Andrew Dunning has been appointed to the prestigious position of R.W. Hunt Curator of Medieval Manuscripts at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library. This post is named for Richard Hunt, Keeper of Western Manuscripts at the Bodleian from 1945 to 1975. Andrew is one of a small team of curators of medieval manuscripts, sharing responsibility for collection items from across Europe and the Byzantine Empire.
Andrew’s research uses evidence for collaboration in manuscripts to reconstruct the relationships between textual communities of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – producing prose analysis, digital resources, and new editions and translations of source texts. His forthcoming book Two Priors and a Princess: St Frideswide in Twelfth-Century Oxford, in collaboration with Benedicta Ward, reinterprets manuscripts made at St Frideswide’s Priory (now Christ Church) and shows how everyday people in medieval Oxford coped with physical and mental illness.
He writes, ‘By caring for both collections and people, we are ensuring that Oxford’s manuscripts will be here for generations to come, and that future readers will take interest in them. To read a medieval book, one must empathize with someone quite different from oneself – we all need to develop that skill. At a time when we are facing change and loss, preserving cultural heritage is crucial to human resilience. Manuscripts are for everyone.’
Joe Goering, with Alexandra Gillespie and Alexander Andrée, supervised Andrew’s dissertation at the Centre for Medieval Studies, ‘Alexander Neckam’s Manuscripts and the Augustinian Canons of Oxford and Cirencester’. Andrew also completed the Collaborative Program in Editing Medieval Texts, publishing Samuel Presbiter: Notes from the School of William de Montibus (Toronto, 2016). He graduated in 2016 while an RBC Foundation Fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Book in Oxford.
For 2016–17, Andrew was Curator of Medieval Historical Manuscripts (1100–1500) at the British Library, contributing to digitization, exhibitions, research, public outreach, and compliance with cultural heritage legislation. He was subsequently a Mellon Fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in 2017–18, where he worked with James Carley and taught for the University of St Michael’s College. He was awarded a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2017 to work at the University of Cambridge with Teresa Webber, and was Munby Fellow in Bibliography at Cambridge University Library for 2019–20.