Rare Book School Courses for Medievalists

The Rare Book School provides five-day, intensive courses for students from all disciplines and levels to study the history of manuscript, printed, and born-digital materials with leading scholars and professionals in the field.

The 2013 online application is now available at the Rare Book School website, http://www.rarebookschool.org/.

This year, they are presenting more than thirty courses on the history of books and printing, many of which focus on medieval manuscripts, book history, and culture. The following four courses will be of particular interest to Medievalists:

M-10 Introduction to Paleography, taking place July 22–26 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by Consuelo Dutschke (Columbia University). This course provides an introduction to the book-based scripts and the text typologies of the western European Middle Ages and the Renaissance from 800 to 1500, from Caroline minuscule through early print. The goal is to learn to read the texts (mainly in Latin). Students will learn the basic tools for working with medieval codices and begin to assess areas that can provide information on localizing and dating the manuscripts.

For more information:


M-20 Introduction to Western Codicology, taking place June 17–21 in Charlottesville, VA. Taught by Albert Derolez (Free Universities of Brussels).

Learn the principles of analyzing and describing Western medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The course will deal with manuscript materials, structure, layout, script and decoration, showing how to investigate and describe these features. This is a course for non-specialists, but applicants must have considerable background in the historical humanities and at least an introductory knowledge of Latin. For more information:


B-40 Medieval & Early Renaissance Bookbinding Structures, taking place June 17–21 in New Haven, CT. Taught by Christopher Clarkson (independent conservator). Learn about European bookbinding structures, including the identification of the main types of binding structures, their dating and provenance, and the recognition and recording of materials and techniques. The course is aimed at librarians, archivists, and art historians specializing in early books and manuscripts, and others who handle such material. The course will emphasize studies of the physical book and binding craft techniques of the period. For more information: http://www.rarebookschool.org/courses/binding/b40/

M-90 Advanced Seminar: Medieval Manuscript Studies taking place June 17–21 in New Haven, CT. Taught by Barbara A. Shailor (Yale University).

This advanced course in medieval manuscript studies builds upon the skills acquired in introductory classes in paleography, codicology, and the history of the hand-produced book to deepen understanding of the varied approaches to medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. In addition to practical sessions of transcribing difficult scripts from the later Middle Ages (ca. 1200–1500), there will be workshops by Yale conservators on inks and pigments, parchment, and paper, including watermark identification. For more information:


For a full course schedule, additional course descriptions, and an online course application, be sure to visit the RBS website at http://rarebookschool.org/.

This entry was posted in Announcements. Bookmark the permalink.