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Girding the Loins

  • Free
  • Discussion
  • Speech-to-text
  • Hearing loop

Recording of the event Girding the Loins, which took place on 6 December 2022.

PhD researcher, Kierri Price, describes the cultural and religious significance of a medieval birthing girdle from around 1500 held within Wellcome Collection.

Watch a recording of scientist Dr Sarah Fiddyment, medievalist Kierri Price and conservator Stefania Signorello in conversation with collections specialist Dr Elma Brenner to hear about their research on a medieval English birthing girdle, Ms.632.

Kierri Price will introduce you to medieval birthing girdles and their cultural and religious significance. You will hear how these manuscripts provided physical and emotional support to women in pregnancy and labour.  

Sarah Fiddyment will explain how recent biomolecular research has revealed that Ms.632 was actually used during childbirth at the end of the 15th century.  

Conservator Stefania Signorello will discuss how we preserve these rare items. 



Need to know


We’ll be in the Forum. To get there, take the lift or stairs up to level 1 and then follow the signs through the ‘Being Human’ gallery.


This online event will be live-transcribed, which may be useful for people who are D/deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or neurodivergent. The captions will be embedded in the event video window online. Ticketholders for the livestream will also receive a link to view the captions in a separate window.

Hearing loop

There will be a hearing loop at this event.

For more information, please visit our Accessibility page. If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

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About your contributors

Kierri Price


Kierri Price isis a CHASE Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD student jointly at Birkbeck (University of London) and Wellcome Collection. Their research is centred on the manuscripts and artefacts of late medieval England, in particular those that focus on the protection of the body and the soul. 

Sarah Fiddyment


Dr Sarah Fiddyment is a biomolecular archaeologist. She is a Research Associate on the European Research Council-funded Beasts to Craft project at the University of Cambridge.  

Black and white photograph of Stefania Signorello.

Stefania Signorello


Stefania Signorello ACR is a Conservator at Wellcome Collection. She is co-founder of The Book & Paper Gathering

Colour photograph of Dr Elma Brenner.

Elma Brenner


Dr Elma Brenner is a Research Development Specialist who works with the medieval European collections at Wellcome Collection.