Prof N F Palmer

Nigel F. Palmer, M.A., D.Phil., FBA
Emeritus Professor of German Medieval and Linguistic Studies, Fellow of St Edmund Hall

Nigel Palmer passed away on 8 May 2022. 


Nigel Palmer’s research interests were in Medieval German language and literature. He was engaged in a collaborative research project, together with a group of colleagues in Germany, Switzerland and the US, on the ‘Literary topography of SW Germany in the later Middle Ages’, an attempt to establish a literary history of this region on the basis of the manuscript sources and library history (Latin and German). The project concentrates on Baden-Württemberg, Switzerland and the Alsace. One area of particular interest is the manuscripts from the Cistercian abbeys and nunneries in the region. His principal research project for a long time was an edition and commentary on an illustrated prayer book, the ‘Begerin-Gebetbuch’ from Strasbourg (now in Berne). Other areas of special interest were blockbooks and their place in early printing history, the interface between Latin literature and German literature in the Middle Ages, and palaeography and codicology of the period 1100-1550. He was editor of Oxford German Studies (together with Jim Reed) until 2016 and of Medium Aevum (together with Corinne Saunders and  Sylvia Huot) until his death. He was a Fellow of the British Academy and a corresponding fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen. In 2007 he was awarded the Research Prize of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded a honorary doctorate by the University of Bern. His work as editor of Oxford German Studies was featured in the celebratory volume 50/4. In 2022, he was awarded the inaugural Meister-Eckhart-Forschungspreis


Bibelübersetzung und Heilsgeschichte. Studien zur Freiburger Perikopenhandschrift von 1462 und zu den deutschsprachigen Lektionaren des 15. Jahrhunderts, Wolfgang Stammler Gastprofessur 9 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2007)

With Hans-Jochen Schiewer, ‘Literarische Topographie des deutschsprachigen Südwestens im 14. Jahrhundert’, Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie, 122, Sonderheft (2003), 178-202

Editor, with Christoph Gerhardt, Das Münchner Gedicht von den 15 Zeichen vor dem Jüngsten Gericht. Edition und Kommentar, Texte des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2002)

Zisterzienser und ihre Bücher. Die mittelalterliche Bibliotheksgeschichte von Kloster Eberbach im Rheingau (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 1998)

German Literary Culture in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. An Inaugural Lecture delivered before the University of Oxford on 4 March 1993 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993)

‘Das Buch als Bedeutungsträger bei Mechthild von Magdeburg’, in: Bildhafte Rede in Mittelalter und früher Neuzeit, ed. K. Speckenbach / W. Harms (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1992), pp. 217-235

‘Die Münchner Perikopenhandschrift Cgm 157 und die Handschriftenproduktion des Straßburger Reuerinnenklosters im späten 15. Jahrhundert’, in: Kulturtopographie des deutschsprachigen Südwestens im späteren Mittelalter. Studien und Texte, ed. Barbara Fleith and René Wetzel (Berlin; New York, 2009), pp. 263-300

In kaffin in got. Zur Rezeption des ‘Paradisus anime intelligentis’ in der Oxforder Handschrift MS. Laud Misc. 479’, in: ‘Paradisus anime intelligentis’. Studien zu einer dominikanischen Predigtsammlung aus dem Umkreis Meister Eckharts, ed. Burkhard Hasebrink, Nigel F. Palmer and Hans-Jochen Schiewer (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2009), pp. 69-131

Editor, with Corinne Saunders and Jane H.M. Taylor, Medium AEvum (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 1991-2022)

Editor, with T.J. Reed, Oxford German Studies 1989 to 2016.

Subscribe to Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages