London Palaeography Courses

Courses at Birkbeck

Note: some courses run in alternating years.

Course: Palaeography for Beginners
Lecturer: Debby Banham
Level: BA / 1 term
Assessment: 2 x 200-word transcription
Contact: Jana Kakosova
Description: A reading course, but historically structured, so that students get an idea of the development of script, as well as learning to read and transcribe clear examples. Covers England, AD c. 700-1700.

Course: Intermediate Palaeography
Lecturer: Debby Banham
Level / Length: BA / 1 term
Assessment: 2 x 200-word transcriptions
Contact: Jana Kakosova
Description: A reading course, but historically structured, so that students get an idea of the development of script, as well as learning to read and transcribe clear examples. Covers England, AD c. 700-1700, with more emphasis on cursive scripts than in the beginners’ course.

Course: Introduction to Medieval Manuscripts
Lecturer: Debby Banham
Level / Length: MA / 1 term
Assessment: Essay
Contact: Daniel Binney
Description: A broad introduction, with sessions on the book in medieval society, codicology, the look of the book, diplomatic, palaeography, plus a visit to a manuscript collection. Covers mainly England, AD c. 700-1500.

Courses at ICS/KCL/UCL

Course: Latin Epigraphy
Lecturers: John Pearce, Boris Rankov, Benet Salway
Level / Length: MA / 2 terms
Assessment: 2 x 2000-word commentaries; 1 x 6000-word essay
Contact: j.fryer@ucl.ac.uk
Description: This is a dedicated MA course, designed to introduce students to both the practical study and the interpretation of Latin inscriptions of all types. The classes will survey the expanding resources available for the study of Latin inscriptions, including electronic resources as well as traditional printed corpora; the production of epigraphic material from the point of view of those commissioning it and the individual craftsman; the development and the decline of ‘epigraphic habit’; and the analysis and interpretation of the texts in the broader context of the artefacts, monuments or buildings to which they were attached. Students will learn how to measure and record inscriptions; how to read and interpret epigraphic texts; and how to edit and prepare epigraphic texts for publication. They will study and interpret a wide variety of examples of different types of inscriptions: official, public, private and graffiti, from Rome, Italy and the provinces.

Courses at IHR/QMUL

Course: Palaeography and Diplomatic from Roman Times to c1700
Lecturer: Jenny Stratford
Level / Length: MA, PhD / 2 terms
Assessment: 2 written assignments
Contact: IHR website
Description: The course is designed to help students to work with medieval and early modern manuscripts. It will be tailored as far as possible to individual needs within the group. Besides practical training (transcription, editing, the physical aspects of manuscripts and documents including illumination), the course introduces the history of script and its intellectual context from Roman times to c. 1700. Some Latin is required for the first term. Students without Latin are welcome to apply for the second term.


Courses at KCL

Course: Greek Palaeography and Textual Criticism
Lecturer: Alessandra Bucossi
Level / Length: MA / 1 term
Assessment: 1 essay, 1 transcription exam
Contact: classics@kcl.ac.uk
Description: This module is designed for students with a good knowledge of classical Greek, who want to learn how to approach and understand independently the primary sources of Classical and Medieval literature. It offers a basic introduction to Greek palaeography and textual criticism and focuses on the preservation of Greek literary heritage from the Renaissance to modern times. The course will start from the revival of Greek studies in Renaissance Italy and will follow the development of textual criticism from the first critical editions of the Bible to the contemporary attempts to apply phylogenetic methods.

Course: Material Culture of the Book: Material Models
Lecturer: Peter Stokes
Level / Length: MA/ 1 term
Assessment: 1 essay
Contact: michelle.summerfield@kcl.ac.uk
Description: In this module we will look at the history of the book, and specifically at medieval manuscripts and late 19th to early 20th century printed books, in order to understand them as material objects and appreciate how they can best be studied using digital tools. We look not only in detail at the books’ physical characteristics, such as format, layout, materials and colours, but also question the circumstances under which they were produced and first used. How can a digital version or edition of such objects represent not only as much of their physical characteristics as possible but also the circumstances of use?

Course: History of Script in Britain, 600-1100
Lecturer: Julia Crick
Level / Length: MA, PhD / 1 term
Assessment: 4000-word essay
Contact: history@kcl.ac.uk
Description: History, dating, and localizing of Insular scripts to 1100.

Course: Skills for Medievalists: Palaeography I
Lecturer: Julia Crick
Level / Length: MA, PhD / 2 terms
Assessment: 1-hour exam, 3000-word essay
Contact: history@kcl.ac.uk
Description: Introduction to Western scripts 500-1500; brief introduction to codicology and library history; transcription practice.

Course: The Ancient and Early Medieval Book
Lecturer: Julia Crick
Level / Length: BA / 1 term
Assessment: 4000-word essay
Contact: complit@kcl.ac.uk
Description: A ten-week introduction to the books and intellectual history of England before 1100.

Course: The Medieval Book
Lecturer: Julia Crick
Level / Length: BA / 1 term
Assessment: 4000-word essay
Contact: complit@kcl.ac.uk
Description: A ten-week introduction to the books and intellectual history of England (primarily) from 1050-1250.


