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Summer Institutes in Vernacular Paleography

Program Period: July 2013–August 2014

The Armies of France and Burgundy with Martel in Prayer / Liédet
 
This grant funds two summer institutes at the Getty Research Institute in vernacular paleography of the late Middle Ages and early modern period. In summer 2013 the Research Institute hosted a four-week course on French paleography, followed in summer 2014 by a three-week course on Italian paleography.

The courses are part of a series of Mellon summer institutes held at four host institutions: the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library, the Folger Institute at the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Getty Research Institute, and the Huntington Library. The institutes offer intensive courses in the paleography of the vernacular languages most often used in North America to conduct research on the period: English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

The summer institute provides 15 scholars with the opportunity to study manuscripts and archival materials from the 13th to the 17th century. Participants from the United States and Canada are selected by competitive application, with priority given to scholars in the early stages of their careers. Advanced language skills are required, as the courses are conducted entirely in French and Italian, respectively. Successful applicants receive a stipend and nonlocal participants are reimbursed for travel, housing, and food.

Participants receive intensive training in reading from facsimiles, and they become familiar with the development of handwriting and other aspects of written communication in the late medieval and early modern period. Additionally, scholars have full access to the Research Institute's collection, allowing them to take advantage of the Getty's significant manuscript holdings to conduct individual research.