Archival Program Information
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July 10–28, 2017
The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California

Directed by Professor Maddalena Signorini, Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata"

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This three-week residential course offers an intensive introduction to reading and transcription of handwritten Italian vernacular texts from the late medieval though the early modern periods. The course is taught in Italian.

While the emphasis is on building paleographical skills, the course also offers an overview of materials and techniques, and considers the history of scripts within the larger historical, literary, intellectual, and social contexts of Italy. Participants practice on a wide range of documents including literary, personal, legal, notarial, official, and ecclesiastical works. The course provides insight into the systems of Italian archives and allows participants to work with inventories, letters, diaries, and other primary source materials from the Getty Research Institute and other collections in the area.

Directing the institute is Maddalena Signorini, associate professor of Latin paleography at the Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata." Professor Signorini is an experienced teacher of Latin and Italian vernacular paleography and has directed several previous summer institutes. A widely published and distinguished scholar, Professor Signorini's 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.


The institute enrolls 15 participants by competitive application. First consideration will be given to advanced graduate students and junior faculty at U.S. colleges and universities. Applications are also 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. This graduate-level course is taught in Italian and requires advanced language skills.


Participants will receive a stipend of $970; nonlocal participants may receive reimbursement of up to an additional $2,500 for travel and housing. There are no fees associated with the institute.


Application deadline was March 10, 2017.

Applicants are required to register through the Getty's grant application portal (using the "Register" button in the lower right) and submit an online application, which includes an essay and curriculum vitae. Additional questions about the Italian Paleography Institute can be emailed to

This Getty Research Institute program is part of the Mellon Summer Institutes in Vernacular Paleography, funded by a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies. View the list of paleography resources for English, French, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.