Olivia Baskerville

Olivia Baskerville has an M.St. in Medieval History from the University of Oxford and a BA in History from King’s College London, where she won the Elizabeth Levett Memorial Prize for her work on the development of Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Scottish cross-border identities through charters and property law. She subsequently assisted on the Charters of William II and Henry I project at Oxford, focusing on Anglo-Norman dowager queenship, and is particularly interested in the varying ways in which national identities are constructed and deconstructed in both the medieval and modern periods.

Her PhD explores the rise of nationalist discourse around medieval manuscripts, manuscripts as items of ’national heritage’, and the conceptualisation of medievalism in early 20th century Britain.

Dr Federico Botana

Federico Botana obtained his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art, which formed the basis for his book The Works of Mercy in Italian Medieval Art c. 1050-c. 1400 (Brepols, 2012). 

Since then, his research has mainly focused on manuscripts. Between 2011 and 2013, he collaborated on Manuscript Egerton 1500: Histories and Genealogies at the University of Reading. In 2013, he was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship for his project Visual Pedagogy in Renaissance Tuscany, conducted at Queen Mary, University of London. This project resulted in a forthcoming book, Learning through Images in the Italian Renaissance: Illustrated Manuscripts and Education in Quattrocento Florence (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

His work with CULTIVATE MSS investigates the pan-European activities of Italian bookdealers, including Ulrico Hoepli, Tammaro De Marinis, Giuseppe Martini and Leo Olschki.

Dr Laura Cleaver (PI)

Dr Laura Cleaver

Laura Cleaver completed a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art and taught at Trinity College Dublin before moving to the Institute of English Studies in 2019. Her research concentrates on medieval manuscripts, encompassing their production, circulation and reception. She is particularly interested in how manuscripts have been valued, interpreted and used, from the Middle Ages to the present.

In addition to managing CULTIVATE MSS, her research focuses as London as a hub in the growing trade in medieval manuscripts c. 1900-45 and the place of Britain in the international market for books. 

Dr Elizabeth Dearnley

Elizabeth Dearnley completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge, which formed the basis for her book Translators and their Prologues in Medieval England (Boydell & Brewer, 2016).

Following a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at UCL exploring fairy tale transmission and collaborative storytelling, she has produced arts and public engagement projects from Talking Statues to the Secret Diary of Bloomsbury, most recently creating immersive theatre installation The Sandman for the Freud Museum London. Her research interests include engagement with public spaces, the urban weird, folklore and storytelling.

Her work with CULTIVATE MSS includes managing the project website, blog and social media, as well as its public engagement activities.

Dr Ana de Oliveira Dias

Ana de Oliveira Dias completed her PhD in History at Durham University in 2019, having specialised in manuscript production in early medieval Iberia. Prior to joining the CULTIVATE MSS project, she lectured in early medieval history and Latin palaeography at the universities of York and Durham. She has also led educational programmes at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Lisbon, Portugal) and has collaborated in public engagement activities with the Ordered Universe project (Durham University/University of Oxford). 

Her research focuses on the production and reception of early medieval illuminated manuscripts in Iberia and Continental Europe, and she is particularly int​erested in how images were created and used in monastic contexts.  

Within CULTIVATE MSS, Ana’s research centres on trade and collecting of pre-1200 CE manuscripts in English-speaking countries, especially in America.

Natalia Fantetti

Natalia Fantetti gained a BA in English and MA in Modern Literature and Culture, both from King’s College London. As a medieval-modernist, her work seeks to draw links between the two periods and how they may inform each other. She is particularly interested in developing an interdisciplinary approach to research, and has written across literature, objects, visual art, and film. Her research interests include notions of medieval materiality, manuscript studies, early twentieth century social history and artistic culture, “modernism” in the broadest sense, as well as feminism and the work of women.

Her PhD explores a variety of roles that women occupied within the manuscript trade, such as collectors, scholars, dealers, librarians and secretaries. Additionally, it aims to map the trade onto the landscape of women at work more generally between 1900-1945. The project also compares the activities of these women in wartime and peacetime periods, as well as looking at how networks of women were formed within the manuscript trade at the time.

Dr Danielle Magnusson

Danielle Magnusson joined CULTIVATE MSS after completing her doctorate at the University of Washington in English Literature and Textual Studies. Since then she has lectured and taught at the School of English at Trinity College Dublin. She also served as a Research Assistant with the Migrant Books: Western Manuscripts Formerly in the Chester Beatty Collection project at Trinity College Dublin’s Department of History of Art and Architecture.

Her current research grew out of her work on the Chester Beatty project, and in 2019 she co-authored a chapter with Laura Cleaver, 'American collectors and the trade in medieval illuminated manuscripts in London, 1919-1939: J.P. Morgan Junior, A. Chester Beatty and Bernard Quaritch Ltd'.

Her research within CULTIVATE MSS centres on the network of collectors, dealers and scholars that contributed to the golden age of American book collecting (1895-1930).

Dr Hannah Morcos

Hannah Morcos completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in French language and literature at King’s College London. Her PhD thesis investigated the compilation and reception of francophone story collections in multi-text codices, and formed part of the HERA-funded The Dynamics of the Medieval Manuscript: Text Collections from a European Perspective

Most recently, she has been working on a digital edition of two manuscript versions of the Histoire ancienne jusqu’à Cesar as part of the ERC-funded The Values of French Language and Literature in the European Middle Ages at King’s College London. Her research interests centre on medieval French literature, manuscript studies, and digital humanities.

For CULTIVATE MSS, Hannah is investigating the trade in medieval manuscripts in France c. 1900-1945, and, in particular, the development of the national collections in this period.

Pierre-Louis Pinault

Pierre-Louis Pinault graduated in political and social sciences at Sciences Po Strasbourg, in history at the University of Strasbourg, and in digital humanities at the École nationale des chartes. He worked at the Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes (IRHT-CNRS), first as an intern, then as a junior research assistant for the Mapping Manuscript Migrations project. His main research interests include library history, provenance, and manuscript studies.

His PhD analyses the influence of clubs of bibliophiles and of learned societies in the study, trade and collecting of medieval manuscripts in the United Kingdom, France and the United States of America in the early twentieth century.


Dr Angéline Rais

Angéline Rais holds a degree in History from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland and a D.Phil. in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford.

She collaborated on the publication of Catalogue des incunables du canton de Fribourg (2015), and catalogued copies of early printed books of Lambeth Palace Library’s collection in the database Material Evidence in Incunabula (2014–2015). More recently, she worked at the Bibliothèque Mazarine where she contributed to the database Bibliographie des mazarinades (2019–2020). Her research interests focus on the history of the book, the formation of private and institutional libraries, as well as bibliographical and cultural studies.

Her research within CULTIVATE MSS explores the various uses of medieval manuscripts and the attitudes of members of the trade to these books in the German-speaking area in the first half of the twentieth century.