The History of Art Department offers expert supervision to research students in a wide range of topics based on the interests of individual members of staff and drawing upon the rich resources of the area. The University Library has been built up over five centuries. In addition to its excellent modern collection of art history books covering all periods, it is particularly strong in 18th and 19th century material, including art theory and criticism, archaeology and travel literature.

Pictish Art and British Romanesque Manuscripts

The unique symbol stones of Pictland are found predominantly in Aberdeenshire, with their closely related cross slabs mainly in neighbouring Angus. The university holdings cover the historiography of Pictish art from the start.

As part of a long-term project to refurbish its museums of Pictish sculpture, Historic Scotland has redesigned St Vigeans Museum, with consultation from Professor Jane Geddes.

The University of Aberdeen has also pioneered the digitisation of prestigious illuminated manuscripts, beginning with its own Aberdeen Bestiary and continuing with the St Albans Psalter. The library possesses many other illuminated manuscripts and holds facsimiles including the Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels and St Albans Psalter.


We are interested in hearing from students wishing to undertake postgraduate level work in Pictish Art and British Romanesque Manuscripts at the doctoral level. Please contact one of the supervisors below if you are thinking about applying for a PhD in their subject area.

Professor Jane Geddes: Supervision is offered in the Early Medieval Art of North-East Scotland, based on the outstanding survival of Pictish sculpture and jewellery. On-going research concerns the cross slabs of St Vigeans in Angus; British Romanesque illuminated manuscripts--iconography, style, patronage, function. Previous research interests have covered the Aberdeen Bestiary and St Albans Psalter.


Some current (and graduated) History of Art students and their projects from the University of Aberdeen include:

  • Andrew Popple, Art of Social Engagement in Scotland, 1939-1987: contributing to socio-political debate?
  • Lindsey Cordiner Vyse, The Architecture of Healing

The following are some selected publications relating to Pictish Art and British Romanesque Manuscripts by staff at the University of Aberdeen:

Professor Jane Geddes

  • The St Albans Psalter: Sex, Desire and the Middle-Aged Woman. in S Niebrzydowski (ed.), Middle-Aged Women in the Middle Ages. Gender in the Middle Ages, vol. 7, Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge, pp. 69-82.
  • The Problems of Pictish Art, 1955-2009. in J Geddes, ST Driscoll & MA Hall (eds), Pictish Progress: New Studies on Northern Britain in the Early Middle Ages. vol. 50, The Northern World, vol. 50, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands, pp. 121-134.
  • 'The St Albans Psalter: the abbot and the anchoress', in Christina of Markyate: A Twelfth-century Holy Woman (eds. Fanous, S.; Leyser, H.) Routledge, pp. 197-216.
  • Hunting Picts: Medieval Sculpture at St Vigeans, Angus. vol. 1&2, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh.
  • Geddes, J., Kidd, P. & Bepler, J. (2008). The St Albans Psalter: Facsimile and Commentary. Verlag Muller and Schindler, Simbach am Inn.

Some helpful links for further information and resources in Pictish Art and British Romanesque Manuscripts include: