I am in the second year of my PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, studying the transmission and transformation of herbal knowledge in pre-Conquest England. Although my main focus is the manuscript Cotton Vitellius CIII, this has close links to
material held in Dutch collections which has not yet been fully digitised. The BAA awarded me £500 towards a research visit to the Netherlands in May 2023. I was fortunate enough to be able to access the 10th-century herbal of Pseudo-Apuleius, MS10D7, at Het Huis Van Het Boek in Den Haag and discuss the codex with the Head of Collections. Having looked at the manuscript, I was able to both further my own research and add to the metadata for the benefit of future researchers. As a result of this visit, I have been approached to contribute a piece on the importance of direct access and tactile engagement with manuscripts to a future museum publication.
The trip also enabled me to reconnect with a previous contact from Archaeon, an experimental archaeology museum near Leiden, who works with the recreated monastic gardens at the site. Through this contact, I had the opportunity to discuss my work with a
fellow PhD student from the University of Utrecht working on early medieval magic and herbalism, and a senior researcher at Naturalis, currently updating the Dutch flora. These contacts will support the next stage of my research into medieval continental plant names.
During my visit I was also able to acquire relevant out-of-print books including a directory of pre-modern Dutch plant names, and extend my knowledge of pre-Linnean plant taxonomy and knowledge exchange between England and the Netherlands in the early medieval
I am sincerely grateful to the British Archaeological Association for their generous support, which has enabled me to develop my PhD research and extend my network within a very specialised field. The information gathered on this trip will be invaluable to the continuation
of my research.