ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
I've just been told that there are three Ph.D. positions coming up at Stockholm University: two in archaeology and one in laborative archaeology (read: osteology etc). Nothing for it, here I go again with application writing and printing suitable reports. The archaeology application needs to be tweaked, but I can hopefully use the osteology application for Lund more or less as is.

Now what?

Feb. 22nd, 2011 08:07 pm
ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
I have posted my Ph.D. application today. I will know in May whether they liked it or not. It's going to be two long months of nail biting. Wish me luck!

If I get the position, I will have to move home to Sweden(oh dear God, I have tons of stuff (mostly books and articles)). If I don't get it, I will have to think of alternatives. Actively hunt/lobby for a position at other universities? Or should I do my final studies in Historical Archaeology? That would depend on whether I could do them as distance studies (see above, re: "tons of stuff"), but I would effectively increase my Ph.D. possibilities with 33%, which would not be bad. After all, there are not too many Ph.D. positions that aren't already booked to a project, and my study could easily be tweaked to Historical archaeology.
ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
Compared to working in Dublin, working in Oxford is fantastic. In Dublin, I had practically no access to university libraries, as they gave access mainly to their own students and alumni. Now, you could apply (and pay for) for a week’s access (no borrowing though), but it took c. three weeks between posting the application and getting the result. And in commercial archaeology, three weeks were rare occasions. By the time I realised I needed the information, maybe I had one week left before my deadline. Often it was quicker to email my mother in Sweden, and ask her to go to the university library* in a nearby town and photocopy the relevant article, and then post it to me.

In Oxford, I have access to the Bodleian library (Oxford’s main university library) and through them some of the individual department libraries, thanks to my job, as they think reader’s cards are necessary for doing proper research. And if Oxford doesn’t have what I need I can go in to London for the British Library. Admittedly, you need to apply for a reader’s card there, but it can be done on the same day provided you bring the necessary papers. So wonderfully convenient.

I’m so glad I have access to these two libraries. They have a surprising amount of books and journals from all over Europe, not only the big ones, but smaller regional journals too. Today I’ve been looking up potential sites and background information for my Ph.D. application, mainly using the big Medieval urban craft book (yes, I caved in and invested - it was worth it). I’ve been focusing on northern Germany and Scandinavia, looking for site references in the bibliographies. Often these are only published in local journals (if they get published at all), which are easy to find if you’re at a well-stocked library in that country, but not so easy if you’re elsewhere.

Thanks to online catalogues, such as COPAC (university and research libraries in the UK) and Libris (university libraries and some larger council libraries in Sweden) I’ve managed to find all the relevant articles and books. Some are in Oxford, some at British Library. One is technically at the British Library, but has been mislaid. My other options are University College London (one week reader’s card: £7 if it’s for private research) and the archaeological department’s library at Lund University (postage costs and train ticket).

I’m so grateful for these online catalogues. Instead of checking individual university libraries (only choosing universities where I know people) I get several options at once and can pick whichever is most convenient and hopefully be able to get hold of the book at once rather than waiting several weeks for an interlibrary loan. Now I just need to find the time to head off to London - thankfully the library is open late at weekdays if I don't want to go in on a Saturday.

*: University libraries are public in Sweden - you only need to be connected to the university if you want to borrow the books.
ossamenta: Tanner from Medieval manuscript (Vitgarvare (Nürnberg 12brüderstiftung))
After a nice and quiet winter holiday, things have suddenly start happening again. This coming Saturday I'm off to Cambridge for some sightseeing. It was meant to be a PZG trip, but they managed to double book and the others couldn't cancel. So I might as well use the train tickets, even if I'm sure Cambridge is much lovelier when it's spring/summer than in early February. It's going to be fun. Despite having lived in the UK for quite some time, I never seem to get around to do proper sightseeing. Admittedly, many places requires a car, but most (larger) towns are easily accessible with train or coach. Perhaps I should set my summer mission to visit Canterbury, now that Cambridge will be ticked off the list?

The most important thing happening right now is the announciation of doctoral studentships at Lund University in Sweden: one in general archaeology, one in historical archaeology and one in osteology. I'm going to apply (I'd be a fool not to), but I haven't quite worked out the subject yet. Something following up on my tanning essay/bone working in urban early Medieval/Medieval/Post-medieval northwestern Europe, but as you can understand, I'm going to have to severely narrow it down. Wish me luck!


ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)

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