Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts

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10/10 stars
based on  46 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

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Course Provider

Stanford Online online courses
Stanford Lagunita offers a variety of professional education opportunities in conjunction with many of the University’s schools and departments. We also offer an array of free online courses taught by Stanford faculty to lifelong learners worldwide. We foster collaboration with other education organizations by sharing course material, data-driven research, and source code for enhancements to our open-source platform Stanford Lagunita. We continually experiment to improve what we do throu...
Stanford Lagunita offers a variety of professional education opportunities in conjunction with many of the University’s schools and departments. We also offer an array of free online courses taught by Stanford faculty to lifelong learners worldwide. We foster collaboration with other education organizations by sharing course material, data-driven research, and source code for enhancements to our open-source platform Stanford Lagunita. We continually experiment to improve what we do through creative use of technology, and we share what we learn with the rest of the world.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
393 reviews

Course Description

Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts introduces you to the study of early text technologies, focusing principally on the medieval book, but covering other textual objects, too, such as scrolls and diplomata. The Digging Deeper team of scholars from Stanford and Cambridge reveals how to investigate manuscripts within repository settings and through online resources, what to look out for when confronted with manuscript images, and how to exploit all the information a manuscript offers. You will learn major characteristics of book production, the terms and methods used by manuscript historians to describe the book, and key themes in early book history. Where were manuscripts made and who made them? What kinds of materials were used and what can those materials tell us? What kinds of texts were created and copied during these centuries? How did multilingualism matter in the medieval period? In pursuing these questions, you will study some ...

Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts introduces you to the study of early text technologies, focusing principally on the medieval book, but covering other textual objects, too, such as scrolls and diplomata. The Digging Deeper team of scholars from Stanford and Cambridge reveals how to investigate manuscripts within repository settings and through online resources, what to look out for when confronted with manuscript images, and how to exploit all the information a manuscript offers. You will learn major characteristics of book production, the terms and methods used by manuscript historians to describe the book, and key themes in early book history. Where were manuscripts made and who made them? What kinds of materials were used and what can those materials tell us? What kinds of texts were created and copied during these centuries? How did multilingualism matter in the medieval period? In pursuing these questions, you will study some of the most significant and beautiful books held by the university libraries of Cambridge and Stanford.

Digging Deeper is a six-week course, with each week featuring filmed sequences of experts with manuscripts, reading assignments, a short transcription, and self-testing quizzes. Assignments will help you develop a basic knowledge of how to access manuscripts in person and online, skills in codicology (the study of the medieval book and the physical make-up of manuscripts), palaeography (the describing and analysis of medieval scripts), and transcription (the reading and interpretation of writing in manuscripts). Participants who finish the course will earn a Stanford Statement of Accomplishment.

Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts will be followed in Spring with a course focusing on the interpretation and preservation of manuscripts in the digital era.

Reviews 10/10 stars
46 Reviews for Digging Deeper: Making Manuscripts

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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
This course was FANTASTIC ! The course team did a good work. Very professional !! I hope participate in anothers courses of this University, organized by these dedicated professors. Julio César (Brazil)
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Martin Morgan