Courses at RHUL

Course: Elementary Greek Palaeography
Lecturer: Charalambos Dendrinos
Level: MA, PhD
Assessment: Exam
Contact: ch.dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk
http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Hellenic-Institute/studying/MAPalaeo.html

Course: Greek Palaeography
Lecturer: Charalambos Dendrinos
Level: MA, PhD
Assessment: Essay
Contact: ch.dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk

Course: Greek Hands of the Palaeologan Period (13-15th Century)
Lecturer: Charalambos Dendrinos
Level: MA, PhD
Assessment: Essay
Contact: ch.dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk
http://www.rhul.ac.uk/hellenic-institute/studying/MAPalaeolHands.html

Course: Byzantine Autographs of the Palaeologan Period (13-15th Century)
Lecturer: Charalambos Dendrinos
Level / Length: MA, PhD
Assessment: Essay
Contact: ch.dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk
http://www.rhul.ac.uk/hellenic-institute/studying/MAAutogr.html

Course: Graduate Working Seminar on Editing Byzantine Texts
Lecturers: Charalambos Dendrinos and Christopher Wright
Level: MA, PhD
Assessment: Non assessed
Contact: ch.dendrinos@rhul.ac.uk
http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Hellenic-Institute/Research/Seminar.htm

 

Courses at UCL

 

Course: Latin Palaeography
Lecturer: Marigold Norbye
Level / Length: BA / 1 term
Assessment: 3-hour examination
Contact: classicsoffice@ucl.ac.uk
Description: A survey course of the history of Latin scripts from ancient Rome to the invention of printing, with transcription practice of scripts ranging from Roman square capitals to Gothic textura.

Course: Manuscripts and Documents
Lecturer: David d’Avray and Marigold Norbye
Level / Length: MA / 1 year
Assessment: 3-hour examination; coursework
Contact: j.fryer@ucl.ac.uk
Description: History and dating of scripts from Carolingian to Humanist; a heavy emphasis on transcription practice; codicology; diplomatic; textual criticism; other aspects of the use of the written word in the Middle Ages.

Course: Greek Papyrology
Lecturer: Nick Gonis
Level / Length: MA / 1 year
Assessment: 2 written assignments
Contact: classicsoffice@ucl.ac.uk
Description: This module aims to introduce participants to the study of Greek papyri, documentary as well as literary, and to offer training in editing them. Each class will focus on a small number of texts, one or two of which will be studied in detail on a photograph. The texts are chosen to illustrate the development of Greek cursive scripts and bookhands; to examine formal aspects of the transmission of Greek literature on papyrus; and to give an idea of the range of documentary types available as sources for the history of Egypt from the age of the Ptolemies to late antiquity.

Course: Early Modern English: Reading and Interpretation
Lecturer: Peter Foden
Level / Length: MA / 1 term
Assessment: Coursework tests
Contact: l.keshav@ucl.ac.uk
Description: I would like to equip students with some tools and tricks to extend their abilities beyond the documents covered by the course. Since the MA of which it is part is for prospective archivists, this course must equip them to read, organize, list documents of almost any kind that might be found in their future places of work, but also to help readers who may well be specialists themselves to read and interpret such documents.  Hence the skills we teach must be transferrable. I would also hope that some of our students will go on to develop skills in reading earlier and non-English documents but that, sadly, is out of the scope of the module.

Course: Early Modern Palaeography, c. 1530-1650
Lecturer: Chris Stamatakis
Level / Length: MA / 1 term
Assessment: Transcription test
Contact: c.stamatakis@ucl.ac.uk
Description: The course aims to enable students to read, transcribe, and edit a range of early modern scripts and types; the tuition forms part of the 'Shakespeare in History' MA's 'Research Methods' component, which itself aims to equip students with the research skills necessary to read, understand, and edit original early modern documents.

Course: Manuscript Studies
Lecturer: James Willoughby
Level / Length: MA / 1 term
Assessment: Transcription test; essay
Contact: k.michaels@ucl.ac.uk
Description: Manuscript Studies module including: an overview of the history of Western script to the Renaissance; practice in reading medieval sources; and discussion of the medieval manuscript book, its physical construction and binding, modern descriptive practices, medieval libraries and cataloguing, the survival of manuscripts and some notable collectors, and an overview of the techniques of modern descriptive cataloguing in England. The students are all studying for the post-graduate degree in librarianship and wish to pursue an interest in special-collections material. The aim of the course is to introduce students to late antique and medieval styles of writing, so that by the end of the course they can name, rough-date, and read unseen specimens of script; also to introduce the appropriate palaeographical and codicological vocabulary and methodologies; and to offer an overview of the history of the curatorship of books in medieval England, their dispersal at the time of the Reformation, and their subsequent arrival in early modern and modern collections. 

Courses at the Warburg
Course: Latin Manuscripts, 1300 - 1650
Lecturer: Charles Burnett
Level / Length: MA, PhD / 1 year
Assessment: Not assessed
Contact: catherine.charlton@sas.ac.uk
Description: To familiarise the students with a variety of scripts on a variety of subjects. Every participant is expected to read and translate parts of the text into English.

Course: German Palaeography: 17th to 20th Centuries
Lecturer: Dorothea McEwan and Claudia Wedepohl
Level / Length: 1 term
Assessment: Not assessed
Contact: jane.ferguson@sas.ac.uk
Description: A reading class. The aim is to familiarize students with a number of different handwritings. Participants should have a reading knowledge of German. We will read and examine a variety of texts from the 17th to the 20th centuries, and offer some flexibility in as much as it will be possible to present documents from different centuries and handwriting styles in order to suit the needs of its participants.