Introduction to Medieval Studies at the Newberry | Newberry

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
Saturday, November 7, 2015

9 am to 5 pm

Room 101

Led by Karen Christianson, The Newberry Library
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 PDF flyer for all this year’s methods workshops, to post and distribute.


8:30: Coffee and introductions

9 - 10:20: Session 1

  • The making and archaeology of a medieval book

10:30 - 12: Session 2

  • Introduction to Latin paleography, with practicum

12 - 1:30: Lunch break

1:30 - 2:30: Session 3

  • Genres of medieval books and documents
  • Diplomatics, prosopography, and other ancillary disciplines

2:40 - 4: Session 4

  • Library tour and orientation; obtain Reader Cards
  • Hands-on session with medieval manuscripts

4 - 5: Session 5

  • Medieval sources at the Newberry
  • Digital sources for medieval studies

We encourage students to arrive early to work on personal research in the Reading Rooms; they are open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Friday and 9 am to 1 pm Saturday.

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. 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.