MMSDA (Medieval Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age)

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MMSDA is provided by the Institute of English Studies in the University of London in collaboration with King's College London, the Warburg Institute, and the University of Cambridge.

Founded in 2009, the course is an annual, intensive training programme on the analysis, description and editing of medieval manuscripts in the digital age held jointly in Cambridge and London. It stresses the practical application of theoretical principles and gives participants both a solid theoretical foundation and also 'hands-on' experience in the cataloguing and editing of original medieval manuscripts in both print and digital formats.

One half of the course involve classes in the mornings and then visits to libraries in Cambridge and London in the afternoons. Students have the opportunity to view original manuscripts and to gain practical experience in applying the morning's themes to concrete examples. In the second half we address the cataloguing and description of manuscripts in a digital format with particular emphasis on the standards developed by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These sessions also combine theoretical principles and practical experience and include workshops with supervised work on computers.

The course is under the direction of Professor Michelle Brown (IES), and is co-organised by Dr Peter Stokes (King's College London), Dr Hanna Vorholt (Warburg), and Dr Elena Pierazzo (KCL). Special lectures are given by Professor Nicholas Pickwoad (Camberwell), Dr Tim Bolton (Sotheby's), and Simon Tanner (KCL Digital Consultancy Services).

The course in 2012 was open to all doctoral students registered at institutions in any of the thirty-six COST countries (as listed on the COST website). It is aimed at those writing dissertations which relate directly to medieval manuscripts, particularly with respect to literature, art and history. Places are limited to a maximum of twenty students, and the group is split for the library visits. Participants are required to arrange their own accommodation and travel to London and Cambridge, but there has beenno fee for the course itself. Some bursaries were available in 2012 for travel and accommodation, assigned based on even distribution of nationality and gender.

Funding for this course has been provided jointly by the AHRC's Collaborative Training Scheme and by COST Action IS1005, 'Medieval Europe - Medieval Cultures and Technological Resources'.


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