Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Cotton MS Caligula a xiv f020v detail

Showcasing the latest research on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts

To coincide with the British Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, the Library is holding a two-day international academic conference with papers by leading scholars in the fields of history, literature and art history. This will be followed by a one-day academic symposium for early career researchers on 15 December. 

These multidisciplinary, international events will re-evaluate the roles and uses of writing, manuscripts and inscribed objects in early medieval England and beyond, during a period when uses of writing and writing technologies changed and expanded considerably. Papers will cover libraries and readers, objects inscribed in runes, highly illuminated manuscripts, literary manuscripts and documentary writing up to Domesday Book. The papers will place the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in wider geographical, cultural and political contexts. The conference will begin with a keynote lecture on ‘The European context of manuscript illumination in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, 600–900’, given by Lawrence Nees, and will conclude with a second keynote lecture on ‘Exon Domesday, the English and the Normans’, by Julia Crick.

The conference will also include a private view of the exhibition and lunches will be provided.


Two-day tickets are available for the International Conference only, on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 December

Three-day tickets are available for the International Conference on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 December and the Early Career Symposium on Saturday 15 December

Keynote speakers

Lawrence Nees, Professor of Medieval Art, University of Delaware
The European Context of Manuscript Illumination in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, 600–900

Julia Crick, Professor of Palaeography and Manuscript Studies, Kings College London
‘English Scribal Culture in an Age of Conquest, 900–1100’


Sue Brunning, Curator: Early Medieval European Insular Collections, The British Museum
‘Saying Things: Anglo-Saxon Inscribed Objects in the British Museum’

Richard Gameson, Professor of the History of the Book, University of Durham
‘Copying Scripture at Wearmouth-Jarrow’

Helen Gittos, Associate Professor, Colyer-Fergusson Fellow and Tutor in Early Medieval History, University of Oxford
‘Canterbury’s Role in the Dissemination of Liturgical Rites in Later Anglo-Saxon England’

Michael Gullick, Independent Researcher
‘Across the North Sea: Anglo-Saxon Liturgical Manuscripts in Norway and Sweden’

David Johnson, Professor of English, Florida State University
‘The Transmission and Reception of Alfredian ‘Apocrypha’’

Catherine Karkov, Chair of Art History, University of Leeds
’Negotiating Difference in the Wonders of the East’

Simon Keynes, Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Cambridge
‘The Canterbury Letter-Book’

Rosalind Love, Reader in Insular Latin, University of Cambridge
‘Back into Bede’s Library’

Rosamond McKitterick, Professor, Fellow in History and Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
‘Links with Rome and the Franks in the Light of Some Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts’

Bernard Meehan, Trinity Medieval History Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin
‘The Corpus-Otho-Royal / Cambridge-London / Parker-Cotton-Wolsey Gospels’

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Professor of History NUI–Galway
‘Durham A.II.10 — The Original Lindisfarne Gospels?’

Andy Orchard, Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, University of Oxford
‘The Uniqueness of Beowulf’

Susan Rankin, Professor of Medieval Music, University of Cambridge
’A Fleury Model for Singing at Winchester’

Winfried Rudolf, Professor for Medieval English Language and Literature, University of Göttingen
‘The Return of the Vercelli Book: New Observations on Its Italian Provenance’

Joanna Story, Professor of Early Medieval History, University of Leicester
‘Insular Art and Script in Carolingian Europe’

Francesca Tinti, Ikerbasque Research Professor, University of the Basque Country
‘Anglo-Saxon Travellers and their Books’

Elaine Treharne, Roberta Bowman Denning Professor of Humanities, Stanford University
‘Post-Conquest Old English Manuscripts from a Distance’

Immo Warntjes, Ussher Assistant Professor in Early Medieval Irish History, Trinity College Dublin
‘Willibrord: Harbinger of the Carolingian Renaissance’

Teresa Webber, University Reader in Palaeography, University of Cambridge
‘The lector and lectio in Anglo-Saxon England’

Jon Wilcox, Professor of English, University of Iowa
‘The Wolf Howls Twice: Wulfstan’s Writing and Scribal Repetition’

Speakers at the Early Career Symposium, Saturday 15 December

Colleen Curran, Junior Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
‘960 and All That: An Earlier ‘Style’ of English Caroline Minuscule’

Robert Gallagher, Junior Research Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford University
‘Latin Verse and Book Culture in the Age of Æthelstan’

Louise Garner, doctoral candidate, Durham University
‘Underneath the Arches: Pigments in the York Gospels and the Wider Canterbury Context’

Alison Hudson, Project Curator, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts, The British Library
‘Laymen, Churchmen and Literacy around the Turn of the First Millennium AD: Multispectral Imaging of Æthelweard’s Chronicle’

Eleanor Jackson, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, The British Library
‘Consolation in the Labyrinth: A Picture Poem in Cambridge University Library, MS Kk.3.21’

Rebecca Lawton, doctoral candidate, University of Leicester
‘Papyrus, Performance, Prestige: Examining the Physicality of Papal Letters in Early Anglo-Saxon England’

Esther Lemmerz, doctoral candidate, University of Göttingen
‘Visualising Latin in the In Cena Domini Version in London, British Library, Cotton Faustina MS A IX’

Stephanie McGucken, doctoral candidate, University of Edinburgh
‘The Psychomachia in Late Anglo-Saxon England: Transmission, Adaptation, and Manipulation’

Alexandra Reider, doctoral candidate, Yale University
‘The Search for the Anglo-Saxon Poetic Codex’

Simon Thomson, Research Assistant, Ruhr Universität, Bochum
‘Scribal Interactions: The Communal Making and Remaking of Manuscripts in Late Anglo-Saxon England’

Jiří Vnouček, doctoral candidate, University of York
’The Parchment of Codex Amiatinus and Ceolfrith’s Bibles’

Christine Voth, Dorothea Schlözer Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Göttingen
‘Intellectual Professionals in Anglo-Saxon England: A Case Study of the Medical Manuscript London, British Library, Royal 12 D XVII’

We are very grateful to the donors who are generously supporting the conference and symposium:

The Polonsky Foundation

Patrick Donovan

The Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections

Past & Present Society Postgraduate Fund

The Polonsky Foundation logoAMARC LogoPast & Present logo

Series events

Cotton MS Caligula a xiv f020v detail

Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms Two-Day Ticket

Cotton MS Caligula a xiv f020v detail

Manuscripts in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms Three-Day Ticket