Introduction to Medieval Studies at the Newberry

Collection of Musical Treatises, 1391, folio 10v. Newberry Case MS 54.1

Collection of Musical Treatises, 1391, folio 10v. Newberry Case MS 54.1

Research Methods Workshop for Early Career Graduate Students
Friday, March 6, 2015

9 am to 4:45 pm

Room 101

Karen Christianson, Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies
The application deadline has passed.
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Renaissance Graduate Programs

Students pursuing the study of European culture during the Middle Ages often assume that their serious research will have to take place in European archives. But in fact the Newberry’s holdings in this area, especially for the twelfth through fifteenth centuries, include sources—both manuscript books and documents and printed editions—that could form the basis of extensive research projects resulting in significant new contributions to knowledge.

This workshop will provide:

  • an orientation to the study of medieval manuscript books and documents
  • an overview of basic skills required for their study (codicology, paleography, diplomatics)
  • an introduction to the resources for medieval studies available at the Newberry, both original manuscript sources and printed editions.

Learn more about the workshop director: Karen Christianson, Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies

Download a printable PDF flyer to post and distribute.


8:30: Coffee and introductions

9 - 10:20: Session 1: Introduction to manuscript studies, codicology, and diplomatics

10:30 - 12: Session 2: Introduction to Latin paleography, with practicum

12 - 1:30: Lunch break

1:30 - 2:30: Session 3: Medieval sources at the Newberry, and digital sources for medieval studies

2:40 - 4:20: Participants will separate into two groups and alternate between:

  • A library tour and orientation (including obtaining Reader Cards), with Carla Zecher, director of the Center for Renaissance Studies and Curator of Music; and
  • A hands-on session with medieval manuscripts, with Karen

4:30 - 4:55: Concluding discussion
(note that the building closes at 5 on Fridays)

Eligibility: This workshop is open to graduate students in a terminal master’s program and those who have not yet completed comprehensive exams in a PhD program, at Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies consortium member institutions.

Students with concentrations in literature (of any European language), history, art history, medieval studies, manuscript studies, history of the book, and other relevant disciplines are encouraged to apply. Enrollment is by competitive application.

No language prerequisites, though some exposure to Latin would be helpful.

Travel funding: Faculty and graduate students of Center for Renaissance Studies consortium institutions may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend CRS programs or to do research at the Newberry. Each member university sets its own policies and deadlines; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.

Cost and Registration Information 

The application deadline has passed.