Isobel Goodman, BA (Hons). As Graduate Trainee, I work in both the WML and Old Library, gaining practical experience and training prior to taking up a Masters degree and postgraduate library qualification in Book History and Material Culture at Edinburgh University next year. In the WML, I support the Reader Services Librarian with acquisitions and cataloguing of new material, assist library users, and promote library use through the Graduate Writers’ Space. In the Old Library, I work with the Fellow Librarian and Rare Books Curator to catalogue, research and exhibit our rare printed books and pamphlets, helping to make these works more accessible to both researchers and the general public.
My research interests are in book history and historical analysis through literature, especially with regards to how medieval women used books as both objects of learning and political commodities. During my BA in History and French at the University of Oxford, I examined language, history and politics through the medium of Anglo-Norman, medieval, early modern, 18th and 19th century French and English texts. My History dissertation compared and analysed French 17th century Mughal India travel accounts, to determine the authors’ motives, intended audiences and ultimate impact on the French court. For my French/History bridge thesis, in turn, I examined the personal library of Margaret of York, Duchess of Burgundy (1446-1503), analysing her (largely unstudied) French religious manuscript commissions to identify an underlying political purpose. I will be extending this research into other medieval noblewomen’s libraries during my Masters at Edinburgh.