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Reading List 2021-22

Palaeography: Reading Medieval Manuscripts, 2021/22, Semester 2
Prof Julia Barrow
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

This is a list of titles recommended as especially useful, both in connection with the present module and for further study later. Titles marked * are particularly important, but there is no required reading for particular classes.

General Guides and References

*Bischoff, Bernhard, Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, trans. by Dáibhi Ó Cróinin and David Ganz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990): an excellent general introduction to the whole subject of medieval palaeography

*Brown, Michelle, A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600 (London: British Library, 1990)

*Cappelli, Adriano, Lexicon abbreviaturarum : dizionario di abbreviature latine ed italiane, 6th ed. (Milan: Hoepli, 1987): the standard scholarly guide to abbreviations for those concerned with reading medieval manuscripts. Copies are available in the le Patourel room.

*Abbreviationes Online, ed. by Olaf Pluta <> [last modified 7 January 2022 as of 20 January 2022]: very extensive and easy-to-use dictionary of abbreviations from manuscripts from the eighth to the fifteenth century. The database continues to grow and expand. It is a subscription-only resource and must be accessed from the library catalogue, where it is listed as a journal, as linked here.

*Clemens, Raymond and Timothy Graham, Introduction to Manuscript Studies (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2007): indispensable compendium for all aspects of medieval manuscript studies

Denholm-Young, Noel, Handwriting in England and Wales (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1954)

Derolez, Albert, The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books, from the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)

Gooder, Eileen, Latin for Local History: An Introduction, 2nd ed. (London: Longman, 1978)

*Hector, L.C., The Handwriting of English Documents, 2nd ed.(London: Edward Arnold, 1958)

*Parkes, Malcolm B., English Cursive Book Hands, 1250-1500 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969)

*Roberts, Jane, Guide to Scripts used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: British Library, 2005)

Thomson, S. Harrison, Latin Bookhands of the Later Middle Ages, 1100-1500 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969)

Wright, Cyril, English Vernacular Hands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960)

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Supplementary Bibliography

(a) Facsimiles

So many facsimiles of medieval manuscripts are now available, either in print, on microfilm or fiche, or in digital form, that the titles given here are restricted to a number of major non-electronic series (mainly relating to the earlier period).

Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts in Microfiche Facsimile, ed. by Alger Nicolaus Doane and others, 24 vols so far (Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1994-2003)

Chartae latinae antiquiores: facsimile-edition of the Latin charters prior to the ninth century, ed. by Albert Brückner and others, 49 vols (Zürich: Urs Graf, 1954–98)

Chartae latinae antiquiores: facsimile-edition of the Latin charters. 2nd series, Ninth century, ed. by Guglielmo Cavalli and others, 69 vols (Zürich: Urs Graf, 1997–2019)

Early English Manuscripts in Facsimile, ed. by Kemp Malone and others, 29 vols (Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, 1951–2002)

Facsimiles of Ancient Manuscripts, ed. by Edward Maunde Thompson and others, 1st and 2nd series, 4 vols in 15 (London: New Palaeographical Society, 1903-30)

Lowe, E. A., Codices Latini antiquiores : A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts prior to the Ninth Century, 12 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1934-71)

Papsturkunden in England, ed. W. Holtzmann, 3 vols (Nendeln: Kraus, 1970-72)

In addition to the books on the reading list above, the following books may also be found useful. Some of the older ones are still good introductions.

(b) General

Giulio Battelli, Lezioni di paleografia, 4th ed. (Vatican City: Libreria editrice vaticana, 1999)

Alfred J. Fairbank, A Book of Scripts (Harmondsworth: King Penguin, 1968)

David Gosden, Starting to Read Medieval Latin Manuscript: An Introduction for Students of Medieval History and Genealogists who Wish to Venture into Latin Texts (Felinfach: Llanerch, 1993)

Edward Maunde-Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912)

Michel Parisse, Manuel de paléographie medievale : Manuel pour les grands commençants (Paris: Picard, 2006)

Maurice Prou, Manuel de paléographie, latine et française, 4th ed. by Alain du Boüard (Paris: A. Picard, 1924)

Berthold L. Ullman, Ancient Writing and its Influence (New York: Harrap, 1963)

(c) Caroline Minuscule and its Precursors

Ainoa Castro Correa, ‘Visigothic Script versus Caroline Minuscule: The Collision of Two Cultural Worlds in Twelfth-Century Galicia’, Mediaeval Studies, 78 (2016), 203–42

Ainoa Castro Correa, ‘Dating and Placing Visigothic Script Codices: A Quick Guide for Beginners’, Pecia: Le Livre et l’écrit, 23, Le manuscrit médiéval: texte, objet et outil de transmission, Volume II (2020), 7–32 <>.

David Ganz, ‘The Preconditions for Caroline Minuscule’, Viator, 18 (1987), 23–44 <>;

David Ganz, ‘Book Production in the Carolingian Empire and the Spread of Caroline Minuscule’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume II: c. 700-c. 900, ed. by Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), pp. 786–808 <>;

Tino Licht, ‘Die älteste karolingische Minuskel’, Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch: internationale Zeitschrift für Mediävistik und Humanismusforschung, 47.2 (2012), 337–46

Tino Licht, ‘Carolingian Minuscule Predates Charlemagne’, Universität Heidelberg: Zukunft seit 1386, 2013 <> [accessed 12 January 2022]

E. A. Lowe, ‘The Oldest Omission Signs in Latin Manuscripts: Their Origin and Significance’, in Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati, Studi e Testi, 126, 6 vols (Città del Vaticano: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1946), vi, 36–79, reprinted in Palaeographical Papers, by Elias A. Lowe, ed. by Ludwig Bieler, 2 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972), ii, 349–80

