Introduction to Bookhand Paleography (9th–17th Centuries): SIMS Summer Course at Penn (#PennPal2014)


¶ Introduction to Bookhand Paleography (9th–17th Centuries)

A Summer Course sponsored by

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

The Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania

Alexander Devine               &                   Amey Hutchins

                   (PhD Candidate, Dept. of English)               (Manuscripts Cataloging Librarian, SIMS)

20th May – 26th June 2014

TuesThurs 10:00-12:00 ~ Vitale II, Kislak Center

This non-credit course offers an introduction to the how, what, and why of reading, dating, and localizing premodern handwriting, concentrating on book scripts of the western European Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Together, we will study the methodology and practice of paleography in Manuscript Studies, learning the tools of working with manuscript materials and reading their texts (in Latin and vernacular languages) and furthering our knowledge of how to recognize the types of script used, with particular attention to letter forms, abbreviations and categories of writing styles over time. Course participants will work with both digital images and premodern manuscripts from Penn’s Special Collections – including the Schoenberg Collection. We will also consider the new electronic resources in Manuscript Studies, from digital transcription tools to online paleographical aids.

Sessions will include both collaborative group transcription and individual manuscript-focused analysis in order to strengthen participants’ skills for advanced research in Paleography and Manuscript Studies. The course will also feature lectures by Penn Faculty & Special Collections specialists.

* All Are Welcome! *

The only requirement for course participation is an interest in learning about Paleography. While knowledge of Latin is useful, it is not required. We welcome both Undergraduate & Graduate students and Library staff from Penn and all institutions in the Philadelphia area. There is no fee for taking this course, but participants are encouraged to purchase several key course texts.

To confirm your interest in participating in this course, please e-mail Alexander Devine at It would be helpful if participants could describe any past paleographical experience, knowledge of Latin, and reasons for wishing to take this course. ~


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