Workplace Learning: From Parchment to Pixel: Exhibiting Medieval Manuscripts (HIST*3480) | College of Arts

Workplace Learning: From Parchment to Pixel: Exhibiting Medieval Manuscripts (HIST*3480)

Code and section: HIST*3480*01

Term: Winter 2020

Instructor: Interested students should contact: Dr Ferreira,


Workplace Supervisor: Melissa McAfee, Archives and Special Collections


Course Synopsis:

Would you like to work with original medieval manuscripts? Nine medieval manuscripts are coming on loan to Special Collections and will be used in a curated exhibit designed by a team of students in the College of Arts. In Winter 2020, you will work with a team of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students to lay the groundwork for an exhibit, featuring these manuscripts, which compares original physical manuscripts their digital manuscript counterparts. You will conduct preliminary research into the history and material culture of one or more of the original manuscripts and write an exhibition narrative. For your final project you will create a Digital manuscript project that will enhance and contexualize the visual display of one or more of the original manuscripts.

Course Format:

Independent work with scheduled meetings

Learning Outcomes:

By the successful completion of this course, an assiduous student will have learned to:

  1. develop an appreciation and empathy or the past and an understanding of medieval manuscripts as primary sources
  2. learn protocols for preservation, handling and using them in Archival & Special Collections
  3. interpret and communicate information found in the manuscripts such as how they were created, by whom, when, and their purpose.
  4. learn how to manage projects, collaborate with peers, and meet deadlines
  5. apply an understanding of the physical medieval manuscript to evaluate and critique digitized manuscripts online
  6. value of public engagement;
  7. reflect upon their own work in a critical manner.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Exhibition Narrative - 20
Weekly Critical Reflections - 15
Participation - 30
Digital Manuscript Project - 35

Texts and/or Resources Required:

No Required Textbook

Project Timeline

Week 1: Pre-arranged group meeting with Professor Ferreira and the rest of the team to discuss the manuscripts. You will be given an overview of the collection and instructions on how to begin researching their significance.  

Week 3: Meeting with Professor Ferreira and team to discuss possible themes for the exhibit.  

Week 5 or 6: Meeting.  First collection of weekly reflections is due covering weeks 1-5. Students will also select a theme and manuscript-type to research.

Week 8:  Exhibition narrative is due.

Week 10: Reflections covering weeks 6-10

Week 12: Digital manuscript project due

*Please note: This is a preliminary web course 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.