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Stella Panayotova

Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books

Stella Panayotova has an MA in Classics from the University of Sofia (1990) and a DPhil in medieval history from the University of Oxford (1998). She has been Keeper of Manuscripts and Printed Books at the Fitzwilliam Museum since 2000, and Director of the Cambridge Illuminations research project (since Oct. 2004) and of the MINIARE research project (since Oct. 2011).


Research Interests

Medieval and Renaissance art and intellectual history; uses of and attitudes towards religious art; cultural exchanges between Western Europe, Byzantium and the Islamic world; production, ownership and use of manuscripts and incunables during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; artists’ materials and techniques; medieval and Renaissance art patronage; manuscript, book and art collecting (18th-20th c.).


Recent/Major Publications


The Fitzwilliam Book of Hours, facsimile with a commentary volume, London: The Folio Society, 2009

The Macclesfield Psalter, facsimile with a commentary, London: Thames & Hudson, 2008

I Turned It into a Palace: Sydney Cockerell and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge: The Fitzwilliam Museum, 2008


Sole edited volumes

Art, Academia, and the Trade: Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962), Cambridge Bibliographical Society Monograph Series no. 16, Cambridge: Cambridge Bibliographical Society, 2010

The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers, London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2007


Co-edited volumes

A Catalogue of Western Book Illumination in the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges, London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, an on-going multi-volume series of catalogues:

  • Part One. Vol. 1: The Frankish Kingdoms, Northern Netherlands, Germany,  Bohemia, Hungary, Austria; Vol. II: The Meuse Region, Southern Netherlands, co-ed. with N. Morgan, 2009
  • Part Two. Vols. 1-2: Italy and the Iberian Peninsula, co-ed. with N. Morgan and S. Reynolds, 2011
  • Part Four. The British Isles. Vol. 1: Insular and Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts c. 700-c.1100, co-ed. with N. Morgan, 2013
  • Part Three. France. Vol. 1: France, c.1000-c.1250, co-ed. with D. Jackson and N. Morgan, 2015

The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Production in the West, co-ed. with P. Binski, London and Turnhout: Hravey Miller/Brepols, 2005


Contributions to catalogues, collected essays and conference volumes

‘The Rohan Masters: Collaboration and Experimentation in the Hours of Isabella Stuart’, in Manuscripta Illuminata: Approaches to Understanding Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, ed. C. Hourihane, Princeton: Princeton University Press and Penn State University Press, 2014, 14-46

‘A Scholar’s Dream Come True’ and ‘On the Shelf in a Medici Library’ in The Library Treasures of St John’s College, Cambridge, ed. M. Nicholls and K. McKee, London: Third Millenium Publishing, 2014, 24-25, 58-61

‘An ancient manual for Renaissance rulers, in Emprynted in thys manere: Early Printed Treasures from Cambridge University Library, ed. E. Potten and E. Dourish, Cambridge: Cambridge University Library, 2014, 24-27

‘Cristoforo Cortese in Cambridge’, in Miniatura. Lo sguardo e la parola: Studi in onore di Giordana Mariani Canova, ed. F. Toniolo and G. Toscano, Milan: Sylvana Editoriale, 2012, 186-190

‘The Illustrated Psalter: Luxury and Practical Use’, in The Practice of the Bible in the Middle Ages: Production, Reception, and Performance in Western Christianity, ed. S. Boynton and D.J. Reilly, New York: Columbia University Press, 2011, 247-271

‘Cockerell and Riches’, in The Medieval Book: Glosses from Friends and Colleagues of Christopher de Hamel, ed. J.H. Marrow, R. Linenthal and W. Noel, Houten: Hes and De Graaf Publishers, 2010, 377-386

‘I would be only too happy to collaborate: François Avril on Cambridge Manuscripts’, in Quand la peinture était dans les livres: Mélanges en l’honneur de François Avril, ed. M. Hofmann and C. Zöhl, Turnhout: Brepols, 2007, 247-58

‘Tutorial with Slides for Thomas Becket’, in The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers, ed. S. Panayotova, Turnhout and London: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2007, 77-86


Journal articles

‘New Miniatures by Pacino di Bonaguida in Cambridge’, The Burlington Magazine 151 (March 2009), 144-48

‘From Toronto to Cambridge: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Lord Lee of Fareham’, in University of Toronto Quarterly 77/2 (2008), 673-710; repr. in Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 13/2 (2005, published in 2008), 187-220

‘A Ruskinian project with a Cockerellian flavour’, The Book Collector 54/3 (autumn 2005), 357-74

‘Art and Politics in a Royal Prayer Book’, The Bodleian Library Record 18/5 (April 2005), 440-59


Digital publications

‘Manuscript illumination c.1066 - c.1538’, in English Cathedrals and Monasteries Through the Centuries: History, Community, Worship, Art, Architecture, Music, ed. D. Dyas, interactive DVD-ROM published by the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, University of York, 2013

DIGITAL LAYERS: cross-disciplinary research and teaching resource on the production, textual and visual contents, ownership and use of illuminated manuscripts (forthcoming, 2016)