Winter School in Latin Paleography and Codicology

With the kind collaboration of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV), the University of Notre Dame offers its Winter School in Latin Paleography and Codicology at its Rome Global Gateway. This two-week intensive course will introduce participants to various aspects of Latin Paleography and Western Codicology, offering a balance of theoretical and practical applications.

Participants will develop mastery of abbreviation systems, the ability to identify, classify, localize, and date western book hands (ca. 1100-1500), and an understanding of the historical development and influence of Latin scripts. Western codicological principles and an introduction to analytical manuscript description will enable participants to interpret the manuscript as a complete object by utilizing physical properties such as collation, ruling patterns, and decoration in parallel with the script.

A special feature of the course will be extensive visits to the Vatican Library, which provide the opportunity for participants to apply the skills and techniques from the seminars with medieval manuscripts in situ. Discussion sections will offer a chance for students to share their experiences in a group setting and discuss various problems and difficulties. The course will culminate in a final presentation in which students present the fruits of their research and field questions from the audience.

Two evening lectures by specialists will provide in-depth supplementary content to particular aspects of the seminars.

2022 Dates

2022 Winter School is postponed due to COVID-19 and replacement dates will be forthcoming


The two-week course will take place in various sites in Roma and Città del Vaticano


Dr. David T. Gura, curator of Ancient of Medieval Manuscripts and concurrent associate professor of paleography, will teach the course and supervise manuscript research.


Applications from graduate and postgraduate students, and early career faculty in Classics, Patristics, and all areas of Medieval Studies are welcome. Prior and advanced knowledge of Latin is essential. The course will be conducted in English.

Program Costs

The program fee is $1,000 (USD), which includes tuition, course materials, a welcome reception, fives lunches at the ND Gateway sessions, and two dinners.


Participants will secure their own lodging in Rome during the Winter School. A list of participants and contact info will be shared, in the case that participants may rent accommodations together to defray the cost (e.g., Airbnb, etc.).

Application Materials

Applications will open in Fall 2021. Applicants will be required to submit a CV and letter of application (be sure to specify Latin language experience, research topic, and the need for training in paleography and codicology), and the contact information for one letter of recommendation. 


Payment instructions will be sent upon confirmation of acceptance. Deadline for tuition payments to be announced in Fall 2021.


All questions may be directed to: Dr. David T. Gura, Curator, Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, University of Notre Dame (