Dr Orietta da Rold



Biographical Information:

I am a University Lecturer, Fellow at St John’s College and a member of the Center for Material Texts.  Before coming to Cambridge, I was at Leicester and before that I covered research positions at Oxford, Birmingham and Leeds. 

Research Interests:

My research interests are in medieval literature and texts c. 1100-1500, Chaucer and the digital humanities. In particular, I work on the social and cultural context of the circulation and transmission of medieval texts and books, and research the codicology and palaeography of medieval manuscripts. I have published articles and books on the examination of Old and Middle English literary traditions from a material perspective, and on the use of electronic media in the humanities. I am the editor of several books, including A Digital Facsimile of Cambridge, University Library, MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (hriOnline, 2013). I’m currently working on a major book project on the role of paper in medieval literary history and book production in England up to the introduction of print, the book is provisionally entitled From Pulp to Fictions: Paper in Late Medieval English Book Culture. The initial stages of this project, which started many years ago, were funded by 'The Bibliographical Society' with a Falconer Madan Award, which led to a visiting scholarship at Wolfson College, Oxford. I'm also editing two major collections of essays. A special issue for Essays and Studies, which is entitled Writing Europe 500-1450: Texts and Contexts, brings together papers on a range of topics in medieval manuscript studies and textual criticism, seeking to explore these issues from a pan-European perspective, and the Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts will offer fundamental advice on a know-how basis, showing its readers not just the importance of working with a Medieval manuscript, but also how to approach it from its different multifaceted angles.

My interest in medieval manuscripts and technology lead to an ESF Exploratory Workshop (co-applicant with Wendy Scase, Birmingham) 'Applying Semantic Web Technologies To Medieval Manuscript Research', which took place in Birmingham in late March 2009. The ESF workshop inspired a new digital humanities project: Manuscripts Online (JISC, e-content Capital Programme), co-directed with Michael Pidd (HRI, SHeffield). This is a major collaborative project which will enable users to search a very large body of online primary resources relating to written and early printed culture in Britain during the period 1000 to 1500. I aslo co-directed the AHRC Project, 'The Production and Use of English Manuscripts:1060 to 1220), and I am currently involved with colleagues at the University Library and at Stanford University in on the Digging Deeper Project, which develops on-line material for the teaching of Manuscripts Studies. A presentation video can be found here

I have organised several international conferences and postgraduate events. I am an advocate for postgraduate and early career training, and I am involved with the Quadrivium Project. Recently, I've convened with Dr Philip Shaw (University of Leicester), Aidan Conti (University of Bergen) and Dr Richard Dance (University of Cambridge) the 2014 run of Writing Britain: 500-1500 which was held in the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge, 30 June to 2 July 2014. 

I tweet on Digital Humanities, Manuscripts in Byte Size, Medieval Texts and more: @orietta_darold. Views my own.

Areas of Graduate Supervision:

I have supervised a number of postgraduate projects and PhD theses in medieval manuscript studies, medieval languages and textual cultures. I teach on the MPhil in Medieval and Renaissance Literature.

I would welcome research proposals on:

Medieval literature in context, including Chaucer;
Multilingualism in medieval manuscripts;
Authorship, reading-habits and book production (1100-1500);
Manuscript studies (1100-1500);
Medieval material textual cultures, including focused codicological, palaeographical and linguistic studies;
Medieval studies and digital humanities;
Editing and textual studies.


See Dr da Rold's entry in the University Lookup database. (Raven login required)

Selected Publications