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Research profile: Dr Eleanor Giraud


Dr Eleanor Giraud is a lecturer and course director of the MA in Ritual Chant and Song at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. 

My research revolves around the liturgical books of the Dominican Order in the Middle Ages.  I began work on this topic during my PhD at the University of Cambridge, in which I studied a group of related Dominican chant books, all made in Paris in the middle of the thirteenth century.  Paris had a thriving book trade at this point, with several professional scribes, artists and booksellers operating in the city.

I wanted to better understand how music scribes were part of this scene by examining who was copying musical notation, how this was organised, and the relationship between text and music scribes.  In order to explore these questions, I focussed on a group of closely related liturgical manuscripts made for the Dominicans in Paris.  I found that there was a distinct group of professional music notators employed to copy music for the Dominicans, and that these notators worked in tandem with, but were not the same people as, those who copied the text.

IWD Eleanor

Having studied the production of Dominican chant books, I was keen to understand more about their contents.  The Dominican Order was founded at the start of the thirteenth century, and they revised their liturgical practices in the mid thirteenth century.  Since my PhD, I have been exploring where the early Dominicans took their liturgical practices from, how they shaped what they took so as to make it their own, and what this revision can indicate about the values and priorities of the early Dominican Order.

I am currently putting together a monograph which combines my doctoral work on the production of Dominican chant books, with my more recent research into the nature of the Dominican chant and liturgy: watch this space!

I joined the University of Limerick in 2016, and I was delighted to arrive at roughly the same time as the Bolton Library, an early modern Episcopal library, which among its 12,000 volumes includes a number of liturgical books: an excellent resource for both research and teaching.  I have become an active member of the Centre for Early Modern Studies in Limerick.  I am also on the Councils of the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, and the Henry Bradshaw Society.

I can be seen sharing my excitement for working with medieval sources in my recent UL Talk.


My recent publications include:

  • Eleanor Giraud ‘Chant’, SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, ed. Janet Sturman (SAGE, 2019)
  • Eleanor Giraud, ‘Totum officium bene correctum habeatur in domo: Uniformity in the Dominican Liturgy’, Making and Breaking the Rules: Discussions, Implementation and Consequences of Dominican Legislation, ed. Cornelia Linde (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 153-172.
  • Eleanor Giraud, ‘Melodic Lection Marks in Latin Manuscripts for Mass’, Scriptorium 71/1 (2017), 3-37.
  • Eleanor Giraud, ‘The Dominican Scriptorium at St-Jacques, and its production of liturgical exemplars’, in Andreas Nievergelt et al. (eds.), Scriptorium: Wesen, Funktion, Eigenheiten (Munich: Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2015), 247-258.



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