Topics in Medieval History/Premodern History (HIST*4700) | College of Arts

Topics in Medieval History/Premodern History (HIST*4700)

Code and section: HIST*4700*01

Term: Winter 2021

Instructor: Susannah Ferreira


Course Delivery:

Pre-recorded lectures will be posted on Courselink each week. Students will also participate in regular synchronous (live) discussions.  

Course Synopsis:

In this course, students will have the opportunity to explore one of the most treasured archival collections at the University of Guelph: the Scottish Land Charters. Dating from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, these charters provide a window into the history of medieval and early modern Scotland. Students in this course will learn strategies to help them decode the medieval handwriting (paleography) and will conduct research into the land, families and institutions associated with each charter. Although this course will be taught remotely, students will be invited to visit Archival and Special Collections to read, handle and connect with the original documents! Students in the course will learn how documents are catalogues and will contribute to the development of an online and physical exhibit of the Scottish Land Charters that will open (hopefully) in the Fall of 2021. 

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. have learned some basic strategies that they can use to help them read medieval and early modern handwriting.  
  2. be able to articulate the importance of medieval and early modern land charters as primary sources of information for Scottish and European history. 
  3. have developed an appreciation for working with original manuscripts and will have a better understanding of some of the inherent challenges. 
  4. have gained some experience in developing a museum exhibit and cataloguing a manuscript. 

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

Palaeography Assignment and Quizzes - 20 %
Catalogue Description - 15 %
Research Essay - 40 %
Exhibit Label - 25 %

Texts Required:

All readings for this class will be made available through Courselink. 

** Please note: This is a preliminary website description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.