Studentships available within the department of History
The department of History invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for two studentships starting in October 2019.
Charity, Piety and Commerce: Liverpool’s Bluecoat School and pragmatic politeness in the first half of the 18th century.
The University of Liverpool and Bluecoat: Liverpool’s Centre for the Contemporary Arts invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a fully-funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD Studentship starting in October 2019.
Bluecoat — dedicated in 1717 as the Blue Coat Charity School and, transformed in the early 20C into the UK’s first arts centre — is one of the few surviving buildings dating to Liverpool’s early 18th century commercial expansion and reflects the town’s growing self-confidence and the civic-mindedness of its mercantile elite.
The successful candidate will draw upon, among other sources, the records of the Blue Coat School, the papers of influential donors, and church and Corporation sources to revisit the history of the building in the first half of the 18th century and situate it in emergent urban networks of charity, piety and commerce, thus effectively creating a topography of the early 18th century town.
This may include, but will not necessarily be limited to, considerations of the following:
- the extent to which Liverpool’s early 18th century commercial network extended into the charitable arena
- the extent, importance and operation of personal, professional, social, religious and political ‘connexions’, including those of patronage and clientage
- considerations of the place of pragmatic politeness in the development of the Blue Coat School and, more widely, of early 18C Liverpool itself
- considerations of space and place and material culture in early 18th century Liverpool, particularly with regard to the Blue Coat School building, the founding Anglican church and the Old Dock
The deadline for applications is Friday, 15 February 2019. Interviews will be held in Liverpool in the week beginning 4 March 2019.
Books for Everyone? National Trust Libraries and their Reading Communities in the Long Eighteenth Century.
The University of Liverpool and the National Trust (NT) invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a fully-funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD Studentship starting in October 2019.
The studentship seeks to shed new light on one of the country’s great – yet under-researched – book collections. The National Trust owns over 140 historic libraries, which together contain around 400,000 books. Many of these remain in situ in the house where they were originally brought together and read. An ongoing cataloguing project has led to the integration of c.180,000 catalogue records into Copac, thereby opening them up to systematic scholarly scrutiny for the first time.
Focusing primarily on five NT libraries in the North West of England and North Wales (Dunham Massey, Erddig, Lyme Park, Tatton Park and Townend), the successful candidate will investigate important issues relating to the social, cultural and political history of books in the long eighteenth century. These may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Material evidence of book use in surviving NT books, such as marginalia, inscriptions, condition and staining;
- The social life of books in the eighteenth-century home;
- Patterns of shared reading, especially amongst marginal reading groups such as women, children, servants and estate workers;
- The movement of books between country house libraries and town libraries, and between different generations of the same family;
- The extent to which private books circulated beyond the family who owned them, including formal lending registers and anecdotal traces of book borrowing;
- The role of book collectors in sustaining the provincial book trade;
- The contribution of landed families to wider cultural and intellectual renewal, whether through support for local writers and publishing projects, or patronage of urban subscription libraries and other voluntary improving endeavours;
- The light that private libraries can shed on families’ engagement with political and social issues (e.g. the Grand Tour, the abolition of slavery or parliamentary reform).
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 13 February 2019.