Upcoming Workshops

Palimpsest Studies and the Library of Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt (December 12-16, 2022)

The focus of the workshop will be the palimpsests of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai. The course will introduce faculty and students working in other areas to technological advances that have made the recovery and reading of palimpsests possible in new and exciting ways. The workshop will be of interest and benefit to people working on Greek, Latin, Syriac, or Arabic manuscripts, or studying the Middle East. We will have ten speakers over the course of 5 days, each of whom is a leading expert in the field. Each speaker will give a 1.5-hour presentation and then spend 1.5 hours doing hands-on work with students. We will also hope to look at manuscripts in the Princeton collection, including several manuscripts from St. Catherine’s (such as a Georgian-Christian Palestinian Aramaic palimpsest). There will be an opening keynote lecture by Helen Evans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a closing keynote lecture by Fr. Justin, the librarian of St. Catherine’s Monastery.

Winter School - Introduction into HTR: Handwritten Text Recognition Technologies of Medieval Manuscripts (Latin|German|Czech)

A revolution has slowly begun in the study of historical documents: Machine Learning tools have been developed to allow for the automatic transcription of documents. Over the last decade, these tools can now help assist in the production of texts from medieval manuscripts at previously unobtainable levels of accuracy. Today, libraries have used these tools to make their collections searchable, while researchers have sped up the process of creating editions of texts and adopted them for the study of medieval documents.

The course will offer an introduction into some of these ongoing projects, but more importantly provide an introduction into the practice of studying medieval documents with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technologies.

4 Zoom online sessions | Oct 21, Nov 4 and 18, Dec 4

3-day-workshop in person at Vienna | December 19-21

Deadline for Application: 11th September 2022

More details here: CfA HTR Winter School

Recurring Workshops

Workshops at the International Center for the Study of Ancient Text Cultures

At the bi-annual workshops at Renmin University (Beijing, summer and winter), five international faculty members lecture and lead discussions on various topics in ancient text cultures. The summer of 2019, Martin Kern (Princeton University), Barbara Graziosi (Princeton University), Hindy Najman (Oxford University), Zhang Hanmo (Renmin University of China), and Guo Xi’an (Shanghai Normal University) came together with graduate students and young academics from dozens of centers globally to lead lecture sessions and discussions on the topic of “Authorship and Authority in the Ancient World.”

Workshop of the Graduate Exchange in Late Antique, Byzantine and Early Medieval History

This is an annual workshop of the graduate exchange between Princeton, Oxford, Vienna, the FU Berlin and the Wissenschaftscampus Mainz in Late Antique, Byzantine and Medieval Studies.It is held at each of the participating universities in turn. The hosting university covers food and accomodation while travelling attendees are responsible for their travel expenses. These meetings are wonderful opportunities for graduate students to present ongoing work and get feedback from graduates of other academic backgrounds as well as faculty from participating institutions, such as Stefan Esders, Bernhard Palme, Walter Pohl, Claudia Rapp, Sebastian Richter, and Julia Smith.

Rome Seminar

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students from across the humanities to the unique primary sources available in Rome. Working hands on with materials in the city’s archives and libraries, students will be exposed to the rich potential of a wide range of sources produced from 1100 to 2020. Seminar meetings will be held at the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Biblioteca Nazionale, and the Archivio di Stato, and elsewhere. The seminar will also include a series of presentations by senior scholars who will discuss how they have collected and interpreted Roman primary sources in their own research.

Paleography and Manuscript Summer School at the Bibliotheca Capitulare in Verona

The Verona International Summer School in Medieval Manuscripts offers an intensive 2-week course in writing culture between Late Antiquity and Middle Ages. This course will provide an overview of the main elements of Latin palaeography, concentrating on scripts from the Late Antique to the Medieval period (415- 1500). Whilst showing the evolution of letter forms and most common abbreviation systems, the course will consist of practical exercises, reading and transcribing several different types of script. It is also open to students with some experience in Latin palaeography who wish to refresh or improve their skills. Subject areas include Latin, Gothic, Greek and Early Modern Italian palaeography, illuminated manuscripts, codicology, liturgical and devotional manuscripts. The course also provides training for historians, archaeologists and textual scholars in the discipline of reading and interpreting medieval graffiti and epigraphic evidence, analysed in their original context.

Near Eastern Manuscript Traditions Workshop

This workshop is held annually at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and organized by George Kiraz and Sabine Schmidtke. The aim of this workshop is to bring together scholars from various disciplines to study different aspects in Middle Easter manuscripts in various languages, including, but not limited to, Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Hebrew, Persian, and Syriac. The topic of the workshop changes yearly and the upcoming workshop in September 2021 will focus on colophons.

Previous workshop outcomes have been published here.

