Digital Palaeography Workshop

Dates: January 18-22, 2021
Instructors: Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis - Department of Classics, Princeton University and David Jenkins - Firestone Library, Princeton University

This tuition-free online workshop is being offered as part of Princeton University's participation in the Rome-based graduate seminars jointly sponsored with the universities of Notre Dame and Stanford, and supported by funding from Princeton's Humanities Council. It is intended to provide graduate students from various fields, including Mediaeval and Early Modern Literature and History, Classics, Religion, and Art & Archaeology with an intensive initiation to Greek palaeography while also exploring the potential for original scholarship in digitized manuscript libraries. The workshop will simultaneously examine how the constraints of remote research may prove consonant with the digital resources increasingly at our disposal and the expanded possibilities for what used to be privileged access to otherwise rarefied historical sources.

Course Description

The workshop will pivot mainly from the Vatican Library's Greek manuscript collection and cover the gamut of palaeographical skills and analyses required to conduct research on various aspects of mediaeval books and literature. We will survey the main mediaeval Greek scripts and the characteristics which enable us to date codices; we will review the online (and print) tools for doing Greek manuscript research and how to make efficient use of them for a variety of research aims.


In addition to daily transcription assignments designed to instill proficiency in the various Byzantine Greek scripts, students will draw up a palaeographical profile of a topic of their choice using the growing number of online materials and platforms.


The workshop will run from January 18 to 22, 2021. It will meet online for two hours per day, from 10am–12pm (EST), with an anticipated 2-3 hours of work each day outside of class.


We welcome applications from qualified graduate students who can demonstrate a level of Classical/Mediaeval Greek commensurate with the demands of reading a broad range of mostly higher register texts (in most cases that means at least 2-3 years of university-level Greek). As all meetings will be held live online and make use of highresolution images, participation will require a stable high-speed internet connection.

How to Apply

Students should send PDFs of the following to
– a short letter describing your interest in Greek palaeography and its bearing on your current doctoral work or future research,
– a one-page CV detailing your studies thus far,
– a letter of reference from a faculty member familiar with your work

Application Deadline: October 15, 2020*
* We expect to notify all applicants by November 2, 2020.

For all inquires about the course or the requirements, please write to