Senate House Library - Visiting Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers

Call for applications, deadline 31 January 2019

Senate House Library, in partnership with the Friends of Senate House Library, is inviting postdoctoral researchers to apply for a Visiting Research Fellowship of up to three months that makes use of the Library’s world-class collections. The successful candidate could be awarded up to £10,000. The deadline for applications is midnight on 31st January 2019.

As well as 50 named special collections and over 1,800 collections of archives and manuscripts, from the Middle Ages to present time, Senate House Library provides access to over 2 million printed items, arranged into 14 named subject collections, in addition to a nationally significant collection of print and electronic journals, and a growing range of e-resources and e-books, thus making it one of the world’s greatest research libraries for the study of the arts, literature, humanities and social sciences. The Library is also a prime cultural destination in the heart of London, offering an innovative and exciting programme of free exhibitions and events for a wide range of audiences.

Senate House Library’s collections are particularly strong in the following eight core areas and applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to one or more of these collecting and subject strengths to ensure their project is aligned with the Library’s research priorities.

  • Literature in English and other European languages – along with the Sterling and Durning Lawrence collections containing major literary works in the English language and first and fine editions, Senate House Library also holds important collections of literary figures of the 19th and 20th centuries, including H.G. Wells, Thomas Sturge Moore, Malcom Morley, Herbert Palmer, Walter de la Mare, and Terry Pratchett. Furthermore, the Library is particularly rich in theatre and drama collections, as well as Middlebrow, popular and mass-market materials, beyond the academic and canonical. Beyond material in the English language, the Library also holds unique and distinctive collections in Western European languages and cultures.
  • Book History and Manuscript Studies – these collections, founded on the Book Studies and Palaeography holdings within Modern Collections, illustrate varied and diverse aspects of both disciplines including the development of handwriting/scripts, manuscript/codicology and book production, the transmission, circulation and dissemination of texts, sigillography, history of ideas, bibliography, annotations, illuminations illustration, and the formation of collections and libraries and the individuals behind them. In addition to these topics several archive and special collections also illustrate the history of the publishing, printing and bookselling industries.
  • The Mind and Magic – Senate House Library is particularly rich in collections relating to parapsychology and the paranormal, with the Harry Price Archive and Library of Magical Literature being the most significant and distinctive of them. These holdings are complemented with our nationally significant collections on the history and development of the field of psychology within Modern Collections, including the library of the British Psychological Society. Together, they help to trace the history of a search for the meaning of humanity, and reach out to many other areas of knowledge such as literature, anthropology and ethnography, philosophy, religion, and the history of ideas. These collections can also be explored from the perspective of the individuals (creators and collectors) who assembled them and their motivations for doing so.
  • Social and Economic History – This subject area encompasses a wide range of themes and topics including welfare and social reform, temperance movement; history of education, with a particular focus on the role that the UoL played in advancing higher education for women and also in the provision of adult education; the evolution and development of the city of London; enslavement; and the origins and development of industrial societies. After decades of careful development, the History holdings within Modern Collections offer extraordinary depth and breadth of coverage and provide invaluable support to holdings in Special Collections.
  • Radical Politics - Senate House Library holds an exceptional wealth of material to chart the history of left-wing, alternative and radical political movements and activism, as well as diverse marginal and unorthodox beliefs, opinions and practices from the 18th century to the present time. In addition, the Library collections chart many and diverse aspects of the history and development of the working class movement and trade unionism. Pacifism as a form of social and political activism in the earlier part of the 20th century is another subject also represented in the Senate House Library holdings.
  • Commonwealth Studies - these collections, many of them containing an abundance of scarce and rare ephemeral material, cover many important events and developments in the history of the countries that form part of this organisation, including the anti-apartheid movement, civil rights and liberties, political activism (including women’s activists), journalism and communications, education, workers’ rights and trade unions, pressure and campaigning groups, independence movements and the relationship between Britain and this group of nations after political emancipation.
  • Latin American Studies - the Library is home to an extraordinary collection of printed sources on Latin America and the Caribbean, envisaged from its inception as a national resource for study of the area and housed within Modern Collections. It records as fully as possible the history of the region, with specific strengths in: colonial history, politics, anthropology, sociology, gender studies and literature. Together with this vast body of material there is a wealth of rare and ephemeral items in the Special Collections which chart the development of social and political movements in the region throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Migration and Cultural Memory - Senate House Library holds a wealth of primary source material relating to the experience of migration across different times and places, with a particular focus on forced migration, displaced persons and exiles as a result of war or political persecution. The rarity and scarcity of this material renders it particularly useful for research, not only to explore the experience of forced migration, but more widely to understand issues of identity and belonging, the concept of mobility in the context of forced migration, the cultural impact of forced migration and exile, human rights, personal interactions and their legacy.