Heather Wolfe

English Paleography, 1500-1750

25-29 July 2011

1)      How useful were the pre-course readings? (Leave blank if you applied and were accepted late for the course, and thus did not get the list in time.)

1: The pre-course readings helped provide the historical context of the subject and gave examples of letterforms and handwriting styles that prepared me for in-class work—served as a great preview. 2: Very, particularly the online transcription tutorials, which I expect will also be useful as refreshers. Really useful to see new and interesting online tools as well as printed sources. 3: Very useful. Being relatively inexperienced at transcribing manuscripts from this period, I was glad for a thorough introduction to the letterforms. 6: Useful and may be even more useful as books to go back to after class. 7: Very.

2)     Were the course syllabus and other materials distributed in class appropriate and useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)? 

1: Yes, all handouts and exercises were useful and will serve as guides when I practice work at home. 2: Definitely. 3: Yes; the various manuscript examples were great for practice, and the workbook will be an invaluable reference. 4: The workbook is a concise and eminently useful resource—I'm assuming I will keep it close at hand whenever I'm deciphering manuscripts (which will be often) in the coming years. 5: Yes, and yes! 6: Yes!!! The workbook will be very helpful for future transcriptions and the copies of correctly transcribed MSS will be good for practice. 7: Yes, and yes.

3)     What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?

1: Practice with mixed hand, as many documents in our collection follow similar forms. 2: General knowledge of period hands will be very useful for my research projects and getting some good time to practice different forms was quite handy. 3: Although we students come from very different backgrounds, I do think the intellectual level was appropriate, and appropriately challenging, for us all. The tutorial on using online resources [may be] most relevant to me in the future. 4: I would have preferred more frequent exercises in side-by-side comparisons of hands; this kind of ability to distinguish between (or match) individual hands was a major reason I took the course. 5: Personally, I would have enjoyed more work on literary manuscripts and/or discussion of textual editing, although these are probably not suggestions that would be of interest to most other students in the course. 6: Yes. All of interest and relevance. 7: Level at perfect pitch. Content of greatest relevance.

4)    What did you like best about the course?

1: The constant practice, great workbook, friendships, humor, demonstrations of online resources, group knowledge (diverse occupations represented). 2: In-the-round transcriptions were extremely helpful, as was the wide variety of examples used. HW's enthusiasm and patience were a great asset—keep her around. 3: Reading the examples out loud. 4: HW was (is!) a warm and efficient instructor; we moved through dense and, at times, mundane material with a sense of both purpose and fun. 5: Very hands-on, supportive instructor, and small class size meant lots of personal attention and help. 6: Learning the skills and obtaining resources for future improvement. 7: Wonderful teacher. Most, most congenial cohort of co-participants.

5)     Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey?

1: Yes, HW was great. 2: See above, but absolutely, yes. 3: Absolutely. 4: Oh yes. 5: Yes, HW was very thorough and gave me an excellent foundation for future study and research. 6: Absolutely. 7: Yes.


6)     Did you learn what the course description/advertisements indicated you would learn?

1-7: Yes.

7)    Did you learn what you wanted to learn in the course? Y/N                                                                                  

1-7: Yes.

8)     How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?

1: Work transcriptions/finding aid development. Teaching high school programs at the museum—early exposure. 2: Will be immediately useful in several ongoing research projects. 3: In cataloging manuscripts, and books with manuscript annotations. 4: In my graduate (doctoral) research, and in libraries on both sides of the Atlantic. 5: I intend to use the skills learned and resources discovered in both my teaching and my research. Because it is a very new subject to me, I think that it will open up new and exciting possibilities previously unknown to me. 6-7: Research.

9)    How could the course have been improved? If you have a suggestion for a new course (and—equally important—a person who could teach it), please contact the RBS Program Director.

1: N/A 2: Better integration of the images we use for final projects would be helpful. 3: The only aspect that I did not enjoy so much was transcribing documents in pairs on the computer; in the round, everyone can move at her own pace, but in pairs are sometimes moving in competitions. 4: Again, I would've enjoyed hands and identifying authors. 5: I have no real suggestions for improvement of the course. 7: Scans of documents need to be better resolution. Xeroxes of documents should be clearer and larger, so as to improve reading and provide space for notes.

10)    If your course left its classroom to visit Special Collections (SC) or to make other field trips away from your classroom, was the time devoted to this purpose well spent?

1: Yes, rare manuscript visit was amazing—we read documents for practice. 2: Very useful—great manuscripts! 3: Yes! 5: Yes! 6-7: Yes.

11)    We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa's Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?

1: Good overall—maybe more support used under documents. 2: Was managed just fine. 3: Everyone was respectful on the materials which were well-stored and well-presented. 4-5: N/A. 7: Current practices are okay.

12)    If you attended the optional evening events (e.g. RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Booksellers' Night) were they worth attending?

1: Yes. 2: Attended both evening lectures—enjoyed each. 3: Yes! 4: N/A. 5: Yes! 7: YES. The lectures were very good, especially Leah Price's.

13)    Did you get your (or your institutions) money's worth? Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year?

1: Yes! I couldn't have asked for a better experience. 2: Absolutely. 3: Yes! 4: Yes. 5: Yes! 6-7: Yes.

14)    Would you recommend this course to others?

1: Yes! 2: Again, absolutely—great class, great teacher. 3: Yes! 4: Very highly. 5-6: Yes! 7: Yes.

Number of respondents: 7





Institution gave me leave




I took vacation time




N/A: self-employed, retired or had the summers off




I am self-employed

Work has nothing to do with RBS course






Institution paid tuition




Institution paid tuition ___%




I paid tuition myself




Exchange or barter




N/A: Self-employed, retired or scholarship





Institution paid housing




Institution paid for ___% of housing




I paid for my own housing




N/A: stayed with friends or lived at home







Institution paid travel




Institution paid ___% of my travel




I paid my own travel




N/A: lived nearby








There were 1 archivist/manuscript librarians (14%), 1 social media coordinator (14%), 1 Ph.D. student (14%), 1 professor of renaissance literature (14%), 1 M.A. student (14%), 2 rare book librarians (30%).

Where did you stay?

Brown College—1

The Lawn—2

Cavalier Inn—1

Budget Inn—1