Manuscript Skills (Summer Course, Penn, 5/23-6/28)




23rd May – 28th June 2017 (Summer Session 1), T—W—Th 10:00-12:00

Vitale Media Lab, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

This non-credit course will introduce graduate students working in medieval and Renaissance periods to the disciplines of manuscript studies, such as codicology and paleography, and will provide an opportunity for students to analyze manuscripts relevant to their research interests in Penn’s collections.

Students will develop familiarity with digital humanities as applied to manuscript studies and gain confidence in using manuscript catalogs, working in special collections libraries, handling pre-modern manuscripts, and reading manuscript text.

The course instructors are all staff members of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies and the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts: Will Noel, Director; Dot Porter, Curator of Digital Research Services; Nicholas Herman, Curator of Manuscripts; and Amey Hutchins, Manuscripts Cataloging Librarian.

The only requirement for course participation is an interest in working with manuscripts in research. While knowledge of Latin is useful, it is not required. We welcome graduate students, undergraduate students, and library staff from Penn and other local institutions. There is no fee for taking this course, but participants are encouraged to purchase the course textbook, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Clemens & Graham).

The deadline for applying is April 3rd. To confirm your interest in participating in this course, please email Amey Hutchins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., describing any past paleographical experience, knowledge of Latin and other languages, and reasons for wishing to take this course.


Auctoritas: 9th Annual Medievalists@Penn Graduate Conference (Penn, 3/17)

The 9th Annual Medievalists@Penn Graduate Conference

Friday, March 17th

8:30 - 5:30pm

Van Pelt Library - Rm 626/627

Keynote Address - Larry Scanlon - "Nature's Unnatural Authority"

To register please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A detailed schedule will soon be available at

Mary Carruthers to Deliver 2017 A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography (Penn, March 20, 21, and 23)

Mary J. Carruthers, Professor of Literature Emeritus, New York University

Cognitive Geometries: Using Diagrams in the Middle Ages

Lecture Dates: March 20, 21, 23, 2017
All lectures begin at 5:30pm

Class of 1978 Pavilion
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, 6th floor
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 20, 2017: "Geometry and the Topics of Invention"

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: "The Shapes of Creativity 1: Trees, Towers, Buildings"

Thursday, March 23, 2017: "The Shapes of Creativity 2: Hands, Spheres, Cubits"

Cognitive Geometries explores the close relationships in medieval creative practice among geometric shapes, meditation, and the human ability to create original works. Focusing on materials crafted in the twelfth century, chiefly on the basis of Biblical texts, and then disseminated widely during the thirteenth century, each lecture investigates the fundamental cognitive insight of medieval diagram makers: that shape and pattern not only envision what we already know but also invite us to discover surprising logical relationships that can provoke our thinking in new ways.

Mary J. Carruthers is the Remarque Professor of Literature Emeritus at New York University and a Fellow (Quondam) of All Souls College, Oxford University. She has written extensively on medieval literature, memory and the history of spirituality. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale University (1965) and a B.A. in English from Wellesley College (1961). Carruthers is the author of twelve monographs including her 1990 canonical study, The Book of Memory: A Study of Memory in Medieval Culture (Cambridge). She is the author of numerous scholarly articles and the recipient of many academic honors. She was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 1996 and a Corresponding Fellow of The British Academy in 2012. In 2003, Carruthers was awarded The Haskins Medal by the Medieval Academy of America for "the best book in the broad field of medieval studies during the past five years" for The Craft of Thought: Meditation, Rhetoric, and the Making of Images, 400-1200 (Cambridge).

For more information: (215) 898-7088; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To RSVP please visit:


Digital Editing and the Medieval Manuscript Roll (Workshop, Yale University, 4/28-29)

Call for Applications


April 28th and 29th, 2017

Yale University

This graduate training workshop will cover topics in:

  • Paleography and Cataloging of Medieval Manuscript Rolls
  • Manuscript Transcription and Scholarly Editing 

  • Introduction to the Digital Edition: Challenges and Best Practices 

  • Collaborative Editing 

  • XML, Text Encoding Fundamentals and the TEI Schema 

No prior paleography or encoding experience is required. 

The workshop covers the fundamentals of digital editing while tackling the codicological challenges posed by manuscript rolls. Practical sessions inform collective editorial decision-making: participants will undertake the work of transcription and commentary, and encode (according to TEI P5 protocols) the text and images of a medieval manuscript roll. The workshop will result in a collaborative digital edition. 

The workshop will run April 28th and 29th, 2017 (Friday-Saturday) 9.30am-4.30pm. This graduate-run workshop is free of charge, and lunches will be provided for participants. A limited number of small need-based travel bursaries are available for participants traveling to New Haven. The workshop will be limited to ten places – preference will be given to graduate students with demonstrated need for training in manuscript study and text encoding. 

An information booklet and syllabus can be found on the website – please read this document before applying, and apply online by March 15. Applicants will be notified whether they can be offered a place by March 28th. 
For more information, see the project website (, or email organizers at



Call for Applications: 2017-2018 SIMS Graduate Student Fellowship (due 4/1)

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) is now accepting applications for its 2017-2018 Graduate Student Research Fellowship. The fellowship has been established to encourage emerging scholars in the Delaware Valley area to engage with the rich manuscript resources at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and in Philadelphia.

This year, SIMS is pleased to offer the Graduate Student Fellowship in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia and the University of Fribourg-based project Fragmentarium (, an international scholarly social network that enables libraries, collectors, researchers, and students to upload medieval manuscript fragments and to describe, transcribe, and assemble them online. Working under the guidance of SIMS’s Curator of Manuscripts, Dr. Nicholas Herman, the fellow will be responsible for researching manuscript cuttings and fragments from the John Frederick Lewis Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia and contributing the data to Fragmentarium.

The Free Library’s collection of over 2,000 European manuscript fragments, principally dating from the 11th to the 16th centuries, is one of the largest of its kind and remains relatively understudied. The fellow will have direct access to this extraordinary research material and the opportunity to engage in original scholarly research related to his or her field of study. Further, the fellow will become a participant in a major international digital humanities initiative while benefitting from extensive local expertise.

Applications are due April 1, 2017. For more information and how to apply, go to

Our Thanks

The DVMA would like to offer its sincere gratitude to the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Princeton Index of Christian Art for their continued support of our programs.

Find us on Facebook