This seminar is designed to introduce Ph.D. students from across the humanities to the unique primary sources available in Rome. Working hands-on with materials in the city’s archives and libraries, students will be exposed to the rich potential of a wide range of sources produced from 1100 to 2020. Seminar meetings will be held at the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Biblioteca Nazionale, and the Archivio di Stato, and elsewhere. The seminar will also include a series of presentations by senior scholars who will discuss how they have collected and interpreted Roman primary sources in their own research.
There are extraordinary and understudied materials in libraries and archives in the city for archeologists and classicists, art historians and historians, musicologists and students of theater and performance, historians of late antiquity, the Middle Ages, the early modern period and the world, specialists in the Near East and East Asia. The holdings of the Vatican Library alone include priceless manuscripts and documents from East Asia, the near East, and North Africa – as well as a vast collection of ancient, medieval and early modern texts in Greek and Latin, a unique resource for the history and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, of Christianity from its origins until recent times, of relations between Christians and Jews from antiquity onwards, and other subjects without number.
Rome Seminar participants at Biblioteca Nazionale
"This seminar has changed how I will do academic research for the rest of my career." 2019 participant
“This was the single most enriching experience of my graduate career!” 2018 participant
Previous seminar participants include students of art history, history, political science, medieval studies, and musicology. Their areas of intellectual interest ranged from humanism under the popes to textile production under the fascists. They have worked in the archives with Anglo-Latin manuscripts, a Hebrew Arthurian legend, and twentieth-century letters. Participants have come from Catholic University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Melbourne, University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame, University of Toronto, and others.
This seminar is made possible by generous support from Stanford University, the Princeton University Humanities Council, and from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, the Charles and Margaret Hall Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, and the Center for Italian Studies.
We welcome applications from students from any discipline at any stage in their graduate education. To be eligible to apply, you must be enrolled full-time in a Ph.D. program. The focus of your research need not be Rome but you should have an interest in developing that research through the use of primary sources located in the city. Each successful applicant will receive a stipend of up to $3,500 to defray travel costs, housing, and meals in Rome.