To the sunray that lit up a tiny corner at my grandparents’ house in 1982
Do you remember me? I saw you as a child, and you saw me, too. You were caught between the hedge at the edge of the garden and the fence in front of the house. Dust […]
The first conference organised under the auspices of ‘In Their Own Write’ was held at The National Archives, at Kew, on Saturday the 9th of June. The theme of the conference was “the survival and interpretation of ego documents”, and it brought together a huge range of fascinating work on the subject. For those of […]
Originally posted on the many-headed monster: [In our mini-series ‘A Page in the Life’, each post briefly introduces a new writer and a single page from their manuscript. In this post, Anne Murphy offers a loving letter from a seventeenth-century merchant’s wife, who Anne has discussed in more detail in a recent article and whose…
Sounds very interesting indeed.
This workshop was originally due to take place on 2 March, but was rescheduled due to inclement weather. The programme and venue remain the same. If you had signed up to the previous 2 March date, and have already been in touch to confirm you can attend on 15 May, there is no need to sign up again.
Our second workshop of the semester is open for registration via our Google form.
Digital Humanities Approaches to Text Editing, 15 May 2018
This workshop will engage participants in a discussion about the future of Digital Humanities approaches to creating and displaying text editions. Three papers will explore best practices developed at a range of projects at Oxford, culminating in a roundtable discussion that looks forward to how similar initiatives can continue to be developed and supported at Manchester.
This event is co-hosted by DH@Manchester and takes place as part of DH…
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The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is working with The Letters of William Godwin, edited by Pamela Clemit (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011-), to bring new information about Godwin and his correspondence networks to a wider readership. To read more about the project, click here. The second ODNB entry arising from this collaboration has now been published. The […]
Originally posted on John Rylands Library Special Collections Blog: Another in our occasional series describing work being undertaken on some of our less well-known collections. Miriam Wildermuth, an Erasmus student from the Humboldt University, Berlin, has recently been working on several projects in Special Collections, including a catalogue of the Tobias Theodores papers. The Theodores…
Date: 12–14 April 2018
Venue: Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Warburgstraße 26, Hamburg, Germany
Besides administrative documents, letters are among the earliest examples of writing in the history of mankind. At the same time this genre was—and still is—of special persistence within almost all manuscript cultures up to the present day. Belonging primarily to the realm of pragmatic handwriting, letters have become a part of what we nowadays define as literature, and, as objects of religious or aesthetic veneration, of art, too. Under the heading of “Epistolography” letters have been studied as a subfield of History and Literature for a long time. This conference, however, will focus on the material side and its accompanying practices, rather than on content.
To cover relevant phenomena from different cultures and periods the workshop will deal with handwritten documents that are meant for more or less immediate communication. Their formal qualities as a whole strive for accessibility and practicability—even in the case of secret letters—, characterised by the tendency to portability and to limited length. A letter in the narrow sense is, with a very few exceptions, per definitionem unique; even if the manuscript is copied, e.g. as a later reference, its original purpose remains to be bound to the single, unique object spanning the distance of senders and addressees.
The production and use of letters—or other comparable documents meant for communication—is dominated by a loose set of polarities, each set providing a continuum by which a given artefact can be defined: open or closed (secret); private or public; written by one’s own hand (“authentic”) or by a second person; for immediate use (expecting direct response) or mainly for documentary purpose; formal or informal, and others.
The workshop will approach the subject from at least three perspectives:
- We will consider circumstances of production, including choices of materials, writing styles, and matters of different formats that are all related to the various forms and levels of sender and addressee and their relation, be they areal individual, institutions or imagined or transcendent counterparts. For this part letters are also typically strongly marked by authoriality, both on the material and the textual level.
- We will consider circumstances of use, including the relation of transmission and materiality, especially means of protection and the integrity of devices of authentication (envelopes, seals and the like). Besides activities that involve reading (aloud or silent) the most interesting point concerns strategies of safekeeping and archiving. The personal and fragile character of these physical objects has led at an early stage to a compilation of letters as parts of multiple-text manuscripts (MTM), worth a more detailed investigation.
- As a third perspective we would like to discuss phenomena on a more general level, e.g. the role of transmission and adoption of techniques of letter writing between different manuscript cultures, and the development and use of anthologies of formulae, letter writing guides etc., both as material objects by themselves and as instruction guides containing information on material aspects.
Focusing on the relation between material aspects and social practices involving letters the workshop intends to deepen our understanding of the interaction of pragmatic and literate manuscripts from a comparative perspective.
To download the programme and abstracts, to register, and for further information, click here.
URL of original post: https://www.manuscript-cultures.uni-hamburg.de/register_letters2018.html