Dr Scot McKendrick

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Scot McKendrick
Head of Western Heritage Collections
Western European illumination; the Christian Bible; the reception of classical antiquity
Related Offices
Chair and UK contact for the Manuscript Librarians Group of the Consortium of Research Libraries (CERL); Membre étranger associé of the Académie Royale d’Archéologie de Belgique; Hon. Research Associate, History Department, University College London; Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London

Areas of responsibility

The Head of the Western Heritage Collection is responsible for the curation of over 2000 years of printed, manuscript and archival resources from around Britain and the wider world in a wide array of formats. His team is made up of four curatorial areas covering Ancient, Medieval & Early Modern Manuscripts, Modern Archives & Manuscripts, Music Collections and Printed Heritage Collections. 

Areas of expertise

My main research interests are the written legacy of classical Greece and Rome; the manuscript tradition of the Bible; European illuminated manuscripts; late medieval and Renaissance European history, art and culture; the history of the British Library’s collections. Based on this I have curated four major exhibitions held by the British Library: The Mythical Quest (1996), Illuminating the Renaissance (2003-4), Sacred (2007) and Royal Manuscripts (2011-12).

For the catalogue of Illuminating the Renaissance my co-author Thomas Kren and I were awarded the Eric Mitchell Prize for the best exhibition catalogue of 2002-3 and the Eugène Baie Prize for the best publication on the history of Flemish civilization, culture or art in 1998-2002.

Royal Manuscripts was based on a research project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council for which I was the Principal Investigator and Professor John Lowden of the Courtauld Institute of Art the Co-Investigator.


  • The Art of the Bible: Illuminated Manuscripts from the Medieval World (London: Thames and Hudson, forthcoming in 2016) [with Kathleen Doyle]. 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).
  • Codex Sinaiticus: New Perspectives on the Ancient Biblical Manuscript (London and Peabody MA: BL Pubs and Hendrickson, 2015) [co-editor with David Parker et al.]
  • 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts (London: BL Pubs, 2013) [co-editor with Kathleen Doyle]
  • The British Library’s Collection of Greek Manuscripts’ (2012)
  • The Isabella Breviary. British Library, Additional MS 18851. Commentary to the Facsimile (Barcelona: Moleiro, 2012) [with Nigel Morgan and Elisa Ruiz García]
  • Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, British Library exhibition catalogue (London: BL Pubs, 2011) [with John Lowden and Kathleen Doyle]
  • Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (Los Angeles and London: J. Paul Getty Museum Pubs and Royal Academy of Arts, 2003) [with Thomas Kren]

Collection guides

Classical Latin manuscripts

Manuscripts of Latin authors from before 600

Greek manuscripts

We have one of the largest and most important resources outside Greece for the study of Hellenic culture

More collection guides