French Paleography Workshop

Brian Sandberg: Historical Perspectives

Call for Applications

MIDDLE FRENCH PALEOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK

JUNE 9-27, 2014

This paleography workshop will provide intensive training in the accurate reading, editing,
and interpretation of a manuscript in Middle French, in this case a complex and intriguing
late-Renaissance compilation of a practical and proto-scientific nature. Participants will work on a collaborative transcription and translation of the manuscript using new digital tools and methods.

The manuscript, Bibliothèque nationale de France, fr. 640, written around 1580 by an
anonymous French-speaking craftsperson, covers some 170 fols. with detailed instructions, including first-hand observations and illustrations, for a number of processes that we would now classify as part of fine arts and technology, such as drawing-instruction, pigment-making, metal-coloring, counterfeit gem production, cannon-casting, tree-grafting, land-surveying, a practice of taxidermy to manufacture monstrous composite animals (kittens and bats), making paper mâché masks, and much more. The margins are filled…

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