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INtegrating TRAditional and Digital Approaches in Manuscript Studies (INTRADAMS)  

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Educational objectives

The Department of Historical Studies of the University of Milan, with the collaboration of the University of Rochester (N.Y.), the Biblioteca Trivulziana e Archivio Storico Civico of Milan, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana and the Fondazione Museo del Tesoro del Duomo e Archivio Capitolare of Vercelli, is holding a Summer School entitled Integrating Traditional and Digital Approaches in Manuscripts Studies (INTRADAMS). INTRADAMS is aimed at postgraduate students and researchers who wish to undertake a course of advanced professional training characterized by the integration of humanistic and digital methodologies, and oriented towards the research, conservation, and valorization of the manuscript heritage of the classical, medieval and modern periods.

The main objective of the Summer school is to foster the deepening of historical, textual, graphic, and material knowledge of books and documents through the interaction of the traditional approaches (i.e. historical, paleographical, codicological, and philological-textual exegesis) with those of digital diagnostics, applied physics, imaging, and materials science.

Expected learning outcomes

At the end of the INTRADAMS Summer school, students will have learned the latest acquisitions in paleography, codicology, archival science, cataloguing and exegesis of sources as well as some techniques of physical analysis and image processing of cultural heritage, and will be able to apply this knowledge in order to develop innovative methodologies for the exploration, interrogation, analysis, and enhancement of manuscript heritage.

To this end, the training project is structured into different but closely related activities, envisaging a preliminary methodological, epistemological, and digital training oriented towards an in-depth study of the most recent acquisitions in the field of exegesis of manuscript sources, with particular reference to the analysis of the reused writing materials, the study of the material forms of knowledge transmission, and the digitization of sources and their processing and management. This phase, which will also make use of practical examples drawn from the numerous projects developed by the collaborating institutions, will be followed by two workshop activities aimed at acquiring skills in capturing and processing of manuscript images, to be conducted on one or more manuscripts that will be used as case study.

Training needs

The Summer school Integrating Traditional and Digital Approaches in Manuscripts Studies (INTRADAMS) aims to overcoming the fragmentation of the system of higher education in the field of applied research on manuscripts by promoting the training of competent figures in the analysis, treatment, preservation, and enhancement of archival and library heritage, both in the analog and digital fields.

In this sense, the INTRADAMS Summer school fills a training need: that is, it allows for the acquisition of expendable skills in a professional field that is entirely interdisciplinary and rapidly growing, both in Italy and internationally, offering a pathway for graduates in the humanities and science-informatics who intend to work in cultural institutions oriented to the preservation, valorization and research of manuscripts preserved in archives, libraries, and museums.

Professional prospects

This educational field is aimed at creating complex skills, capable of integrating traditional and digital methodologies that are highly professionalizing and able to systematize innovative tools as well as develop and apply comparative and transversal methods and formats of investigation.

The expected professional prospects are those oriented toward employment in technical-scientific roles in public and private bodies in charge of manuscript conservation, in professional organizations operating in the field of conservation-restoration, in the freelance profession, in the role of specialists in the analysis of the state of conservation of written materials, in the organization and fruition of both digital and analog media as well as their information content, and in the digitization, computerization, and cataloging of manuscript heritages.

Summer School coordinators


Research environment

The Summer School programme can count on a specialised research library with more than 350.000 volumes, a patrimony that is constantly updated, and with access to many other resources – both hardcopy and in electronic format: periodicals, data banks, encyclopaedias, dictionaries etc.

The Department of Historical Studies provides one conference room as well as our partners provide their own spaces and library collections.

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