Dr Orietta Da Rold, St John's




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. I am an Affiliate of Stanford Text Technologies.

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 just completed a book length project, currently entitled Paper in Medieval England, which was funded by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. This project brings to completion the first phase of my long standing research interest in medieval paper as a technology and a cultural artifact. Building on the 'Mapping Paper in Medieval England Project', funded by a Cambridge CHRG Grant, I am now engaged in the second stage of this project focusing on 'Paper in Time and Space'. A codicologically focused project which explores the significance of paper for dating and localising the hundreds of paper manuscripts which were produced in England before the advent of print. A parallel project, currently under development, relates to how networks of knowledge are created in medieval book production and Chaucer's library/ies, in particular. 

Several of my current and past projects are collaborations, including, with Elaine Treharne, Stanford, the Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts, which offers fundamental advice on a know-how basis, showing to its readers the importance of working with a Medieval manuscript. I have participated and directed large projects, such as 'The Production and Use of English Manuscripts:1060 to 1220', and AHRC funded project which explored handrwitten culture in the early medieval period. Most of my projects also have an important digital humanities component. I worry about how digital technologies and models can be integrated with the study of medieval manuscript culture both for teaching and research. In the Manuscripts Online Project (JISC, e-content Capital Programme), co-directed with Michael Pidd (HRI, Sheffield), the team looked at ways in which a very large and diversed body of online primary data, relating to written and early printed culture in Britain during the period 1000 to 1500, could be integrated and searched from one portal. With colleagues at the University Library and at Stanford University, I have taught the very successful Digging Deeper I: Making Manuscripts and Digging Deeper II: The Form and Function of Manuscripts. Both courses develop on-line material for teaching Western Manuscripts Studies, with a deep into the non-Western tradition too. The Manuscripts Lab builds on this experience and brings together students and colleagues to explore the powerful connection between teaching and research in Manuscript Studies.

I regularly give papers at national and international events as well as organise international conferences, workshops and postgraduate colloquia often in collaboration. In 2014, I have oraganised, with Richard Dance (Cambridge) and Philip Shaw (Leicester), Writing Britain: 500 to 1500, you can find out more here.  In 2016, Daniel Wakelin (University of Oxford), I co-ordinated the ‘Textual and Related Studies: A symposium to mark the retirement of Richard Beadle’. Recently in 2018, with Jason Scott-Warren, I organised the Paper-Stuff: Materiality, Technology and Invention, funded by the British Academy and AMARC (The Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collecations). A report can be found here.

I am an advocate for postgraduate and early career training, and I am involved with the Quadrivium Project, and more recently with Hackathon, a digital training programme for early career medievalists organised by Cambridge University Library and Queen Mary University of London, chaired by Dr Eyal, Queen Mary, University of London, in collaboration with colleagues from other national and international universities: Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, School of Advanced Studies, University College, London, Kings College, London, Université Lyon II and Charles University, Prague.

I am the Series Editor, with Holly James-Maddocks, ‘Manuscript Studies’, York Medieval Press, Boydell & Brewer. 

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

Selected Publications

 Books and Editions:

  • Paper in Medieval England: From Pulp to Fictions (Cambridge University Press, 2020), ISBN: 978-1-108-84057-6, i-xx, 270 pp.
  • Companion to British Manuscript Studies, ed. with Elaine Treharne (Cambridge University Press, 2020), ISBN: 9781316182659
  • Writing Europe 500-1450: Texts and Contexts, ed. with Philip Shaw and Aidan Conti, special issue for Essays and Studies (2015), ISBN: 978-1-84384-415-0.
  • The Multitext Edition: Eight Manuscripts of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, The Norman Blake Editions of The Canterbury Tales, ed. with Simon Horobin, Michael Pidd, Estelle Stubbs and Claire Thomson with Linda Cross (HRI online), http://www.chaucermss.org/multitext, ISBN: 978-0-9571022-1-7.
  • The Dd Manuscript: A Digital Edition of Cambridge University Library, MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, ed., The Norman Blake Editions of The Canterbury Tales (HRI online, 2013), ISBN: 978-0-9571022-0-0, http://www.chaucermss.org/dd
  • New Medieval Literature, guest ed. with Mary Swan and Elaine Treharne, 13 (2012 for 2011). ISBN 978-2-503-53653-8.
  • E-medieval: Teaching, Research, and the Net, ed. with Elaine Treharne, Special issue, Literature Compass (2012), http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lico.2012.9.issue-12/issuetoc.
  • English Manuscripts before 1400, ed. with A.G.S. Edwards, English Manuscripts Studies: 1100-1700 (British Library Publishing, 2012), ISBN 9780712358835.
  • The Production and Use of English Manuscripts, ed. with  Takako Kato, Mary Swan and Elaine Treharne (eds.) First published 2010; updated 2013, School of English, University of Leicester SBN 095323195x, version 1.0 (http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/em1060to1220/); updated 2018, Stanford University (https://em1060.stanford.edu/)
  • Textual Culture, Cultural Texts, 1000-2010, ed. with Elaine Treharne, special issue of Essays and Studies (Boydell & Brewer, 2010) ISBN: 9781843842392.

