Secondment from Masaryk University
to City University of New York 2022

Pavla Tichá (Phd candidate at Masaryk University – ESR) – 5 February 2022 – 4 February 2023 (12-month secondment)

My secondment to the Graduate Center, City University of New York, within Work package 2 of the CONQUES project was devoted to the study of ancient components of the Sainte Foy reliquary, in particular to the 4th-century golden head and ancient gemstones.

To this end, several institutions in NYC have proven to be extremely useful. The Mina Rees Library at the Graduate Center, CUNY, offers quiet working environment with a charming view of the Empire State Building, wide opening hours, and all facilities needed for effective research in the humanities. It also provides interlibrary loan service, which covers library funds from all over the United States. The Schwartzman Building of the New York Public Library is located within a ten-minute walk from the Graduate Center, offering a book collection as vast as its networks (including Columbia and New York University). The library can thus provide books from the world's leading universities within days and electronic scans of book chapters even within minutes. The Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has publications related to the museum's substantial art collection, whose department of European medieval art is impressive, including even an artefact from the village of Conques. This allows combining literature search and exploration of medieval objects, located just a few steps away from the quiet study rooms.

All these facilities allow one to benefit from a vast collection of resources, but also to examine medieval objects in local institutions (the Metropolitan Museum, Cloisters, Morgan Library). Not least, I had many (both formal and informal) opportunities to discuss my research with colleagues from other institutions involved in the project who were seconded to either of the American partner institutions as well as with fellow medievalists from the Graduate Consortium (Columbia, CUNY, Fordham, NYU, Princeton, Rutgers, Stony Brook, The New School) and other East Coast institutions.

Secondment from CNRS to Rutgers
University (New Jersey) 2022

Marjolaine Massé (Phd candidate at the University of Poitiers – ESR)

The aim of my secondment in the U.S. was to conduct research together with Blanche Lagrange, another PhD candidate at the University of Poitiers, the results of which shall be published in our joint paper named “The Body and Its States of Being in the Image of the Tympanum of the Abbey of Conques”.

Rutgers University as well as New York City have great resources for medievalists and art historians, including libraries and vast museum collections. The New York Public Library (NYPL) offers not only a substantial book collection but also several places on Manhattan where students and scholars can enjoy very good working environment. An online catalogue is available for book orders which are regularly processed within 45 minutes, with the ordered books available for pick up in the Schartzmann building. The Butler Library at Columbia University with wide opening hours also provides rich resources. The Morgan Library has one of the most beautiful collections of medieval manuscripts in the U.S., which one can consult upon motivated request. There is also rich bibliography on the manuscripts available in the reading room. The MET and Cloisters collections of artefacts are one of the greatest in the world and thus an extremely useful source for an art historian. The Watson Library, located in the Metropolitan Museum, has outstanding book collection on medieval art exhibited in the museum. A visit of the library may be combined with a visit of the museum, which also offers study environment.

All these facilities have provided me with wonderful resources for my studies on medieval Romanesque sculpture within the CONQUES project. Apart from these, I have also greatly benefited from regular encounters with scholars and students from the partner institutions (Rutgers University and Graduate Center, CUNY), which provided me with valuable feedback on my research.

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