Past Workshops

Wintersession Workshop: Introduction to Medieval Book-Making (January 19, 2021)

Working with a text of their choosing, participants will experiment with aspects of ancient and medieval book-making. We will explore historical writing implements, scripts, and practices in page design, and discuss themes including ancient and medieval practices of information technology, text-image relationships in the book medium, the relationship of material culture to textual traditions, and the representational power of books. This workshop is designed to be a complement to the Morgan exhibition for those who wish to go, so they can experience first-hand what it's like to work on the kind of books that will be on display. The workshop is also designed to be fully independent of the excursion, so that anyone curious about the process of historic book design has the opportunity for a hands-on introduction to the topic.

The workshop is led by a group of faculty: Sarah M. Anderson (English), Caroline Cheung (Classics/Program in the Ancient World), Janet Kay (A&A/Environmental History Lab in Medieval Studies), and Beatrice Kitzinger (A&A/Medieval Studies). Each of us incorporates elements of practical experimentation in our courses on ancient and medieval material culture. We approach the subject from varied training in archaeology, art history, and textual studies, and look forward to learning from one another as well as from the session participants. We teach, respectively, in the departments of Art & Archaeology, Classics, and English; our fields of research concentrate in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages.

This event is part of the Princeton University Wintersession and is restricted to PU students and staff.

Arabic Manuscripts Workshop (August 23-27, 2021)

This week-long workshop will be led by leading authorities in the historical, philological and material study of Arabic manuscripts.

Co-organized by Princeton and UCLA, which house the two largest repositories of Islamicate manuscripts in North America, the workshop will equip emerging scholars with the basic tools to conduct research using original handwritten texts in Arabic script.

Over the course of four days, participants will learn the basics of codicology, palaeography, and manuscript production and circulation, and receive exposure to an expansive vision of current debates in Arabic manuscript research.

More info here.

FROGBEAR Summer 2021 Training Sessions

The FROGBEAR project will use the summer of 2021 to provide online training opportunities for students to gain skills and knowledge in preparation for those field visits. While priority is given to graduate students, senior undergraduate students may apply with a Letter of Recommendation from a faculty member.

Textiles in Manuscripts Workshop (New Date: June 2-3, 2021)

The Textiles in Manuscripts Workshop, June 2-3, 2021, is part of The Book and the Silk Roads project, which seeks to map connections between parts of the premodern world by describing the technology of the book.

The aim of this virtual workshop is to examine the vast use of textiles in manuscripts, both practical and ornamental: their uses within bindings, as wrappers, enclosures, and covering, as cloth used to protect images, as symbolic or talismanic artefacts, and within manuscript painting. Workshop sessions focus on the use of textiles in Armenian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Islamic, Kashmiri, and Syriac manuscripts from the middle ages through the early modern period. The workshop is not meant to be exhaustive, but to take a unique approach in beginning an interdisciplinary conversation about the production and use of manuscripts across the Silk Roads.

The Early Illustrated Apollonius of Tyre (April 19-20, 2021)

A research event of The Book and the Silk Roads project (2019–2021) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, this virtual workshop explores the significance of a recent discovery: an early fragment of a popular Latin romance, the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri (The History of Apollonius King of Tyre), found in a palimpsest forming part of the manuscript MS Arabic NF 8, in the library of St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt.

The workshop contributors will speak on the discovery of the fragment as well as its scientific imaging, codicological and paleographical features, illustration, and significance for understanding the early history of the codex, as well as what can be gleaned from the fragment about the original manuscript’s production and use. The workshop will also contextualize the fragment’s long life and reuse within the multi-cultural, early monastic setting of St. Catherine’s Monastery — a site that has gained increasing attention in recent years due to the discovery of new texts in palimpsest through the scientific imaging of the Sinai Palimpsests Project

2020 International and Intensive Program on Buddhism at Princeton University

The Glorisun Global Network for Buddhist Studies, whose founding members include Peking University, UBC, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, U Hamburg, Cambridge and Oxford, cordially invites applications for an intensive program on Buddhist Studies. Lasting from June 26 to July 15, 2020, this program is composed of two segments: Segment 1 from June 26 to July 6 and Segment 2 from July 7 to July 15, which are connected by an intersegmental conference (July 4–6).

The Book and the Silk Roads Workshop

The workshop convened on November 19, 2019, which included researchers from the University of Toronto, Princeton University, and other institutions for a day of study focused on “Formats of the Book in East Asia and Environs.”

More info here.

Papyrological Institute at Princeton University Library

The Princeton University Library is hosting the Papyrological Institute (July 7-August 8, 2014), an intensive five-week summer course for graduate students in Classics, History, and other disciplines. This is the ninth in a series of such institutes held under the aegis of the American Sociey of Papyrologists, with the objective of providing participants with “sufficient instruction and practical experience to enable them to make productive use of texts on papyrus in their research and to become active scholars in the field of papyrology.” The focus this year are Greek documentary papyri from Byzantine Egypt, dating from the fourth to seventh centuries. Most days are divided between lectures and transcription exercises focused on unpublished papyri in the collections of the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.