The last three days of the summer course on Reformation Paleography focused on English-language sources.
On Thursday, Dr. Ashley Null presented Thomas Cranmer’s “Great Commonplaces”, which he is currently preparing for publication by Oxford University Press. The working sessions covered not only the material collected in these manuscripts, which is of great importance in tracing English church history from the 1530s to the 1550s, but also the fate of the manuscripts and the editorial treatment.
On Saturday, Dr. Thomas Freeman (University of Essex) presented the letters of the Marian Martyrs and their use by John Foxe in his Act and Monuments. Dr. Freeman is also preparing editions: an edited edition of Foxe for a wider readership and a scholarly edition of the Marian Martyrs’ prison letters. He showed that letters were an important medium in the 1550s and had a wide impact.
Working sessions with Dr. Null and Dr. Freeman were supplemented by practical exercises on English, Latin, and German sources to reinforce and develop skills in working with manuscripts. One morning was focused on computerized processing and organization of research data. On Friday, the group visited St. Mary’s Parish Church in Wittenberg, climbing the towers and visiting the parish archives and the Ordinands’ Chamber.
A visit to the “Wittenberg 1517” panorama and a farewell dinner on Saturday evening concluded the two-week course.