Second year students at the University Library’s Special Collections

UGs in special collections Jamie PageOn 2 December, thirty-five students of the sub-honours module ME2003: Europe in the High Middle Ages enjoyed a day of sessions dedicated to viewing manuscripts from the St Andrews University Special Collections‘ extensive collection. The sessions, organised by Muniments Archivist and Deputy Head of Special Collections Rachel Hart and Dr Jamie Page, allowed students to handle original mediaeval material, including a volume of Augustine’s works written in St Andrews ca. 1190, a fourteenth-century Roll of Kings discovered recently in the attic of a professor of the University, and fifteenth-century commercial documents from Germany and Italy recently acquired at auction. Participants also retraced the steps of their forbears by leafing through textbooks of philosophy penned by early students in St Andrews – though were glad not to be facing the oral disputations endured by their fifteenth-century predecessors.  Regular updates on activities taking place in Special Collections are posted on the departmental blog, Echoes from the Vault, also accessible via the newly-launched website.

Spotlight on Jamie Page

Jamie PageDr Jamie Page joined the School of History in September 2013 as a short-term Teaching Fellow in Mediaeval History, but is well acquainted with the place having come to St Andrews in 2004 to study for an undergraduate degree in Mediaeval History and German. Having graduated in 2008, Jamie then became one of the first to study for the new MLitt in Mediaeval Studies, which turned into an AHRC-funded PhD supervised by Professor Frances Andrews and Dr Bettina Bildhauer. During this time Jamie also held a Scouloudi Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research in London.

Dr Page’s research focuses on prostitution and sexuality in late mediaeval German-speaking regions. He is interested in the broader history of sexuality, and a good part of his doctoral work involved examining the sexual identity of mediaeval prostitutes as represented in court documents and literary texts. Having been lucky enough to spend a year researching in the archives of Bavaria and Switzerland during his PhD, Dr Page is also interested in the social history of towns, particularly Zurich in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. One of the chief pleasures of his time in the archives came from the discovery that, far from being the jealous and impatient guardians of knowledge that he had been led to believe, German archivists are almost universally delightful.

Jamie Page MSDr Page is currently working on an article which explores the role of brothel ordinances in the regulation of prostitution in fifteenth-century Germany. This work branches out from his doctoral thesis, from which he is currently also drafting a book proposal. This book will examine the central theme of subjectivity and sexual identity in the milieu of late medieval prostitution, as well as offering readers an insight into everyday life in German brothels of the late Middle Ages. In 2011, Dr Page also acted as an adviser and interviewee for a German television documentary on mediaeval prostitution. The programme, Käufliche Liebe im Mittelalter: Wie Wanderhuren wirklich lebten (Venal Love in the Middle Ages: How prostitutes really lived) aired to an audience of 8 million in the spring of 2012.

Jamie Page GermanyDr Page currently teaches ME3426: Women and Gender in Later Mediaeval Europe as well as the sub-honours module ME2003 Europe in the High Middle Ages, and contributes to the MLitt in Mediaeval Studies. Outside academic life he is a keen, though disgracefully fairweather cyclist and Munro-walker. He is also a committed Germanophile, and becomes depressed if denied the sweet air and powerful beers of Munich for more than six months.