Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Archives for Digital Humanities

French Renaissance Paleography, Newberry Library website, now live!

The Newberry Library has announced that its new site, French Renaissance Paleography, is now live. Below, please find a message from the Newberry Library:
French Renaissance Paleography
A Newberry Library Project

“A self-help tool that provides integrated access to an archive of historically significant, visually captivating manuscripts held in the collection of the Newberry Library and other North American repositories. Via interactive maps, faceted browsing, and keyword searches, users can explore more than 100 French manuscript documents written between 1300 and 1700, page through a dozen historical calligraphy books, view a half-dozen historical maps, practice transcribing the documents, and more.

To use the transcription tool, users must create an account, in order to save their work. You can see all the other parts of the site–manuscripts, calligraphy books, maps, resources, reference tools, and so forth–without creating an account first.

This project is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

The project link has been added to our “Useful Links” page.

Consuelo Dutschke Awarded Medieval Academy of America’s Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies

Consuelo Dutschke, curator of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at Columbia University, has been awarded the Medieval Academy of America’s Kindrick-Cara Award for her work on the Digital Scriptorium project.

The Committee praised Dr. Dutschke’s “tireless and expert work with manuscript collections in libraries across the country. But this award specifically recognizes her leadership in the creation and development of the project known as Digital Scriptorium (DS), which she began in 1997 and which she has ‘patiently and tenaciously’ developed, organized and promoted to the present….Consuelo has been a tireless advocate and teacher for the project and its many uses, guided all the while by her ‘constancy, optimism, and skillful diplomacy,’ which has allowed the project to flourish. The letters of nominations were exuberant in their praise for her profound technical skills, the breadth of her knowledge, her ability to learn new technologies and media, and her boundless generosity toward colleagues, students and scholars. Her endeavors truly constitute an outstanding contribution to the field of Medieval Studies, for which we humbly thank her and offer this award in recognition.”

A warm, heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Dutschke for this recognition!

The Manuscripts Lab (Cambridge/Stanford)

A great opportunity for collaborative, open-access scholarship in relation to manuscript studies:
“The Manuscripts Lab” is a digital collaboration between Cambridge and Stanford that promotes the study of manuscripts.
The Lab aims to provide a digital forum for collaborative work, whether research or pedagogical, across universities and thus promote the study and research of handwritten cultures. In particular, it aims to provide an open access venue for publishing what we call “jottings.” That is, small discoveries or insights that would not necessarily make an article-length piece, but could be useful for students and scholars. Unlike blogs or similar digital publications, anything published on the website undergoes a thorough system of peer review which ensures quality, yet maintains all the benefits of open access.

The Durham Priory Library Recreated Project


Durham Priory Library Recreated, an exciting collaborative digitization project between Durham University and Durham Cathedral, has been launched. The project aims to create an online, digital version of Durham Cathedral’s Priory Library, which is Britain’s best preserved medieval and Renaissance monastic library and a collection of international significance. With around 480 manuscript volumes dating from the sixth century and 110 pre-1540 printed books, the Durham Priory Library includes masterpieces of calligraphy and illumination that shed light on European historical and textual traditions, calligraphic practices and patterns of use through this period.

By re-uniting the entire collection for the first time since its dispersal due to the Dissolution in 1539, Durham University and Durham Cathedral hope that the project will encourage a surge of related academic research and activity, leading to both a better understanding of the life of Durham’s priory and also fresh insights into evolving intellectual, religious and artistic trends over the centuries.

Find further information about the project through the following media:

  • A Project Notice (PDF available here) which summarises the initiative and provides contact details of relevant University and Cathedral staff for enquiries and expressions of interest / support;
  • The project website: We will be adding further information and functionality to the website as the project progresses;
  • A Demonstration Site ( where images of the manuscripts digitized so far can be accessed by clicking anywhere on the screen;
  • A video profiling the Durham Priory Library Recreated project: The video features Professor Faith Wallis, a Visiting Fellow from McGill University, Canada;
  • An example of news coverage generated by our recent project launch.

The link to the project website will be added to the “Useful Links” page in the Resources section of our website!

Virtual St. Stephen’s Project (University of York, UK)

The Virtual St. Stephen’s Project, at the University of York in the UK, is an ongoing AHRC-funded interdisciplinary research project on St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster as a building and institution from 1292-1941. Below, please find a message from the Project’s team:


Ever wondered how a medieval palace chapel was built?  St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster (constructed 1292-1363) was one of the most influential buildings of its age, and extensive records of its creation survive in the National Archives, London.  From 21st November 2015, we will be using Twitter to post a live feed of a whole year of the chapel’s building accounts (1323-24) in real time.  It will be updated twice weekly, showing details of materials, workmen and techniques which give a unique glimpse into the world of medieval building.

Follow us at

This Twitter feed forms part of the Virtual St Stephen’s Project based at the University of York, a facet of the wider AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster: Visual & Political Culture 1292-1941.  The accounts we are using are being transcribed and translated for publication as a critical edition by Dr Maureen Jurkowski and Prof. Tim Ayers.  This project is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.


Columbia Med-Ren will include the above-cited links in the Resources section of our website.

New website: Historical Soundscapes of Andalusia

A wonderful new resource designed to explore the urban soundscapes of Andalusia from c. 1200-1800 is available at Check it out — it’s fascinating!

New Online Resource for Studying Manuscripts

The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library has launched vHMML (virtual Hill Museum & Manuscript Library) <>, and it is an excellent new resource for the study of manuscripts in their collection, which will now be available to peruse online. In addition, vHMML has many other resources: instruction in Latin and Syriac scripts in School<>, Latin and Syriac annotated images in Folio<>, answers to terminological questions in Lexicon<>, and bibliography in Reference<> (exportable to Zotero, and with links to digital versions in

vHMML is constantly being updated, and it looks like an amazing resource. We’ve put the link in the resources section of our website!

Digital Dante Relaunched!

Columbia’s Digital Dante website was relaunched this month as a collaboration among the Department of Italian, Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, and Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ Humanities and History Division.

Congratulations to all involved!

Digital Dante image