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

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