PhD Studentship: Cosmopolitan Collection and Regional Resource: The Social Life of Tatton Park Library, Keele University, Keele, UK. Deadline: 31 January 2023.
Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded PhD in English Literature, supervised collaboratively by Keele University and the National Trust: ‘Cosmopolitan Collection and Regional Resource: The Social Life of Tatton Park Library’. This is offered under the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award programme. The student will be supervised by Dr Jonathon Shears and Dr Rachel Adcock (Keele), and Mr Tim Pye (National Curator, NT Libraries). This full-time studentship, which is funded for three years at standard AHRC rates, will begin on 1 September 2023. It is especially suitable for students with a background in eighteenth- or nineteenth-century studies and book history, whether or not they have worked directly on the topic of the project.
The project makes a timely contribution to research on collecting, material culture and the circulation of ideas by exploring the way regional elites understood themselves and their impact on local, national, and international stages. It focuses on the library at Tatton Park, Cheshire as a site where issues of race, class and gender intersect. This project will extend understanding of the generations of the Egerton family who owned Tatton, their acquisitions, tastes, and the role of the library as a resource for the family and the wider community. It will provide the student with privileged access to the unique collection at Tatton which holds over 8,000 rare books, rigorous training in archival research, and co-produced public engagement opportunities through Tatton Park. The study of the social life of libraries and reading contexts is fast developing but Tatton is one of the least documented major libraries owned by the Trust meaning there are significant opportunities for the student to open up hidden stories that will have a lasting impact on the way country house libraries are understood.