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After Honours degrees in Classics and English Literature and in Computer Engineering, Peter Stokes completed a PhD at Cambridge on English Vernacular minuscule cira 990-circa 1035. He subsequently held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship in Palaeography in Cambridge, and also worked on several projects at King’s related to Anglo-Saxon charters and place-names before receiving a major grant from the European Research Council for DigiPal, the Digital Resource for Palaeography, Manuscript Studies and Diplomatic. He is now Co-Investigator on two major projects, one on Scottish charters and the other on the Exon Domesday book. 

He lectures in Digital Humanities at King’s, and has taught palaeography and codicology and related topics at the University of Cambridge, the Institute of English Studies and the University of Leicester. He has consulted on numerous digital projects and has been elected to positions including Director of Digital Medievalist, an international Community of Practice with approximately 1000 members, and the Board of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists (ISAS).

Other positions include Specialty Chief Editor for Digital Paleography and Book History, a Specialty Section of Frontiers in Digital Humanities; Member of the Équipe Humanités Numériques at the Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (CNRS/ENS, Paris); and Correspondant Scientifique at the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (CNRS, Paris).

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Palaeography and manuscript studies, particularly that of Britain and Ireland before the year 1200
  • Digital Humanities, particularly the application of digital tools and techniques to palaeography and manuscript studies
  • Medieval studies, early medieval history
  • Old English and Latin language and literature

Peter Stokes’s principal research is the application of digital methods to palaeographical study, and the use of this to understand the production of books and charters from eleventh-century England. This work is based primarily around the DigiPal framework which he leads and which combines digital images of medieval handwriting with detailed structured descriptions and characterisations of the writing, as well as the context in which it is found. It involves a new theoretical model for handwriting which has been applied to a range of alphabets (Latin, Greek and Hebrew to date) as well as to decoration.

Peter welcomes applications for PhD topics related to any of his research interests. For more details, please see his full research profile.


Peter Stokes currently teaches or has taught the following topics at undergraduate and graduate level, and through numerous intensive short courses or training sessions worldwide:

  • Digital Humanities, particularly digitizing the material culture of the book, editorial methods in a digital context, XML/XSLT and TEI, methods and techniques in Digital Humanities, digital resources for historical studies.
  • Database design, modeling Humanities material for digital analysis, digital imaging and image enhancement, digital publishing, the critical analysis and use of online resources. 
  • The palaeography and codicology of Britain and Ireland up to circa 1200 AD.
  • Medieval Latin, early medieval history.

In addition to teaching on the MA in Digital Humanities, he also leads ‘Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age’, a five-day intensive course for PhD students which combines theoretical and practical elements through visits to manuscript libraries, lectures in manuscript studies (palaeography, codicology, art history, editing and provenance) and digital methods for the above (primarily XML and digital imaging).

Expertise and Public Engagement

Impact activities:

Various activities associated with online projects, particularly:

  • The DigiPal project, which receives close to 1500 users a month, has featured in blogs from the British Library to the Bishop of Huntingdon.•
  • The Conqueror’s Commissioners project in partnership with Exeter Cathedral has been the subject of their publicity and press releases.


  • Early medieval manuscripts and charters, particularly those of Britain and Ireland before 1200 AD.
  • Digitisation of cultural heritage, particularly medieval manuscripts and charters.

Selected expert panels and advisory roles:

  • Advisory Committee, Index of Middle English Prose.
  • Specialty Chief Editor, Digital Paleography and Book History, a Specialty Section of Frontiers in Digital Humanities.
  • Advisory Committee, Digital Learning Resource on Premodern Medicine and Health, The Wellcome Library, London.
  • Reviewer for the International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition (IJDAR). 
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Peer Review College, 'Academic', 'Technical' and 'International' categories.