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Cambridge University Library invites applications for a fixed-term Research Associate in Heritage Science. The post holder will undertake research, dissemination and impact activities as part of the AHRC-funded project: Hidden in Plain Sight: Historical and Scientific Analysis of Premodern Sacred Books, led by Dr Eyal Poleg (Queen Mary University of London) jointly with Co-Investigators Dr Suzanne Paul (Cambridge University Library) and Dr Paola Ricciardi (Natural History Museum). This is a unique opportunity to join a cutting-edge interdisciplinary project combining a range of non-invasive scientific and technical methods of analysis with in-depth historical study. This project (to commence January 2024) is a major collaborative investigation into the transformation of premodern sacred books and objects. It combines in-depth historical study with scientific and technical analyses. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading on the non-invasive scientific analysis of books and objects using a variety of advanced analytical techniques, including microscopy, various types of spectroscopy, multi-spectral imaging, RTI, and CT-scanning. They will work closely with historians, librarians, museum curators, conservators, scientists and technicians, under the supervision of the PI and Co-Is, to investigate how sacred books were appropriated, modified, mutilated, or used talismanically. The project comprises three themes: books transformed and mutilated in the course of religious reform; books transitioning between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe; talismanic use of Scripture in non-European contexts.

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