M-70. The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts

Heather Wolfe

Course Length: 30 hours
Course Week: 7–12 July 2024
Format: in person, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA
Fee: $1,395

This course is intended for anyone who is curious about English manuscripts from the Tudor and Stuart periods. It provides an intensive introduction to handwriting in early modern England, with a particular emphasis on English secretary hand. Working from digital images and an online transcription platform, participants will be trained in the accurate reading and transcription of secretary, italic, and mixed hands. We will also experiment with contemporary writing materials (quills, iron gall ink, and paper), learn the terminology for describing and comparing letterforms, decipher abbreviations, numbers, and dates, and discuss the important and evolving role of handwritten documents within a wider context of print, manuscript, and oral cultures. By the end of the week, each participant will create a “mini-edition” of a manuscript.

Course History

Heather Wolfe teaches this course online (22 hours).
Heather Wolfe teaches this course in person as "The Handwriting & Culture of Early Modern English Manuscripts."
Heather Wolfe teaches this course in person as "English Paleography, 1500–1750."
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Heather Wolfe

Heather Wolfe

Heather Wolfe is Curator of Manuscripts at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Her first book, Elizabeth Cary, Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (2000) received the first annual Josephine Roberts Scholarly Edition Award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She has written widely on the intersections between manuscript and print culture in early modern England, and edited The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608 (2007)The Literary Career and Legacy of Elizabeth Cary (2007), and Letterwriting in Renaissance England (2004) (with Alan Stewart). Her essay “The Material Culture of Record-Keeping in Early Modern England,” co-written with Peter Stallybrass, received the 2019 Archival History Article Award from the Society of American Archivists. She is currently working on a book on writing paper in early modern England. She received her BA from Amherst College, her M.L.I.S. from UCLA, and her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.


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