Electronic Resources

Manuscripts Online, http://www.manuscriptsonline.org/

Articles and Essays

  • 'Networks of paper in late medieval England’, in The Paper Trade in Early Modern Europe. Practices, Materials, Networks, eds Anna Reynolds and Daniel Bellingradt (Brill: Leiden and Boston, 2021 Forthcoming).
  • 'Hegwrt', The Chaucer Encyclopedia, eds. Vincent Gillespie (Oxford), Jessica Rosenfeld (Washington University, St. Louis), and Katie Walter (Sussex), forthcoming.
  • 'Pratt, Robert', The Chaucer Encyclopedia, eds. Vincent Gillespie (Oxford), Jessica Rosenfeld (Washington University, St. Louis), and Katie Walter (Sussex), forthcoming.
  • Introduction: the matter of manuscripts and methodologies’ with E. Treharne, in Companion to British Manuscript Studies, pp. 15-23.
  • Networks of writers and readers’ with E. Treharne, in Companion to British Manuscript Studies, pp. 143-162.
  • ‘A note on Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, 210’, in Medieval Manuscripts in the Digital Age, ed. Benjamin Albritton, Georgia Henley, and Elaine Treharne, Digital Research in the Arts and Humanities (London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 57-63.
  • ‘Paper in Medieval English Books’ in Pádraug Ó Macháin, ed, Paper and the Paper Manuscript: A Context for the Transmission of Gaelic Literature (Cork, University College Cork, 2019), pp. 1-7.
  • 'Prefazione/Afterwords’ in Emauela di Stefano, Fra le Marche, Il Mediterraneo, L’Europa. Pioraco: radici ed Espansione di un Centro Cartario (Napoli; Edizioni scientifiche Italiane, 2019), pp. 17-23.
  • ‘Codicology’, The Encyclopaedia of Medieval British Literature, ed. Sian Echard and Robert Rouse (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), pp. 531-38.
  • ‘Preface’ with Aidan Conti and Philip Shaw, Essays and Studies (2015), pp. xiii-xv.
  • ‘Medieval Manuscript Studies: an European Perspective’ with Marilena Maniaci, Essays and Studies (2015), pp. 1-24.
  • ‘Codicology, Localization and Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Laud. Misc. 108’ in The Makers and Users of Medieval Books, edited by Derek Pearsall and Carol Meale (Boydell & Brewer, 2014), pp. 48-59. 
  • Digital Humanities, Libraries and Federated Searching: The Manuscripts Online Project’, Digitale Rekonstruktionen mittelalterlicher Bibliotheken (Reichert, 2014), pp. 71-79.
  • 'New Challenges to the Editing of Chaucer’, in Editing Medieval Texts from Britain in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Anne Hudson and Vincent Gillespie (Brepols, 2013), pp. 481-92.
  • ‘Making the Book: Cambridge, University Library Ii.1.33’, New Medieval Literature 13 (2012 for 2011), pp. 273-88.
  • ‘Linguistic Contiguities: English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220’, with Mary Swan, in Conceptualizing Multilingualism, edited by Elizabeth Tyler (Brepols, 2012), pp. 255-70.
  • ‘Materials’ in The Production of Books in England c.1350–c.1530, edited by Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin (CUP, 2011), pp. 12-33.
  • 'Editing Chaucer after Manly and Rickert', Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 32 (2010), 375-82.
  • Authored several manuscript descriptions, in The Production and Use of English Manuscripts, Orietta Da Rold, Takako Kato, Mary Swan and Elaine Treharne (eds.) (Leicester, School of English University of Leicester, 2010), ISBN 095323195x, version 1.0 (http://www.le.ac.uk/ee/em1060to1220/)
  • 'Manuscript Production before Chaucer: Some Preliminary Observations' in Textual Culture, Cultural Texts, 1000-2010, edited by Orietta Da Rold and Elaine Treharne,special issue of Essays and Studies (Boydell & Brewer, 2010), pp. 43-58.
  • 'Textual Copying and Transmission' in Oxford Handbook of Medieval English Literature, edited by Greg Walker and Elaine Treharne (OUP, 2010), pp. 33-56.
  • ‘The Linguistic Stratification in the Cambridge University Library Dd Copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales’, with Jacob Thaisen, Neuphilologische Mitteillungen, 110 (2009), 283-297.
  • ‘Fingerprinting Paper in West Midlands Medieval Manuscripts’ in Essays in Manuscript Geography: Vernacular Manuscripts of the English West Midlands from the Conquest to the Sixteenth Century, ed. W. Scase (Brepols, 2007), pp. 257-71.
  • ‘The Significance of Scribal Corrections in Cambridge University Library, MS Dd.4.24’, The Chaucer Review, 41.4 (2007), 393-436.
  • Authored and contributed to several manuscript descriptions, Manuscripts of the West Midlands: A Catalogue of Vernacular Manuscript Books of the English West Midlands, c. 1300 - c. 1475, with Rebecca Farnham and Wendy Scase (Birmingham: University of Birmingham, 2006), <http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/mwm/>
  • ‘Re-sourcing the Production and Use of English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220’, Literature Compass, 3.4 (2006), 750-66.
  • ‘The Quiring System in Cambridge, University Library MS. Dd.4.24.’, The Library, 7th series, 4 (2003), 10-24.

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