Visiting Fellowships – Bodleian Library and Voltaire Foundation

Every year, scholars of all levels, from junior researchers looking to forge a path in their discipline to seasoned academics of international standing, travel from across the world to consult the remarkable wealth of research material available within the Bodleian Libraries’ Special Collections. The Bodleian has established a programme of Visiting Fellowships, offering scholars the opportunity to immerse themselves in University life and allowing the Bodleian to make the most of their intellectual energy for the benefit of the University, the world of scholarship and the wider public.

The Visiting Fellowship programme, now based in the Visiting Scholars’ Centre in the new Weston Library, enables some of the world’s most brilliant minds to consult the Bodleian’s world-renowned Special Collections and work alongside aspiring young scholars, sparking intellectual engagement and generating new ideas.

Having such a vibrant research centre at the heart of the new Library ensures that the incredible range and depth of new insights and knowledge that can be gleaned from some of the world’s most treasured and irreplaceable collections can be brought to life for the academic community – as well as being shared further afield through the Bodleian’s growing online presence.

Visiting Fellows are drawn from scholars across the world of higher education and from the community of research-active or culturally engaged members of the wider community, such as writers, poets and publishers. A rich mix of interests, backgrounds, disciplines, and levels of intellectual achievement creates an active and inspiring hub of research in the Visiting Scholars’ Centre.

The Centre offers individual study offices for scholars, a central area to encourage networking and creative discussion, space for seminars and teaching, and use of state-of- the-art facilities, such as the brand new Conservation Studio and Centre for Digital Scholarship. With access to the Bodleian’s outstanding collections, assistance from expert staff and immersion in the interdisciplinary community of scholars, these Visiting Fellowships have already proven to be highly sought-after awards.

While in residence in the Centre, Fellows are encouraged to contribute to the research culture of the Libraries and the University, and the active programme of outreach activities,

  • Delivering master-classes and lectures to students, the academic community and the
  • Advising library curators, conservators and archivists on the cataloguing and conservation
    of collections;
  • Curating mini exhibitions and supporting staff curators in the Bodleian’s major public
    exhibition programme; creating engaging and diverse content to contribute towards the
    Bodleian’s digital output;
  • Delivering seminars for graduate and undergraduate students.


Opportunities abound for Fellows to engage with other Enlightenment scholars: The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) supports an Enlightenment Programme,
connected with the Voltaire Foundation, and an Enlightenment Correspondences network, both of which welcome the participation of visitors. In the field of eighteenth-century
studies, Oxford has unrivalled resources, both human and material, which can contribute to the richest possible experience for a Voltaire Foundation Visiting Fellow.

Recent Visiting Fellows in the area of eighteenth- century studies have included:

  • – Rachel Schneider, PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin (British Society for
    Eighteenth-Century Studies / Bodleian Fellow): Contesting Fragments: Print, Politics, and
    Graphic Design in Eighteenth-Century England
  • – Claire Gallien, lecturer, Université Paul Valéry- Montpellier III (British Society for
    Eighteenth-Century Studies / Bodleian Fellow): Orientalism in the making, 1636-1813
  • – Victoria Pickering, PhD candidate, Queen Mary University of London, Natural History
    Museum, London (David Walker Memorial Fellow in Early Modern History): Botanical
    Networks and Collecting Practices in Early Modern Britain: The Correspondence of Richard
    Richardson (1663-1741)

Philanthropic support is instrumental in establishing and maintaining this exciting Centre and its resident Visiting Fellows. The Bodleian invites discussion with potential donors, who would like to help create an exceptional environment in which great minds can develop a richer understanding of the collections at the Bodleian and share their insights with the wider world through a diverse programme of activities.

“To have this experience in Oxford at this early stage in my career and to meet people whom I am sure will be very influential in the future has been tremendous.” – Dr Asa McKercher RBC , Visiting Fellow 2013/14


The Bodleian would be delighted to discuss the funding and naming of a Visiting Fellowship with interested individuals. Fellowships can be set up with a residency over a set period of time or permanently endowed.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Nicholas Cronk
Director, Voltaire Foundation
University of Oxford, 99 Banbury Road Oxford, OX2 6JX

T: +44 (0)1865 284602


Head of Development, Bodleian Libraries
University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JD

T: +44 (0)1865 611551


Voltaire Foundation

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