On 17-18 June 2019, the Centre for Medieval Studies in association with the Centre for Material Texts at the University of Bristol is organizing a two-day intensive workshop to provide an introduction to medieval manuscripts and medieval handwriting. By working closely with items from Special Collections at the University of Bristol’s Arts and Social Sciences Library, participants in the workshop will develop skills in handling and reading manuscripts from the medieval period (c. 1200-1500). The workshop is for anyone who wants to discover more about medieval manuscripts and anyone wants to gain confidence in reading medieval hands. Topics to be studied include how manuscripts were made and bound; book decoration, charters, and how to read Gothic scripts.
The workshop will be taught by specialists from the Centre for Medieval Studies, including Brendan Smith, Gareth Griffith, Ad Putter, Bex Lyons, George Ferzoco and Erica O’Brien. The workshop is based in Special Collections in the University of Bristol’s Arts and Social Sciences Library, and will draw on the library’s holdings, which range from charters to books of hours. The workshop is offered free of charge, but spaces are limited.
The course will be of particular value to anyone who is thinking about pursuing research (at MA/PhD) in topics in medieval studies, but we welcome anyone with an interest in the area.
When does the course take place?
The course will take place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18 June 2019, and will run from c. 9.30-5.30 on both days.
Where does the course take place?
The course will take place in Special Collections in the Arts and Social Sciences Library, University of Bristol. You can find the ASSL on this map.
For more information about Special Collections, see here.
Who is it for?
The workshop is aimed at anyone who is interested in learning more about medieval manuscripts, and who would like to gain confidence in reading medieval handwriting.
The course will be of particular value to anyone who is thinking about pursuing research (at MA/PhD) in topics in the medieval (c. 1200-1500), but we welcome anyone with an interest in the area.
Do I need to be a student at the University of Bristol to attend?
No! You do not need to be a student; anyone interested in the topic, including students attending other universities is welcome.
What will I learn?
The workshop is designed to help participants develop a toolkit for approaching the study of medieval manuscripts. Topics covered by this workshop include:
- How were medieval manuscripts made?
- Medieval scripts and how to read them
- How to trace the history of ownership of medieval books
- Techniques of medieval book decoration
- How to read charters
We’ll be exploring these and other topics by looking at a wide range of manuscripts, from charters to illuminated Books of Hours, from Special Collections.
Who is teaching on this workshop?
Brendan Smith specialises in the history of the British Isles from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, with a particular interest in the workings of government. he has a strong commitment to making the sources for late medieval history more easily available to academic scholars and students.
Gareth Griffith works primarily on the literature of the Middle English period, with a particular interest in synthesising literary and manuscript studies to interpret written culture.
Ad Putter specialises in medieval literatures and languages, particularly medieval English, French, Latin and Dutch, and teaches palaeography and codicology to Bristol’s postgraduate students
George Ferzoco teaches at the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and the Centre for Medieval Studies. He has a special interest in Dante and in medieval monastic writing and books.
Bex Lyons is a late medievalist with research interests in book and reading history, particularly female owners and readers of Arthurian literature in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England.
Erica O’Brien teaches art history at the University of Bristol and has a special interest in Burgundian painting and book decoration. Her research interests include women’s literacy in the medieval period, the relationship between devotional and political power, and the iconography of late medieval Netherlandish panel painting and illumination.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll also be drawing on the invaluable expertise of the Special Collections archivists.
How do I apply?
You can apply to attend the course by filling out the application form here. Please apply by 6 June 2019; applicants can expect to hear by 10 June 2019 at the latest whether they have secured a place.
How much does it cost?
Attendance at the workshop is free, and includes lunch on both days. Places are limited, so you’ll need to sign up on the application form (above).
Some bursaries are available to support travel and accommodation costs; please indicate if you’d like to be considered for a bursary on the application form.
Who is organizing the course?
I’m coming from outside Bristol to attend the workshop. Can you help me to find accommodation?
You can find some guidance on finding accommodation here.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Send any questions to Ad Putter at email@example.com.