handwritingimageMethods of describing, distinguishing and identifying hands differ from scholar to scholar and, although the work of individual early modernists is often based on very substantial unarticulated ‘tacit knowledge’ about the dating and differentiation of script styles, little detailed work on the topic has been published. Most of the scholarship in the area focuses, in an ad hoc way, on high-status manuscripts and on the identification of hands associated with major figures.  This one-day workshop will explore the potential for future collaboration on more comprehensive and systematic ways of understanding the variation between different hands in the period, and specifically the possibilities for a new project  which will aim to produce substantial publicly-available material mapping key elements in the development of English handwriting between 1500 and 1700. Speakers and chairs: Carlo M. Bajetta (Aosta), Peter Beal (Institute of English Studies, London), Giles Bergel (Oxford), Colin Burrow (Oxford) Guillaume Coatalen (Cergy-Pontoise), Julia Craig-McFeely (Oxford), Tom Davis (Birmingham), Jonathan Gibson (Open University), Gabriel Heaton (Sotheby’s), Simon Horobin (Oxford), Steven W. May (Sheffield), William Poole (Oxford), Daniel Wakelin (Oxford) Heather Wolfe (Folger Shakespeare Library), Henry Woudhuysen (Oxford).

The workshop will be held in the T. S. Eliot  Theatre, Merton College, Thursday 25 April, 9.30-4. Organized by the Centre for Early Modern Studies and Merton College History of the Book Group, with the co-operation of the Bodleian Library Centre for the Study of the Book.

The workshop has been timed so that delegates can also attend one of Professor Richard Beadle’s Lyell Lectures, ‘Medieval English Literary Autographs 1: Fugitive Pieces’, in the same venue at 5pm.

For registration, click here. For further details contact Jonathan.Gibson@open.ac.uk;  programme details will be posted soon at http://www.cems.ox.ac.uk. Registration closes Thursday 18 April.