items in local collections. This cluster also supports the interdisciplinary focus of Edinburgh History of Art as a school by fostering research into both image and text in manuscripts and book history.

Our founding members are Bryony Coombs, Heather Pulliam & Hope Doherty-Harrison, who are all currently embarking on research projects involving manuscripts held in Edinburgh collections. Bryony Coombs’s second monograph project, Scotland on Parchment: Scraped, Limned and Bound, focuses on Scottish manuscript illuminators in the later Middle Ages. Heather Pulliam and Professor Adam S. Cohen (2023 Leverhulme Visiting Professor from the University of Toronto) are working with local manuscripts on their collaborative Imaging the Psalter project. In work supported by an IASH CRC Fellowship in 2024, Hope Doherty-Harrison is investigating the writing of Johannes de Indagine and Ekbert of Schönau in a collection of manuscripts from fifteenth-century Erfurt, Germany, that were acquired in the nineteenth century by the University of Edinburgh. W. R. Pierce is a PhD researcher in History of Art, working on Scottish scribe Magnus Makculloch. Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh is a Senior Lecturer in Celtic Linguistics, with interests in manuscript Studies and the literature and literary history of Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx from circa 1550 to 1900. Kleio Pethainou is researching visual humour in late medieval illuminated manuscripts in France and beyond, and her PhD was partly funded by an ECA History of Art Research Scholarship.


Meet our staff