Based in Oxford, Peter Kidd has since 2006 been a freelance researcher, working primarily on medieval manuscripts, with a particular specialisation in cataloguing and provenance research of liturgical and illuminated books, leaves, and cuttings.

He also works on post-medieval manuscripts, archives, and inventories, and on the provenance of printed books, and has copy-edited and proof-read books by other authors for the Bodleian Library and for Brepols.

He has written hardcopy catalogues for The McCarthy Collection, The Queen's College, Oxford, the Bodleian Library, the Huntington Library, Sam Fogg, and auction houses, and an online catalogue for the College of Physicians, Philadelphia. The covers of some publications are shown below; a full bibliography of publications, including book reviews, can be found on this page.

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He is the Consultant for Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Sotheby's, and was Curator of a loan exhibition from the Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, to Washington, D.C., and New York.

He was a Program Advisor to the Digital Scriptorium (2005-2019), a Committee Member of AMARC (2002-2018), and on the Editorial Board of the journal Manuscript Studies (2016-2020). He was formerly the sole UK representative on the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) Workgroup on Describing Medieval Manuscripts.

Before deciding to become freelance in 2006, he worked successively for Christie's, Sotheby's, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Bodleian Library, and the British Library, where he was Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, and helped develop the online catalogue of illuminated manuscripts into its current form (notably by scanning and incorporating tens of thousands of 35mm slides, instead of relying only on new digital photography, for which there was very limited funding at that time).

Since then he has worked primarily for The National Trust (Sissinghurst, Knole, Petworth, and Coughton Court), The Bodleian Library (Departments of Manuscripts and Incunabula), auction houses, dealers, and publishers, while continuing to publish in academic journals.

Each year from 2009 to 2014 he taught an 'Introduction to Provenance Research for Medieval Manuscripts' at the International Palaeography Summer School; since 2015 he has taught a hands-on course on 'Codicology and Cataloguing'.

He has been a Guest Scholar at the J. Paul Getty Museum, a Mellon Fellow at the Huntington Library, a recipient of the Bibliographical Society's Falconer Madan Award, and a Fellow of the F.C. Wood Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. In 2018 he was invited to give a lecture and workshops at Harvard and at the University of South Carolina, and had an Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship to the Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana. In 2024 he will be the Peter Selley Fellow at the Bodleian Library.

He has a blog about provenance-related discoveries, observations, and resources at

You can contact him using

Last updated 25 September 2023