James Willoughby

Research Fellow (History)
MA Camb, MA DPhil Oxf, FSA


James came from Cambridge to do graduate work in Oxford and has been Research Fellow in medieval history at New College since 2010. He is an editor of the Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues and director of the Mellon Foundation-funded project Medieval Libraries of Great Britain.


James teaches graduate classes in palaeography and manuscript studies in Oxford and at UCL.


The theme which connects James’s research is medieval books and libraries as an approach to learning in the middle ages, and the writing, publication and transmission of texts from the early middle ages to the early sixteenth century.

Selected publications

  • Peterborough Abbey [with K. Friis-Jensen] (London, 2001).
  • Hospitals, Towns, and the Professions [with N. L. Ramsay] (London, 2009).
  • The Libraries of Collegiate Churches, 2 vols, in press for 2013.

Recent articles:

  • 'The secundo folio and its uses, medieval and modern’, The Library, 7th ser. 12/3 (2011), 237–58.
  • ‘Common libraries in fifteenth-century England: an episcopal benefaction’, in After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth Century England, ed. K. Ghosh & V. A. G. Gillespie (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), pp. 209–222.
  • 'The library of the English Hospital in Rome before 1527’, La Bibliofilia 113 (2011), 155–74.
  • 'Notes on the manuscript of the Magna Vita sancti Hugonis, Digby 165’, Bodleian Library Record 24/2 (2011), 145–61.
  • 'A Templar chronicle of the Third Crusade: origin and transmission', Medium Aevum 81 (2012), 126–34.
  • 'Inhabited sacristies in medieval England: the case of St Mary’s, Warwick', Antiquaries’ Journal 92 (2012), 331–45.
  • 'Books from the circle of Cardinal Pole: the Italian library of Michael Throckmorton', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institute 75 (2012), 111–40 [with M. A. Overell].