Kathleen Doyle

Lead Curator, Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated Manuscripts

Dr Kathleen Doyle is the Lead Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library.  She received her PhD in Medieval Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, where her thesis focussed on 12th-century Cistercian manuscripts and the use of images in monastic art. Her latest publications are with Charlotte Denoël, Medieval Illumination: Manuscript Art in England and France 700–1200 (2018), also available in French, and with Scot McKendrick, The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World (2016), which has been translated into Dutch, French, German and Italian.  

Dr Doyle was the co-curator, with Dr Scot McKendrick, of the AHRC-funded exhibition, Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, and the Lead Investigator for the Royal Manuscripts follow-on project, editing with Dr McKendrick the volume 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts (2013).


  • The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World (London: Thames and Hudson, 2016) [with Scot McKendrick]. Translated as L’arte della Bibbia: Manoscritti miniati del medioevo (Turin: Giulio Einaudi, 2016); L’Art de la Bible: Manuscrits enluminés du monde médiéval (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2017); Heilige Pracht: Die Schönsten Bibeln des Mittelalters (Darmstadt, Theiss, 2017), De Kunst van de Bijbel: Verluchte manuscripten uit de Middeleeuwen (KOK, 2017).
  • ‘The Luttrell Psalter’, in Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibition: Treasures, Saints and Heroes, ed. by Nicolas Bennett (London: Scala Arts & Heritage, 2015)
  • 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2013), pp. 179-212 [co-editor with Scot McKendrick]
  • ‘‘Preserved and Transmitted for the Good of Posterity’: The Transfer of the Old Royal Library from a Palace to a Museum’, in 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts, ed. by Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick (London: British Library, 2013), pp. 179-212.
  • Royal Manuscripts: the Genius of Illumination (London: British Museum, 2011) [with Scot McKendrick and John Lowden] (short-listed for the William M.B. Berger Prize for British Art History)
  • ‘The Old Royal Library: ‘A greate many noble manuscripts yet remaining’’, in Royal Manuscripts: the Genius of Illumination, ed. by Scot McKendrick, John Lowden and Kathleen Doyle (London: British Library, 2011), pp. 66-93
  • Royal Illuminated Manuscripts from King Athelstan to Henry VIII (London: British Library 2011) [with Scot McKendrick]
  • ‘Bernard of Clairvaux’s Apologia as a Work of Medieval Rhetoric’, in Image, Memory and Devotion: Liber Amicorum Paul Crossley, ed. by Zoë Opačić and Achim Timmermann (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), pp. 95-101.
  • Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture (London: British Library, 2007) [with Scot McKendrick]

Collection guides

Western illuminated manuscripts

Approximately 9,000 manuscripts with decoration or illumination