Module Information

Module Identifier
PGM1400
Module Title
Using Manuscript Sources for Medieval Studies; Palaeography, Diplomatic and Context
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Wellens (Head of Graduate School - University of Nottingham)
 

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3000 word documentary analysis  50%
Semester Assessment Editorial project  50%
Supplementary Assessment Editorial project and / or Documentary analysis  - Resubmission of failed components using a different text from original submission  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. read handwriting commonly encountered in archives and manuscripts dating from the 12th -16th century in Britain and transcribe or calendar using appropriate editorial methods
2. outline the development of handwriting in western Europe from Roman times onwards
3. identify specific styles of writing and use appropriate descriptive terms
4. recognise the use of "common form" in a wide range of documents over time
5. evaluate editorial techniques appropriate to different sources and apply them systematically;
6. explain the relationship between major creators of records and the pattern of records created
7. evaluate sources which may be used to supply information in specific circumstances
8. demonstrate competence in the use of appropriate secondary sources and reference material
9. read and understand, in the original language, a straight-forward Latin administrative document of a standard type

Brief description

In order to read and interpret medieval manuscript sources, students must understand the historical development of the handwriting in which they are written (palaeography), the development of "common form" in formal documents (diplomatic), and the context in which these sources were created. This includes the administrative structures and purposes that generated written records; the nature of the narrative sources and less formal writings; how all these records and manuscripts accumulated over time; where they are/may be located today and which series/examples are available in print. Practical skills (including language) are developed through exercises in reading, transcription and documentary analysis, and by classes in Medieval Latin.

Aims

In order to read and interpret medieval manuscript sources, students must understand the historical development of the handwriting in which they are written (palaeography), the development of "common form" in formal documents (diplomatic), and the context in which these sources were created. This includes the administrative structures and purposes that generated written records; the nature of the narrative sources and less formal writings; how all these records and manuscripts accumulated over time; where they are/may be located today and which series/examples are available in print. Practical skills (including language) are developed through exercises in reading, transcription and documentary analysis, and by classes in Medieval Latin.

Content

In order to read and interpret medieval manuscript sources, students must understand the historical development of the handwriting in which they are written (palaeography), the development of "common form" in formal documents (diplomatic), and the context in which these sources were created. This includes the administrative structures and purposes that generated written records; the nature of the narrative sources and less formal writings; how all these records and manuscripts accumulated over time; where they are/may be located today and which series/examples are available in print. Practical skills (including language) are developed through exercises in reading, transcription and documentary analysis, and by classes in Medieval Latin.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This skill is widely developed, because of the need to understand pre-decimal currency (£.s.d), Roman numerals, fractions of pounds sterling, and historical accounting practices, and also to identify dates, convert them to modern equivalents and accommodate calendar changes. Progress is assessed in practicals and Assignment 2.
Communication Written communication is enhanced through the need for precision in transcription, calendaring and translation (Assignment 2) and through the process of documentary analysis (Assignment 1). Interactive practicals also develop communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance Successful progress in this module is dependent on individual effort, especially during guided/supervised practical work, and a willingness to persevere as directed. The assignments provide clear evidence of individual progress.
Information Technology Specific websites and on-line resources are used as part of the learning process. Students also discover the limitations/disadvantages of automatic spellcheckers when typing transcripts which must retain original archaic spelling.
Personal Development and Career planning Maturity and confidence are fostered through the development of applied skill and understanding of source material and through working as a closely knit class. New career ideas and research interests often emerge.
Problem solving The whole process of learning to read manuscripts is a problem solving exercise, requiring systematic approaches to identifying archaic letter shapes and abbreviations and considerable initiative. Progress is assessed in the practical assignment.
Research skills Learning to read, interpret and evaluate the primary sources and to use appropriate reference material to assist this process is fundamentally important to the research process. Progress is assessed through both assignments.
Subject Specific Skills Learning to read, interpret and evaluate essential primary sources is a fundamental need for students of medieval history. Progress is assessed through both assignments. It is expected that the skills gained in this module will be transferable to the student's own research project
Team work Students are encouraged to work together during the early stages of practical work. This has a proven benefit to individual progress overall, but is not assessed.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7