Dr Oliver Pickering

Dr Oliver Pickering

Honorary Fellow

Summary: Research interests include Middle English texts and manuscripts, 17th and 18th-century poetic texts, and Quaker history and archives. I was formerly Deputy Head of Special Collections at Leeds.

Dr Oliver Pickering, BA Bristol; BPhil York; PhD, DipLib London; FEA.

I have published widely in the area of Middle English texts and manuscripts, a recurrent interest being the South English Legendary collection, the subject of my 1973 PhD thesis. Among much else I have edited The South English Nativity of Mary and Christ (1975), The South English Ministry and Passion (1984), and the essay collection Individuality and Achievement in Middle English Poetry (1997), and I have jointly authored two volumes of the Index of Middle English Prose. For some twenty-five years I was joint general editor of the Middle English Texts series of editions, published in Heidelberg.

Arising from my work in Leeds University Library (from which I retired in 2009 as Deputy Head of Special Collections) I have also been active in the field of 17th-century English manuscript verse, being the principal creator of the BCMSV database, which catalogues in detail the Library's holdings in this area. I am now engaged on a study and edition of the poems and songs of Henry Hall of Hereford, c. 1656-1707, and on a study of an 18th-century moral satire, 'The Quakers Tea Table Overturn'd'. Other current work includes an investigation of the manuscripts of a distant ancestor, Josiah Collier, who preserved the religious writings of the leader of the 17th-century Grindletonian movement, Roger Brereley.

While employed in the Library I contributed regularly to postgraduate teaching in both the University's School of English and the Centre (now the Institute) for Medieval Studies. With others, I created the Leeds Online Palaeography Tutorials (respectively Medieval and Renaissance), which are based on manuscripts held in Leeds University Library. My links with the School were strengthened further by successful joint AHRC grant applications, which led to the establishment of the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture and the Leeds Poetry 1950-1980 project.

For ten years I was Honorary Editor of The Library: Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, and an ex officio member of the Society's Council. I now serve on the Council of the Early English Text Society and on the Advisory Committee of the Index of Middle English Prose. In 2001 I was elected a Fellow of the English Association. I am an appointed Custodian of the Yorkshire Quaker archives held in Leeds University Library.

For Oliver Pickering’s personal website, please click here.