In this blog post I would like to introduce you to our latest research training module on History SPOT. InScribe is an online course for the study of Palaeography and Manuscript Studies developed by several of the institutes within the School of Advanced Study (Including the Institute of Historical Research and Institute of English Studies), with support from Senate House Library and Exeter Cathedral library.
At present we have only released the ‘introductory’ module in a test mode, and we would very much welcome any feedback on how we could improve it. This module describes what the course is about, gives an entry point into palaeographical conventions and processes, and gives you the chance to transcribe text from a selection of actual manuscripts (well, digital scans from those manuscripts at least). More modules will follow sometime in the new year offering various pathways on subjects such as codicology, illumination, and diplomatic.
The view has long been held at the IHR that paleography is one subject that translates well into the online format. Although we would hesitate to suggest it in any way as a replacement for skills learnt in a classroom (or even better with actual copies of the MSS themselves) we believe that learning and practicing palaeographical skills online works well if the tools are in place to aid the student.
It is hoped that InScribe will increasingly fill this role in the future, providing palaeographical training at a postgraduate level. At present, however, InScribe is in its infancy. We have initially launched the first module in a test-mode, by which I simply mean that we will be seeking feedback about what works or doesn’t work, and what we might be able to improve upon.
To have a look at InScribe please log in or register to History SPOT for free and follow this link to the InScribe course.
Alternatively, for further information about the course look at the research training page on the IHR website.