Scrineum 2015

The editorial board of Scrineum ( is pleased to announce that the number 12 (2015) of «Scrineum. Rivista» is online (; the editorial board is also pleased to invite you to submit for the next issue of 2015 original papers concerning the history of documents, handwriting and manuscript books. Papers in Italian, English, German and Spanish are welcome. The submissions must be formatted according to the following rules: and sent to the e-mail address not later than April 15th, 2015.  

Scrineum Rivista is already indexed in DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals); since 2008 it features an international Referee Board the structure of which mirrors the various topics and interests of the current editorial policy. It is currently the only e-journal specifically dedicated to document andmanuscript sciences in the Middle Ages. Submitted papers, if accepted, are normally published within a couple of months. The publisher (Firenze University Press) guarantees compliance with Copyright Laws.

You can find further informations on Scrineum at the internet addresses which are indicated above. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone, colleagues and students, who might be interested.

We hope that our project can be of your interest.

The Digital Scriptorium

The Digital Scriptorium provides open digital access to over 8000 medieval and early modern manuscripts housed across over 30 academic libraries in the United States. The website provides user-friendly search tools which allow you to sift through the entire digital corpus according to geographical, historical, and thematic filters, among others. The Scriptorium allows reproduction of images and texts from the collection without prior permission for private study, teaching, and research. Using the images in published or commercial materials requires permission from the participating institution.

Bernardo S. Hinojosa

Digging Deeper

The Stanford online course ‘Digging Deeper’ is an excellent introduction to the more practical side of manuscript studies. The course operates as a series of videos, exercises and short tests along with links to additional, comprehensive reading material. The videos themselves are engaging and instructive, and will equip the watcher with a foundational set of terms for approaching manuscripts. Beyond this set of terms, the course has a particular focus on methods of medieval manuscript production. The course works particularly well by using these videos, which give an important opportunity to experience manuscripts in a visual way. Alongside this is the course’s focus on the digital: it never presumes that you have access to a large special collections library and is very much geared towards finding manuscripts online. It is worth noting that the course was designed to be completed as a diploma over a six week period with a forum discussion taking place after every week. However, this doesn’t detract from the central content and you can complete it at your own pace. One of the most valuable parts of the course is its introduction to palaeography and the transcription practice it allows you. In a very practical way, you are shown good transcription practice and then given the opportunity to demonstrate it online. ‘Digging Deeper’ is a very good place to start for anyone interested in pursuing manuscript studies; it should offer you a good foundation from which you might begin further enquiry.

David Matthews

Transcription Aids

When transcribing I found it very useful to keep a couple of transcription aids open on my web-browser. The two I found most useful are below:

The Index of Scripts on ‘Medieval Writing’

The index itself is vast to the point of daunting if you can’t already identify the script you’re working with. However, with perseverance you should be able to find a page that will help with your deciphering. The website offers a letter-by-letter index of many different scripts up to the 16th Century.

Harvard’s ‘How to Read Medieval Handwriting’

This is a much briefer (and therefore more navigable) introduction and a good place for beginners. It explains some of the essentials of medieval handwriting and a list of common abbreviations which is particularly useful. It’s also worth scrolling to the bottom and investigating the pages on ‘Scripts’ and ‘Textual Instability’ which give engaging short introductions.

David Matthews