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English Paleography Summer Institute

Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

For four weeks in the summer of 2006, 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. The course will focus primarily on the secretary and italic hands in the Tudor and Jacobean periods. Participants 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; 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 manuscript collection.


Admission is limited to fifteen participants. Priority will be given to advanced graduate students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications will also be accepted from professional staff of U.S. libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars. Registration fees are waived for this program; each participant will receive a stipend of $1,800 to help defray the costs of housing and travel.


Director: Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, has 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). She has also written several articles on manuscripts in early modern England.


Schedule: Mondays through Thursdays, 1 – 4:30 p.m., 10 July through 4 August 2006.


Application Process: Please use either the online application form or the standard hard copy process, and direct all application materials to the Folger Institute's Executive Director, Dr. Kathleen Lynch. Your statement of research plans should describe in detail how the training you will receive in the summer institute pertains to your scholarly and teaching interests. It should also detail your past experience and training in the use of primary source material. You will not need to append a statement of grant-in-aid.


Application Deadline: 1 March 2006.

John Donne. Letter to Sir George More. Manuscript, 1 March 1602

Esther Inglis. Octonaries. Manuscript, 23 December 1607

Lewes Bagot. Letter to his father. Manuscript, ca. 1610

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