E. A. Lowe, ‘The “Script of Luxeuil”: A Title Vindicated’, Revue Bénédictine, 63.1–4 (1953), 132–42 <>, reprinted in Palaeographical Papers, by Lowe, as above, ii, 389–98

Rosamond McKitterick, ‘Carolingian Uncial: A Context for the Lothar Psalter’, British Library Journal, 16 (1990), 1–15, reprinted in Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th to 9th Centuries, by Rosamond McKitterick, Variorum Collected Studies, 452 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1994), chapter VI, with original pagination

Rosamond McKitterick, ‘Frankish Uncial: A New Context for the Echternach Scriptorium’, in Willibrord, zijn Wereld en zijn Werk, ed. by P. Bange and A. G. Weiler, Middeleeuwse Studies 6 (presented at the Willibrordcongres Nijmegen, 28-30 september 1989, Nijmegen: Nijmegen Katholieke Universiteit, 1990), pp. 374–88, reprinted in Books, Scribes and Learning, by McKitterick, as above, chapter V, with original pagination

(d) Insular Palaeography

N. R. Ker, English Manuscripts in the Century after the Norman Conquest: The Lyell Lectures 1952-3 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960)

T. J. Brown, ‘Northumbria and the Book of Kells’, Anglo-Saxon England, 1 (1972), 219–46 <>, reprinted in A Palaeographer’s View: The Selected Writings of Julian Brown, by T. J. Brown, ed. by Janet Bately, Michelle P. Brown, and Jane Roberts (London: Harvey Miller, 1993), pp. 141–78; many other papers in the volume are also interesting

David N. Dumville, ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Origins of English Square Minuscule Script’, in Wessex and England from Alfred to Edgar: Six Essays on Political, Cultural and Ecclesiastical Revival, by David N. Dumville (Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 1992), pp. 55–139

Michael Gullick, ‘Professional Scribes in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century England’, in English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 Volume Seven, ed. by Peter Beal and Jeremy Griffiths, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700, 7 (London: British Library, 1998), pp. 1–24

Jane Roberts, Guide to Scripts Used in English Writings up to 1500 (London: The British Library, 2005)

Pamela R. Robinson, ‘A Twelfth-Century Scriptrix from Nunnaminster’, in Of the Making of Books: Medieval Manuscripts, Their Scribes and Readers. Essays Presented to M. B. Parkes, ed. by Pamela R. Robinson and Rivkah Zim (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997), pp. 74–93

(e) English Court Hand

Charles Johnson and Hilary Jenkinson, English Court Hand A. D. 1066 to 1500 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1915)

Hilary Jenkinson, The Later Court Hands in England, from the Fifteenth to the Seventeenth Century, Illustrated from the Common Paper of the Scriveners' Company of London, the English Writing Masters & the Public Records (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1927)

(f) English Cursive and Vernacular

Cyril Ernest Wright, English Vernacular Hands from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960)

(g) Abbreviations

Ludwig Traube, Nomina sacra: Versuch einer Geschichte der christlichen Kürzung (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1907)

Charles Trice Martin, The Record Interpreter: A Collection of Abbreviations, Latin Words and Names used in English Historical Manuscripts and Records (London: Stevens, 1910) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

(h) Punctuation

Malcolm B. Parkes, Pause and Effect: An Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1992): actually a really entertaining read...

(i) Notarial Signs

Illo Humphrey, ‘La Sténographie latine (notes dites « tironiennes ») : état de la question (histoire et tradition manuscrite • transcription et édition critique • pratique)’, in Études médiévales : Patrimoine matériel et immatériel, ed. by Illo Humphrey (presented at the Colloquia Aquitana I – 2005, Paris: Éditions Le Manuscrit, 2006), pp. 99–152

John Stanley Purvis, Notarial Signs from the York Archiepiscopal Records (London: St Anthony's Press, 1957)

(i) Digital Tools

Sukalpa Chanda, Emmanuel Okafor, Sebastian Hamel, Dominique Stützmann, Lambert Schomaker, Stefan Pletschacher, ‘Deep Learning for Classification and as Tapped-Feature Generator in Medieval Word-Image Recognition’, in DAS 2018, ed. by Stefan Pletschacher (presented at the 2018 13th IAPR International Workshop on Document Analysis Systems (DAS), April 24 2018 to April 27 2018, Vienna, Austria, Vienna: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018), pp. 217–22 <>

*Arianna Ciula, ‘The Palaeographical Method Under the Light of a Digital Approach’, in Kodikologie und Paläographie im digitalen Zeitalter. Codicology and Palaeography in the Digital Age, ed. by Malte Rehbein, Patrick Sahle, and Torsten Schaßan (Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2009), pp. 219–35

Dating Undated Medieval Charters, ed. by Michael Gervers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2002)

Mike Kestemont, Vincent Christlein, and Dominique Stutzmann, ‘Artificial Paleography: Computational Approaches to Identifying Script Types in Medieval Manuscripts’, Speculum, 92.S1, The Digital Middle Ages (2017), S86–109 <>

V. Romero, A. H. Toselli, and E. Vidal, ‘Aligning Handwritten Text Images and Transcriptions of Historic Documents’, in Digital Cultural Heritage – Essential for Tourism, ed. by Robert Sablatnig and others (presented at the 2nd EVA 2008 Vienna Conference, Vienna, August 25-28, 2008, Wien: Oesterreichische Computer Gesellschaft, 2008), pp. 87–94

*Jinna Smit, ‘The Death of the Palaeographer? Experiences with the Groningen Intelligent Writer Identification System (GIWIS)’, Archiv für Diplomatik, 57 (2011), 413–25 <>

This list was last updated on 20/01/2022