Dr Colleen Curran

  • Insular Palaeography & Manuscript Culture (especially Anglo-Saxon England and Brittany)
  • The Morphology of Insular Script, especially early Breton, Cornish, and Anglo-Saxon scripts 
  • Cross-Cultural Connections in Anglo-Saxon Script and Poetry

My research explores the cross-cultural connections that manifest themselves in the material witnesses of the Insular world. I investigate the adoption of Caroline minuscule, the supranational script developed in eighth-century Francia, in those places where scribes used the Insular script system. My research seeks to understand how scribes in those places that used the Insular script system did – or did not – adopt Caroline minuscule. For scribes in those places that did adopt Caroline minuscule, my research focuses on the processes through which this script adoption occurred. It is this visible process of script change that I investigate to reveal cross-cultural connections, exchanges of sources, and transmission of material witnesses between Anglo-Saxon England, the Brittonic world, and Francia. My doctoral research ('Changing the Tradition: The Morphology of Nascent Insular Caroline Minuscule in Tenth-Century Britain'; King's College London, 2017) focused on the adoption of Caroline minuscule in Anglo-Saxon England. My research has indicated that, although the Benedictine Reform might have been a major vehicle through which Caroline minuscule was adopted by scribes in Anglo-Saxon centres, scribes in these centres did not adopt the script in one simultaneous cultural event.

Through my work on A Consolidated Library of Anglo-Saxon Poetry, I have been able to expand my research on the cross-cultural connections between Anglo-Saxon England and Francia. I am responsible for transcribing and analysing the nearly 40,000 lines of Latin verse that survive from Anglo-Saxon England or were written by Anglo-Saxon authors on the Continent (c. 600-1100). Additionally, I research those manuscripts in which Anglo-Latin verse survives, particularly those of a Continental origin and/or provenance. 


  • PhD, Palaeography & Manuscript Studies, King's College London
  • MPhil, English (Medieval), St. Hilda's College, The University of Oxford
  • B.A., English, Medieval Studies, College of the Holy Cross


  • 'Standardization Through Hybridization: The Morphology of English Caroline Minuscule'

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