Written in Nahuatl, this mid-16th-century manuscript contains sermons by the famed Franciscan missionary Bernardino de Sahagún. Call number: Ayer MS 1485

The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies provides hands-on, in-depth training in reading difficult early scripts. Every summer, we offer a multi-week institute directed by a leading scholar in paleography.

We'll begin accepting applications online around January 15 for the upcoming summer institutes. Applications will be due March 1. A letter of interest, CV, and one recommendation letter are required.

Upcoming Institutes

French Paleography, July 8-19, 2024

This two-week summer institute provides training in the reading and transcriptions of French manuscripts and documents from the thirteenth through the seventeenth centuries. With the goal of developing skills and techniques for working with rare and archival sources in a variety of disciplinary contexts, participants will undertake intensive study of a variety of texts representing the history of handwriting in France. Complementing this central focus on paleography, the course introduces participants to related topics including writing and reading cultures of late medieval and early modern France; and codicology, manuscript production, and material cultures of the book.

The institute enrolls 15 participants by competitive application. First consideration will be given to advanced graduate students and junior faculty in the Center for Renaissance Studies Consortium universities. Applications are accepted from advanced graduate students and junior faculty from universities, professional staff of libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars.

Learn More

Online Tools

Free online tools from the Newberry and other institutions can help you develop your paleography skills and practice them on a range of historic documents.

Italian Paleography, a Newberry Project

Courses in Paleography and Archival Studies with the Medici Archive Project, fee-based courses with both online elements and onsite training in Florence

Italian Paleography Workbook, by Armando Petrucci and Franca Petrucci Nardelli (PDF)

Bibliography for Resources in Italian Paleography, compiled by Armando Petrucci and Franca Petrucci Nardelli

Cappelli, Dizionario di Abbreviature Latini ed Italiani (Milan, 1912) - click on the abbreviations to link to scans of the original pages

Medieval Palaeography, West Sussex Records Council

Paléographie latine, by Franz Steffens (Trèves, Paris , 1910)

Curso de Paleografía Latino Hispanoamericana, Víctor Hugo Arévalo Jordán

Some Printed Archive Catalogs for Early Modern Spain, Carla Rahn Phillips, University of Minnesota, 2005

Spanish Dictionaries, Paleography Manuals, and Related Studies: A Selected Bibliography, Carla Rahn Phillips, University of Minnesota, 2005

Spanish Paleography Tool, CUNY Dominican Studies Institute

Get In Touch

Center for Renaissance Studies Staff

Lia Markey, Director

Christopher Fletcher, Assistant Director

Dylan Bingham, Program Manager