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2014 Mellon Paleography

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English Paleography: A Summer 2014 Summer Institute Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

English Paleography

A Summer 2014 Institute Sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Directed by Heather Wolfe at the Folger Shakespeare Library


In June 2014, 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.

This is part of a multi-year series of summer institutes on European vernacular hands. Each institute enrolls fifteen participants. First consideration is given to advanced PhD students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications will also be 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. The selected participants will receive a $1,200 stipend in addition to a reimbursable travel and housing allowance of up to $2,400 to help defray the costs of participating.


Further information on offerings in other vernaculars is available through the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, where the initiative is headquartered.


The application can be found here.


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., 3 – 26 June 2014.


Application Deadline: 3 March 2014.


Applicants Guidelines: The application is now online. The necessary components are:


1)  A brief statement of research (of no more than three pages) that

·         Addresses the role of manuscript materials in the applicant’s teaching and research; and

·         Describes the applicant’s training and facility with early modern hands.


2)  A curriculum vitae (of no more than four pages) that includes

·         The applicant’s contact information;

·         The applicant’s present position, academic rank, or status (graduate students should indicate whether they are PhD candidates, PhD students (pre-qualifying exams), or MA students); and

·         The names and contact information of at least two references.


Applicants should also arrange for these two references to forward letters of support that address the substance and promise of the applicant’s research plans. These should be emailed to institute@folger.edu.


Or if you prefer, they should be mailed to:


ATTN: Mellon Paleography Summer Institute 2014

The Folger Institute

Folger Shakespeare Library

201 East Capitol Street, SE

Washington, DC 20003


Please contact institute@folger.edu or (202) 675-0333 with any questions on the offering at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Further information on other offerings is available through the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, where the initiative is headquartered.


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