Checking date: 15/05/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Paleography and Diplomatics
Study: Bachelor in Library and Information (210)

Coordinating teacher: NAVARRO BONILLA, DIEGO

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Library Science and Documentation

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Students are expected to have completed
History of Institutions
Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results. Further information on this link
Competencies and learning results after finishing the course are the following : 1. Acquisition of theoretical and methodological foundations of Palaeography and Diplomatic. 2 . Both knowledge of evolution and the current state of both disciplines , framing them in the general context of the degree , on the one hand , and subsequent practice on the other. 3. Capacity efficiently retrieve the information in handwritten documents , preferably medieval and modern times. 4. Understanding and identifying the dating systems used to correctly dating documents. 5. Identification and analysis of external and internal elements of documentary form . 6. Application of conceptual apparatus and methodological principles to the analysis of the Diplomatic documents of any kind and age. 7. Understanding the singularities of archives and historical records . 8. Description of records to apply existing international standards.
Description of contents: programme
With this subject, of essentially practical orientation, the fundamentals of two disciplines traditionally linked to the analysis and treatment of historical documents will be learned. Regarding the first, it is interesting to underline itsinstrumental component ("Reading Paleography"), as a technique that allows the retrieval and dissemination of information in texts difficult to understand because of the complexity of old graphic systems. As for the Diplomatics, the fundamental objective is to familiarize with the complex conceptual apparatus of discipline, and be able to apply the analysis of documents of any kind and time. Moreover, it is considered essential to implement a practical approach to the subject by conducting daily calligraphic works in order to identify the characteristics of each font. This methodology focuses on "learning by doing" and not only on the theoretical learning and static paleography. The basic contents are: 1. Palaeography: Concept and evolution of the discipline. 2. Writing and graphics tools: 21. Papyrus, wax tablets, parchment, paper 2.2. Other extraordinary means 2.3. Graphic tools and inks 3. The method of paleographic analysis: 3.1. Categorization of scripture 3.2. Definition of: writing angle; weight or thickness; Modular connection module; ductus; morphology and style; writing box, body of text... 3.3. The abbreviations and abbreviation signs systems 3. 4. Elements of alphabet; complementary signs. 3.5. Practices 4. Transcription and editing rules and proposals. 5. Paleographical cycles: stages in the evolution of the Latin script: Roman scripts to write carolina. 6. Carolingian writing: 6.1. The Carolingian scriptural reform: concept and general problems 6.2. Dissemination of Carolingian West. Its introduction in the Iberian Peninsula 6.3. Morphology of Carolingian writing 6.4. Practices 7. Gothic writings: 7.1. Historical and cultural context: the emergence of the Gothic script 7.2. Morphological characteristics 7.3. Gothic writings of the Iberian Peninsula: bookstores modalities; documentary scripts Crown of Aragon and Navarra; documentary scripts Corona de Castilla (letter of privileges, albalaes, courteous letter. 7.4. Practices 8. Introduction to Diplomatic: concept and evolution of the discipline. 9. The dating of documents: notions of chronology 9.1. The calendar 9.2. Eras 9.3. The styles 9.4. The calculation of the days of the month and week 9.5. Practices 10. The diplomat method: 10.1. External and internal elements of documentary form 10.2. The process of genesis and development of the document: the participants; the "actio" and "conscriptio" 10.3. The documentary structure 10.4. The documentary tradition: genuine and false documents; original, mixed documents, copies. 10.5. Types of documents
Learning activities and methodology
All units that compose the course syllabus developed will be posted on the (Aula Global 2) virtual platform for teaching and learning, so as the texts and scanned documents on which the practices will b held and many other resources and supplementary materials devoted primarily to the acquisition of skills. The acquisition of theoretical knowledge (2 ECTS credits) is intended, from the following teaching-learning strategies: - Study of the topics provided by the teacher - Consultation of the recommended bibliography - Theoretical explanations in the sessions, insisting on the most important concepts and doubts. -The Study of the agenda items will be supplemented by reading and commenting on short selected texts. Related competencies: 1, 2 and 7. The acquisition of skills and expertise (4 ECTS credits) from the following teaching-learning strategies aims: - Practices and exercises to be performed in both classes, under the guidance and supervision of teachers, and outside them. It is, on the one hand, reading and interpretation of historical documents (which will be offered preferably digitized); and, secondly, the diplomatic analysis and description of archival documents from different periods (to be provided and transcripts). These activities relate to the skills preferably 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. - Consultation of the recommended bibliography and resources to carry out the practical exercises of the course As a final synthesis, a final project, proposed as a case study where all the theoretical and practical knowledge and applied skills acquired throughout the semester are exercised must be performed. There will be two types of tutoring: presentials (they will be fixed in the days corresponding to established classroom sessions) and virtuals (It will be preferably used the "forum" of the course-Aula Global that allows continuous connection and interaction between students and faculty staff).
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 50
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 50
Basic Bibliography
  • MARÍN, Tomás y José María RUIZ ASENCIO (dirs.). Paleografía y Diplomática. 5ª ed, Madrid: Unidades Didácticas de la UNED, 1991, 2 vols..
  • MILLARES CARLO, Agustín. Tratado de Paleografía Española. 3ª ed., Madrid: Espasa Calpe, 1983, 3 vols..
  • RIESCO TERRERO, Ángel (ed.). Introducción a la Paleografía y la Diplomática General. Madrid: Síntesis, 1999.
  • ROMERO TALLAFIGO, Manuel, Laureano RODRÍGUEZ LIÁÑEZ y Antonio SÁNCHEZ GONZÁLEZ. Arte de leer escrituras antiguas. Paleografía de lectura. 2ª ed. ampliada, Huelva: 1997.
Recursos electrónicosElectronic Resources *
Additional Bibliography
  • CAPELLI, Adriano. Dizionario di Abbreviature latine ed italiane. 6ª ed., Milano: Ulrico Hoepli, 1998.
  • CARCEL ORTÍ, Mª Milagros (ed.). Vocabulaire International de la Diplomatique. Commission Internationale de Diplomatique. Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana-Universitat de València, 1994.
  • GUYOTJEANNIN, Olivier, Jacques PYCKE et Benoît-Michel TOCK. Diplomatique Médiévale. Turnhout (Bélgica): Brepols, 1994.
  • MILLARES CARLO, Agustín y J. I. MANTECON. Album de Paleografía hispanoamericana de los siglos XVI y XVII. Barcelona: El Albir, 1975, 2 vols..
  • STIENNON, Jacques. Paléographie du Moyen Âge. 2ª ed., París, Armand Colin, 1991.
(*) Access to some electronic resources may be restricted to members of the university community and require validation through Campus Global. If you try to connect from outside of the University you will need to set up a VPN

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.

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