Consortium of National and University Libraries



Postdoctoral Fellowships at UL on early modern and medieval book culture

The University of Limerick (UL) is currently seeking expressions of interest from ambitious researchers interested in applying for Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Fellowships in collaboration with the Centre for Early Modern Studies.  Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Fellowships fund excellent researchers looking to enhance their career development and prospects by working abroad. All areas of research are eligible. The European Commission’s next MSCA IF call for applications closes on 12 September 2018.

The Centre for Early Modern Studies, established in 2016, supports the research activities of scholars of the history and culture of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries at the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. The Centre has core membership of 19 scholars and is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in character. Within the Centre there is a wealth of expertise on early modern and medieval book culture, and the pursuit of these interests is at the heart of the Centre’s research agenda. In particular, the Centre seeks to promote new research on the Bolton Library and to sponsor projects that engage with its contents.

The Bolton Library comprises over 12,000 early printed books, manuscripts and incunabula, the collection is of exceptional academic and bibliographical significance and is one of the most important private libraries in Ireland. Formerly the diocesan library of Cashel, the collection has recently been transferred to the Glucksman Library, University of Limerick, where extensive conservation has taken place and a detailed new catalogue is being created. The Library reflects the wide-ranging bibliographical interests of its collectors Archbishop William King and Archbishop Theophilus Bolton who compiled the books in the early eighteenth century. In addition to its substantial holdings of early modern printed books, across a wide range of subjects, the Bolton Library contains several manuscripts, including a medieval encyclopaedia from 1168-1220 and a missal which is one of only three examples of hand written missals in Ireland prior to 1500. Significantly, it includes 18 imprints from before 1500 and 30 up to 1520.

Project idea and researcher opportunities

We welcome expressions of interest from postdoctoral researchers of any nationality, to apply jointly with a University of Limerick host mentor, attached to the Centre for Early Modern Studies, for projects on (a) the history of the Bolton Library or (b) aspects of early modern and/or medieval book culture that respond to and utilise the collection in a significant way. Viable research themes relating to the collection might include but are not restricted to:

  • The history of the Bolton Library
  • The profile of the collection: analysis of subject concentrations and distribution; of the material character of the books; of book provenance
  • The political, social, confessional and devotional purposes and implications of book collecting
  • Book collecting and self-fashioning
  • Interactions with the book trade
  • Readers, reading cultures and reading spaces

Further information on the research interests of the members of the Centre for Early Modern Studies may be found on its website. Please note that the commencement date for proposed projects should fall between March and September 2020 to allow for the completion of the conservation and cataloguing of the collection.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships:

European Fellowships (EF) provide an opportunity for researchers to broaden their horizons by working at a research organisation in Europe, with a view to acquiring new skills or working in new sectors. The fellowships are open to researchers either moving within Europe or coming to Europe. Fellowships can last 12 to 24 months. Researchers with a PhD or 4 years equivalent full time research experience can apply for an MSCA IF. To be hosted at UL, researchers must pick one of 3 types of European Fellowship.

Eligibility criteria at a glance:

  • Experienced researchers: e. a doctoral degree or four years of research experience
  • Mobility is required: come to Europe or work in another EU country
  • Read the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships terms and conditions to ensure you are eligible (the 2018 Guide for Applicants is available here)

How can we help? We will provide support for the preparation of the proposal to enhance the probability of success. Selected researchers will be matched to suitable mentors and will be able to avail of wide-ranging support and guidance from our Research support team and the proposed mentor as they develop their application.

To Apply: To respond to this call please send a synopsis of your proposed research project (1 page), your CV and a list of publications, awards and funding received to your intended mentor and to the Director of the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Dr Richard Kirwan (, copying, by 18th June 2018.


  • The EU application deadline is 12th September 2018 for Marie Curie Individual Fellowships and applications must be submitted on the EU Participant Portal.

For further information, call information and UL support see Postdoctoral Fellowships at UL and the Centre for Early Modern Studies, Limerick website.

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