A new French Renaissance Paleography site is enabling users to transcend the limits of just one classroom or one collection in accessing medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The Newberry is announcing the launch of the new website, French Renaissance Paleography, allowing scholars and students to practice transcription with a selection of manuscripts from the Newberry, the Getty, the Huntington, and additional North American repositories.
Paleography is the study of handwriting, and is of importance to scholars who study manuscripts and records that were recorded by hand, and not by printing press. Some of the manuscripts include legal activities, artistic expression, and colonial administration.
The website allows scholars to expand the scope of their research, by using resources available in a variety of collections. “This new website is founded on the idea that scholars may expand their scope of research—and, as a consequence, their discovery of the past—when they are provided with tools for deciphering historical manuscripts,” said Newberry President David Spadafora. “We are grateful to have collaborated with several exceptional institutions in building a digital resource that transcends the boundaries of any one classroom or collection.”
The result of having collections and resources for transcription and reference all together on one site is that researchers have the support of a classroom environment, with access to multiple collections and reference materials all in one supported place. The manuscripts can be examined at the user's pace, and tools for transcription are unique to the site.
The French Renaissance Paleography website is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.