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Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting: Methods and Issues | CEMS Oxford

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Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting: Methods and Issues

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T. S. Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College, Thursday 25 April, 9.15-4. Organized by the Centre for Early Modern Studies and Merton College History of the Book Group, with the co-operation of the Bodleian Library Centre for the Study of the Book. This one-day workshop will bring together leading early modern scholars, palaeographers and digital humanities experts from the UK, the USA, France and Italy to discuss current scholarly approaches to the description of early modern English handwriting and to explore the potential for the use of digital technologies in future collaborative work. Although the past twenty years have seen a rapid growth in scholarship on early modern English manuscripts, the study of handwriting in the period still seems to be in its infancy. Methods of describing, distinguishing and identifying hands differ from scholar to scholar and, although the work of individual early modernists is often based on very substantial unarticulated ‘tacit knowledge’ about the dating and differentiation of script styles, little detailed work on the topic has been published. Most of the scholarship in the area focuses, in an ad hoc way, on high-status manuscripts and on the identification of hands associated with major figures. The workshop will explore the potential for future collaboration on more comprehensive and systematic ways of understanding the variation between different hands in the period. and specifically the possibilities for a new project which will aim to produce substantial publicly-available material mapping key elements in the development of English handwriting between 1500 and 1700. There will be four sessions. Speakers in the first session will describe some of the challenges currently facing scholars working on early modern English handwriting. New ways of addressing these challenges will be described by the speakers in the second session, all of whom are involved in research applying digital technologies to palaeography. In the final formal session, a distinguished panel will discuss specific samples of early modern handwriting. Following the main sessions there will be a planning meeting to discuss potential funding bids, which will be open to any interested parties. Registration here Cost: £20, graduates £15

Draft Programme – subject to revision 9.15-9.30 Registration 9.30 Welcome David Norbrook (CEMS), Julia Walworth (Librarian, Merton College) 9.35-10.45 Problems Chair: Colin Burrow (Oxford) Early Modern Handwriting in Theory and Practice Jonathan Gibson (Open University) From Hands to Heads: Chasing Elizabeth I's Scribes Carlo M. Bajetta (Aosta) English or French hands? The Case of Queen Elizabeth I's Letters in French Guillaume Coatalen (Cergy-Pontoise) 10.45-11.00 Tea and coffee 11.00-12.30 Solutions Chair: Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) Forensic Handwriting Analysis Tom Davis (Birmingham)



Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting: Methods and Issues | CEMS Oxford Digital Alphabets and Early Modern Hand Identification Steven W. May (Sheffield) Graphetic profiling and scribal identification Simon Horobin (Oxford) 'I saw it on CSI...': Forming Digital Technology for Humanities Research Julia Craig-McFeely (Oxford) 12.30-1.30 Lunch 1.30-2.45 Round Table Chair: Gabriel Heaton (Sotheby's) Peter Beal (Institute of English Studies, London) William Poole (Oxford) Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library) Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford) 2.45-3.00 Tea and coffee 3.00-4.00 Open project planning meeting Chair: Giles Bergel (Oxford) The workshop has been timed so that delegates can also attend one of Professor Richard Beadle’s Lyell Lectures, ‘Medieval English Literary Autographs 1: Fugitive Pieces’, in the same venue at 5pm.

Speakers and Chairs Carlo M. Bajetta is Professor of English at the Università della Valle d'Aosta, Italy. He has published extensively on early modern manuscripts and bibliography and is the author of a monograph on the texts of Ralegh's poetry as well as of books on Shakespeare, Renaissance Venice and C.S. Lewis. He is currently editing the Italian letters of Elizabeth I. Giles Bergel teaches Bibliography and Textual Criticism in the Oxford English Faculty. He has been involved in a number of digitization projects including Integrating Broadside Ballad Resources Online. Colin Burrow is a Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford. He served on the Advisory Board of Scriptorium, a project for the digitization of a number of manuscript commonplace books, and his many publications include Manuscript Miscellanies c. 1450-1700, English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700 volume 16 (London, 2011), edited with Richard Beadle, and an edition of The Poems for the new Cambridge University Press Collected Works of Ben Jonson. Guillaume Coatalen is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France. He has published editions of early modern manuscripts for the Review of English Studies and English Manuscript Studies 1100-1700. He is currently working alongside Carlo Bajetta on an international research project editing the holograph and secretarial letters of Elizabeth I, focusing on Elizabeth's French correspondence. Julia Craig-McFeely is Research Fellow at the Music Faculty, Oxford University. She is project manager of the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music and is an internationally renowned expert in digital manuscript imaging. In 2008 she was one of the team of specialists who undertook the pilot project to digitise the Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem. Her doctorate on early modern lute manuscripts, currently available in an extended version online, is a major contribution to sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript study. Tom Davis is a palaeographer specialising in early modern literature, now retired from the English Department at the University of Birmingham. He has worked as a forensic document expert for the UK legal system and has written about digital handwriting analysis for The Library (2007). Jonathan Gibson is Lecturer in English at the Open University. He is a specialist in early modern English manuscript culture and has published articles on a wide range of early modern topics, including the handwriting of Elizabeth I and the structure of early modern manuscript miscellanies. Gabriel Heaton is Deputy Director and Specialist in the Department of Books and Manuscripts at Sothebys, where he oversees the sale of English literary and historical manuscripts. He has published essays on early modern manuscripts and is the author Writing and Reading Royal Entertainments: From George Gascoigne to Ben Jonson (Oxford University Press). Simon Horobin is Professor of English Language and Literature and Tutorial Fellow in English at Magdalen College, Oxford. An expert in the history of literary language and in dialectology, he is also co-director of Late Medieval English Scribes, an AHRC-funded project identifying the scribes responsible for copying major works of Middle English literature. Steven W. May, Professor Emeritus at Georgetown College, is the author of The Elizabethan Courtier Poets: Their Poems and Their Contexts, as well as of many other important books, essays, and articles on English Renaissance literature. The



Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting: Methods and Issues | CEMS Oxford compiler of Elizabethan Poetry: A Bibliography and First Line Index of English Verse, 1559-1603, he is currently Principal Investigator on the Early Modern Manuscript Poetry project at the University of Sheffield. David Norbrook is Merton Professor of Renaissance English Literature at the University of Oxford and general editor of the Oxford edition of the works of Lucy Hutchinson. William Poole is Official Tutorial Fellow and Fellow Librarian at New College, Oxford. Among his current projects are editions of the complete correspondence of John Aubrey and, for Oxford University Press, the complete correspondence of Robert Hooke. He is also writing the entries for post-1500 manuscripts for the Catalogue of Manuscripts of New College, Oxford, a project he oversees. Daniel Wakelin is Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography at the University of Oxford. He has published extensively on fourteenth- and fifteenth-century manuscript culture and is currently working on a monograph on the processes of correction in late medieval manuscripts. Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC. She has written on a wide range of topics in early modern manuscript culture and is the editor of the life and letters of Elizabeth Cary. Henry Woudhuysen is Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford. One of the general editors of the Arden Shakespeare, he has produced editions of Renaissance and modern texts as well as much influential scholarship on early modern English manuscript practice, including Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts, 1558-1640. He is currently closely involved with major digital humanities projects, including The Electronic Enlightenment and the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts.

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Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting:  
Describing, Analysing and Identifying Early Modern Handwriting:  

Methods and Issue