Archival Program Information
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July 27–August 14, 2009
The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California

Directed by Professor Maddalena Signorini, Universitá degli Studi di Roma

Receipt / Guercino
This three-week residential course offers intensive training in the accurate reading and transcription of handwritten Italian vernacular texts from the late medieval though the early modern periods. The instruction is intended to enable scholars in various fields of specialization to acquire the skills to work with primary sources. While the major emphasis is on paleographical skills, the course offers an introduction to materials and techniques, and considers the history of scripts within the larger historical, literary, intellectual, and social contexts of Italy. Students receive an introduction to a wide range of types of writing and documents from literary to legal, notarial, official, ecclesiastical, business, and family documents. The course offers an overview of the system of Italian archives—public, ecclesiastical, and private. Students also have the opportunity to work with original texts, using inventories, letters, diaries, and other types of manuscripts and documents from the special collections of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute. The course is taught in Italian.

Receipt detail / Guercino
The institute enrolls fifteen participants. Advanced language skills in Italian are required. First consideration will be given to advanced graduate students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities, but applications will also be accepted from advanced graduate students and junior faculty at Canadian institutions, from professional staff of U.S. and Canadian libraries and museums, and from qualified independent scholars. All participants will receive a $750 stipend. Participants residing elsewhere and who must travel to Los Angeles will be reimbursed for travel and housing expenses, with receipts, up to $2,250.

Directing the institute is Maddalena Signorini, associate professor of Latin paleography at the Universitá degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata." Professor Signorini is an experienced teacher of Latin and vernacular paleography and has directed the institute for the Getty in 2007. She is a widely published and distinguished scholar whose own research interests are in Italian vernacular texts and the context of transcription in the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. She has written extensively on Petrarch, the culture of literacy, copyists, and the early moment of the printed book.

Download application materials (PDF, 46 KB)

Application deadline is March 2, 2009

This course is one of eight summer institutes in vernacular paleography supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. For more information on the Spanish, English, and French paleography institutes to be held at research libraries in the United States in 2009–2012, please visit