10/10 starsCompleted
2 years, 6 months ago
If you are at all interested in manuscripts, (and who should not be?) this course is informative, enjoyable, and all around awesome. Thanks.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
I am extremely grateful for the timing and the contents of this course. I am an MA student in Medieval Studies at Toronto. Last term I came across two unattested prayers in a 15c Book of Hours in PIMS library and this term, I am working with a professor in a Directed Readings course to do an edition on those prayers. This MOOC helped enormously, providing both an understanding of how codices were assembled and prepared, as well as providing pertinent vocabulary for the manuscript description of my edition. The palaeography sections were also exceedingly helpful in further cementing knowledge of scribal practices and abbreviations and will no doubt continue to be helpful when I take palaeography during my PhD. And the section on watermarks came in handy for me in my last class session in Old French Epic as we spoke about later versions on paper, and being unable to determine geographic region due to the general nature of the watermark... I am extremely grateful for the timing and the contents of this course. I am an MA student in Medieval Studies at Toronto. Last term I came across two unattested prayers in a 15c Book of Hours in PIMS library and this term, I am working with a professor in a Directed Readings course to do an edition on those prayers. This MOOC helped enormously, providing both an understanding of how codices were assembled and prepared, as well as providing pertinent vocabulary for the manuscript description of my edition. The palaeography sections were also exceedingly helpful in further cementing knowledge of scribal practices and abbreviations and will no doubt continue to be helpful when I take palaeography during my PhD. And the section on watermarks came in handy for me in my last class session in Old French Epic as we spoke about later versions on paper, and being unable to determine geographic region due to the general nature of the watermarks at the time. I knew what my professor was talking about! I very much look forward to the next MOOC. Thank you all so much for your efforts in putting this one together. It's had real-life applications for me and has helped me do better in two of my graduate school courses and has paved the way for a third.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
I have an interest in old books and stumbled upon this course quite by accident. The course was exciting. The content added quite a bit of detail to my knowledge and gave me the tools to handle old languages . The instructors were all experts and communicated their knowledge in a fresh and lively manner. Never having taken an online course before, I have signed up for the following course and hope that there is something after that as well,maybe in more depth.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 8 months ago
I enjoyed it very much. It wasn't an unknown subject for me but it was the first time to deal with paleography and i foun the exersises very chalenging. Also as english is not my language , I learned the terminology relative to the subject.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
The course was excellent. In six weeks you obviously can't expect to cover more than a part of such a huge subject, but the material was well chosen, and the links were very useful. The instructors were very clear and communicated their enthusiasm in the videos. I particularly enjoyed the practical palaeology (I ended up transcribing the whole pages). Only one tiny criticism- the transcripts of the videos had several mistakes that should have been picked up by a proofreader (I'm a bit deaf, so I used the transcripts a lot). But I'm looking forward to part 2...
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9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
This course is very captivating: I enjoyed the time spent on listening the clear explanation of the teachers and on the intriguing practical paleography. Ready for Digging Deeper 2!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
From the manufacturing of manuscripts, to actually transcribing text from digital manuscripts, participants will have a good understanding of how to talk about and describe manuscripts. It really helped to enhance my experience while viewing a manuscript in a museum. The short quizzes helped to confirm my understanding of the material and it was fun trying to read some of the Latin and Old English letter forms from authentic materials.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
I have found every unit of the course very interesting, especially the amazing lesson about folio preparation (week 4). Despite having spent a long part of my professional life working with historical documents, the course has awakened my interest in some details of the making of manuscripts that had gone unnoticed to me. The instructors have all been very communicative, clear and have selected the appropriate materials. I thank all of them for the excellent resources they made available to us, including a number of unique websites and repositories.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
The course was super! Very informative and formative. The bibliography recommended is very useful and the websites, amazing. Thanks Elaine, Suzanne and Orietta. Maybe in the cases as runic letters one, you can recommended other materials in order to get ready to transcription properly.
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10/10 starsDropped
3 years, 9 months ago
This course is recommended for anyone interested in manuscripts. The content is clear, well presented, and engaging--all taught by an excellent team of experts in the field. Anyone studying, teaching, or just interested in medieval studies should know about this course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
This course absolutely met my expectations: very scholarly, but presented in an accessible manner. The format allowed a student to become as engaged as he/she wanted. That is, while I did not have time to complete all the needed material, the program allowed me to continue with the subsequent lessons. Looking forward to the follow-up course.
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9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
This course was a great intro to manuscripts. I'd recommend it for students getting started in any field of medieval studies. I think I will try assigning it to students, as part of my medieval art course, in the future.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
An incredible experience! I learned the basics of paleography (essential for my doctoral studies) for FREE, and got to meet a range of wonderful people. Thank you!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
The course was a wonderful experience, especially for people like me who had no prior knowledge of the subject, although I have always felt a great attraction for topics related to the Middle Ages and antiquity in general. The material, teachers and the way the subject was exposed was very clear and revealing. Certainly it leaves one with a strong desire to continue exploring Deeper!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
An excellent introduction to medieval manuscripts! The platform was easy to use, the content was interesting and well presented, the instructors were obviously highly qualified and engaging. The videos were clear and concise. I enjoyed the assignments and discussions very much and feel I have made a beginning in understanding manuscripts. I do wish the course was just a bit more challenging and the comprehension tests were a little more involved, but overall, it was an excellent experience!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
