Course: "Working with Medieval Sources" (2.5/ 3 ECTS)

"Bronnencursus" / Course: "Working with Medieval Sources"

Monday 28 January - Friday 1 February 2019,  Huissen


Dear all,


PhD students connected to the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies must follow a basic programme that comprises 12 ECTS, spread out over three years. One of the compulsory course units is the so-called Bronnencursus or "Source Course" (3 ECTS). Both PhD and Research Master’s students can apply for this course unit, which focuses on an important dynamic present in each of our research projects: medieval sources. The course unit brings students up close and personal with a variety of medieval sources and teaches them how to study and retrieve information from them. How do various academic disciplines interact with sources? What answers do scholars hope to get from them? Are there any downsides to using certain sources?


Aims of the course:

  • To introduce you to a broad range of medieval sources from a variety of disciplines;
  • To familiarize you with sources both from your own research as well with other than those in your own discipline;
  • To develop your understanding of how to approach medieval sources, and how to value and use the information they provide;
  • To show how each source has a unique set of opportunities, problems and limitations;
  • To provide you with a sense of what kind source may be appropriate for a certain problem or research topic (both inside and outside your own discipline).



Classes are scheduled from Monday 28 January - Friday 1 February 2019 at the Convent of Huissen:


St. Dominicanenklooster Huissen

Stadsdam 1

6851 AH Huissen


It is possible to spend the night at the Convent from Monday till Friday. If you want to make use of this option, please let us know when you register. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided as well.


Participating scholars

An array of lecturers will show, each from their own viewpoint, what type of sources they use, how they approach them, and how their approach impacts, both in positive and negative sense, their research.


Since the course outline is flexible and can be adapted to specific needs of the participants, we would like to know what kind of sources you want to discuss during the course unit. Based on your preferences, we can then select suitable lecturers. Furthermore, we would like you to provide us with a short description of your research skills (for example: medieval languages, paleography and codicology, experience with charters, knowledge about art history, etcetera.)


Outline programme

  • Masterclasses: Theory and Practice (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday)

All workshops (2 - 3 per day) focus on both “theory” and “practice” and will take approximately 2 hours. The first 45 minutes the masters set out their usual methods of operation, position these in a theoretical and historiographical context and show the results of their analysis. The rest of the time is used for reading the texts (guided by questions) in groups and prepare the presentations. It is crucial that the students read the distributed literature before hand and give it thoroughly thought. The findings need to be incorporated in the presentations.


  • Presentations (Friday)

Students will introduce one of their own sources from the perspective of one of the views discussed during the Masterclass, i.e. from a codicological, literary, theological, art-historical, or Digital Humanities perspective. The (exclusive) focus of these presentations must be the potential opportunities that the chosen perspective provides. In other words, each student will introduce a relevant source from his or her research and discuss it from a methodological point of view, evaluating how the chosen method is a good fit for the source in question. If relevant, problems and obstacles may be pointed out as well. Each presentation limited to 15 minutes precisely, after four presentations, the next 45 minutes are reserved for discussion.


PhD-students will receive 3 ETCS for this course, ResMa-studenten 2,5 ECTS (1 ECTS equals 28 hours of study). Those who want to have 5 ECTS can turn their presentations in a paper. You will receive more details about the paper in due course.


Deadline registration

Since arrangements need to be made with the Convent, the deadline for registration is set on 15 December 2018. You can send your registration to:


Please provide us with the following information as well:

  • What kind of sources you are interested in;
  • A short description of your research skills;
  • If you would like to spend the night at the Convent from Monday till Friday.


The maximum number of participants is 15. Everyone is welcome to apply for this course but priority will be given (1) to the PhD-students that are enrolled in the Graduate Programme (Special Training Programme) of the Research School, and (2) to the Research Master students of the School. Please note that your registration is binding. Cancelling without legitimate reasons will have consequences.