2019 Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography | Newberry

2019 Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography

Archbishop Antoninus of Florence, Summa Confessionorum…. Parma, 1466 (VAULT Case MS 75.5)

At the Newberry Library
Monday, July 8, 2019Friday, July 26, 2019

9 am to noon, Mondays through Fridays, plus three mandatary afternoon sessions (to be announced).

ITW Seminar Room

Directed by Maddalena Signorini, Università degli Studi di Roma
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Mellon Summer Institutes in Vernacular Paleography

This three-week institute will offer intensive training in the accurate reading and transcription of handwritten Italian vernacular texts from the late medieval though the early modern periods. The instruction is intended to enable scholars in various fields of specialization to acquire the skills to work with primary sources. While the major emphasis is on paleographical skills, the course offers an introduction to materials and techniques, and considers the history of scripts within the larger historical, literary, intellectual, and social contexts of Italy. Participants receive an introduction to a wide range of types of writing and documents from literary to legal, notarial, official, ecclesiastical, business, and family documents. The course offers an overview of the system of Italian archives—public, ecclesiastical, and private. Participants also have the opportunity to work with original texts, using manuscripts and documents in the collections of the Newberry Library.

Learn more about the director: Maddalena Signorini, Università degli Studi di Roma

Eligibility: The institute will enroll 15 participants by competitive application. First consideration will be given to advanced PhD students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications are also accepted from advanced PhD students and junior faculty at Canadian institutions, from professional staff of U.S. and Canadian libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars.

Prerequisite: This graduate-level course is taught entirely in Italian; advanced language skills are required.

Award: All successful applicants will receive a stipend; non-local participants will receive additional funds to help defray the costs of travel, housing, and food. There are no fees associated with the institute.

Notification: We will notify all applicants by April 1 whether they have been accepted as a participant, placed on an alternate list, or declined. Invited participants will have until April 15 to confirm whether or not they will attend.

Cost and Registration Information 

The application deadline is March 1, 2019.

To apply, you must complete your application via Slideroom. To do so, go to the Newberry Slideroom homepage and click on “2019 Mellon Summer Institute in Italian Paleography.” If you do not have a Slideroom account, you must create one before accessing the application form. If you have any questions about the application process, please send an email to renaissance@newberry.org.


Your application should include:

1. An essay of no more than 500 words that describes in detail how the institute training pertains to your research, teaching, and/or professional interests; details your past experience and training in using primary source materials; and describes your level of fluency in speaking and reading Italian, especially if your discipline is not Italian literature. Note that the institute will be conducted entirely in Italian; advanced languages skills are required.

2. Current curriculum vitae (CV) of no more than three pages

3. One letter of reference. The letter must address the substance of the applicant’s research plans. For graduate students, it must also assess his or her skill in Italian. Note that once you create a SlideRoom account, your referree will receive a personal link where they can upload their letter of reference.