The course is excellent introduction in the world of manuscripts for a novice. The approach to delivery is a great, informative with paleography as a challenging exercise. Love it. I am reasonably equipped with Latin and not much with old English, but I enjoyed enormously. Thank you for a wonderful course. Looking forward to the next course as it cover manuscripts beyond old english and with some music.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
I cannot fault this course. I have had a general interest in medieval manuscripts for some years, but have largely confined myself to looking at the illumination. This course has opened my eyes to the depth and complexity of the creation of the manuscripts themselves and the production of the script on the page. The content was excellent and presented at just the right level for me, clearly expained without being patronising. . The presenters felt engaged with the students even though this was an online course. I enjoyed the quizzes and, in particular, the challenge of transcribing text. The range of experience and expertise among the participants was an unexpected bonus. I would recommend the course to anyone with an interest in medieval manuscripts and I am looking forward to the sequel.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Enjoyable, well put-together and interesting course. Very doable, whether a total novice or expert (though probably geared more toward the novice than not). Instructors were engaging and the further reading has been well-chosen and encourages further exploration.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Even though I had studied before about the subject, I can say I've learnt a lot about ancient books and writtings and their creation process in this course. I was really impressed with the quality of the video lectures, so dinamic, attractive and clear. I'm looking forward to do the next Digging Deeper.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Thank you for this great course :) Thank you Stanford Online and the professors! I intend to take next part of the Digging Deeper course in future inshaAllah.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
The course is ecellent and I have learnt a lot about the manuscripts. The information is very useful and the course is dinamic, funny... The pictures are very good in high definition. It has been a very positive and rewarding experience
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9/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
I really enjoyed the course. The platform interface is as clean and easy to use as I've found anywhere. The subject was fascinating, the content was well organised and of good quality, and the graded work was easily doable without taking too much time. Indeed, on that score, I think it could afford to be a little more challenging. There were areas where I would have liked more detail, such as palaeography, although the links to further material were helpful. All round, an excellent course.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
An excellent course. Very interesting and well put together. Low pressure, fun and engaging. Spent about an hour per week on it and learned a lot in the process. If it's your thing give it a go!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
I found myself impatiently awaiting Tuesdays when the new class materials went up each week. I really enjoyed this course and am looking forward to the second session. I came to the course having already looked at *lots* of digitized manuscripts for their art, (in a very uninformed but appreciative manner). I still love the art, and would like to have a class that goes into that more specifically in terms of techniques and the development of iconography. But this was a terrific introduction and it was so worthwhile to learn more about the production and construction of the manuscripts. The biggest surprise to me was how gratifying it was to struggle through the paleography exercises. This was the most challenging element, but also the area where I learned the most. And now, when I go browsing for pictures I find myself also looking at the scripts and trying do at least a mental transcription of a few lines. Thank you to the fac... I found myself impatiently awaiting Tuesdays when the new class materials went up each week. I really enjoyed this course and am looking forward to the second session. I came to the course having already looked at *lots* of digitized manuscripts for their art, (in a very uninformed but appreciative manner). I still love the art, and would like to have a class that goes into that more specifically in terms of techniques and the development of iconography. But this was a terrific introduction and it was so worthwhile to learn more about the production and construction of the manuscripts. The biggest surprise to me was how gratifying it was to struggle through the paleography exercises. This was the most challenging element, but also the area where I learned the most. And now, when I go browsing for pictures I find myself also looking at the scripts and trying do at least a mental transcription of a few lines. Thank you to the faculty for a well organized, well presented series of lessons.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
I really enjoyed this online course. Seeing the development of manuscripts in a chronological order, how they were made, and the techniques that were used for writing on the manuscripts were very clearly explained by the instructors and were easy to follow.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Wow! Fabulous faculty. Your expertise was so apparent and you were able to 'translate' the content so we could understand the fundamentals. The course was organized so each session was built on the previous one. Also, it was very well planned. Paleography was good as well. I found it challenging but well worth the effort. Thank you for such an in-depth course. There is nothing of this sort where I live in rural was Northern California. I'm very excited about the next course since it will have some music manuscripts. Thank you for modifying the course to include this content that several of us requested. I have already recommended the next course to a friend who is heavily involved in Med/Ren music. With much gratitude to all of you, Alicia Abell
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Great course both for beginners and for medievalists who want to refresh their palaeographical/codicological knowledge! Looking forward to the next installment!
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
As a re-enactor I have spent some time wandering around this area on my own. I wish I had the opportunity to do this first. Not only was this a much more efficient way to get to grips with the area but I do not think I would have ever managed on my own to reach this level without this sort of guidance. Do not be fooled: I discovered the paleography is difficult and the course exercises refect this. The other course components are very doable, fun and interesting. Go on do it, You know you want to.
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10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 9 months ago
Very interesting course. Slow paced and enjoyable. Would definitely take again. I thought the instructors provided very helpful information to the novice and gave helpful guidence the interpretations of the manuscripts.
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