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2009 Mellon Summer Institute

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2009 Mellon Summer Institutes in Vernacular Paleography

English Paleography

A Summer 2009 Institute Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Directed by Heather Wolfe at the Folger Shakespeare Library


Over four weeks, Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, will provide intensive training in the accurate reading and transcription of early modern English handwriting. Selected participants will focus primarily on the secretary and italic hands in the Tudor and Jacobean periods. They will also experiment with contemporary writing materials; learn the terminology for describing and comparing letter forms; consider the various editorial conventions relating to abbreviations, interlineal insertions, and deleted text; create a “mini-edition” of their own; and discuss the important and evolving role of handwritten documents within a wider context of print, manuscript, and oral cultures. Examples will be drawn from the Folger’s collection. Several guest faculty will provide their expert views of manuscript culture.

First consideration will be given to advanced graduate students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications will also be accepted from advanced graduate students and junior faculty at Canadian institutions, from professional staff of U.S. and Canadian libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars. The fifteen applicants selected for admission will receive a $1,000 stipend in addition to a reimbursable travel and housing allowance of up to $2,250. This is part of a multi-year series of summer institutes on European vernacular hands. Further information on other offerings is available through the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, where the initiative is headquartered.


Director: Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She has most recently edited The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary, 1613-1680 (2007) and The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608: A Facsimile Edition of Folger Shakespeare Library MS V.b.232 (2007). In addition to essays on manuscripts in early modern England, Dr. Wolfe has also edited Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (2001); The Pen’s Excellencie: Treasures from the Manuscript Collection of the Folger Shakespeare Library (2002); and, with Alan Stewart, Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004).


Schedule: Mondays through Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 6 – 30 July 2009.

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