Module Catalogue 2021/22

SEL8543 : Manuscript, Print, Digital

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ruth Connolly
  • Demonstrator: Dr Adam Mearns
  • Lecturer: Dr Aditi Nafde
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This skills-based module will introduce students to the principles of textual editing for print and digital platforms. It will draw on archival resources and take a practical approach to teaching students with the knowledge and skills they need to work effectively with and to edit these sources. Students will also be trained more broadly in the skills, technologies, theories and methods of scholarly editing. Students will critically assess existing editions, learn how to describe, transcribe and annotate a text of their choice and then use the open international encoding standard TEI P5 XML to encode that text.

Outline Of Syllabus

The core of the module is the transcription and annotation of a manuscript of culinary, medical and cosmetic recipes created in Northumberland in the late seventeenth century. The transcriptions are then encoded and added to the digital edition of this manuscript which has been co-created by successive cohorts of students. The MS is of considerable value for social and medical history, the history of women’s domestic labour and for studies of early modern English in the North-East.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Understand the principles of book history, manuscript studies and textual editing
2. Critically analyse a range of approaches to editing texts
3. Assess the significance of a text’s material form for its interpretation
4. Critically analyse a range of existing electronic and print editions of literary texts
5. Show an awareness of the conceptual and practical issues around the planning, creation and development of editions
6. Knowledge of how to undertake palaeographical transcriptions.
7. Knowledge of TEI XML.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Locate archives and primary-text databases appropriate to their research and use them effectively
2. Read, describe and transcribe a range of manuscript and print material
3. Transcribe accurately seventeenth-century handwriting.
4. Use digital software to display or edit texts.
5. Specific familiarity with coding using TEI P5 XML and the Oxygen XML editor.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion177:0077:00Preparation, proofing and completion of assignments.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading144:0044:00Set reading for workshops and small-group sessions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching52:0010:00small-group teaching
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities121:0012:00activities and tasks preparatory to small group teaching.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice401:0040:00Directed work focussed on developing core module skills.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops52:0010:00archival workshops and coding workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00To address specific coding or transcription queries. Online.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision12:002:00One-to-ones and/or small group supervisions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00introduction to module.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This is a module with a strong element of skills acquisition so our methods of teaching and learning are orientated to practical application. Small-group teaching focuses on transmitting the skills of transcription, annotation and text-encoding. That teaching is scaffolded by set reading and preparatory tasks for each session. The TEI pathway is supported by workshops and by academic skills practice. Drop-ins are used to address specific issues individual students encounter in their personal tasks and assignments. The amount of time allotted to self-directed practice takes into account that students are acquiring new skills in palaeography and coding.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2A80See assessment rationale for more information
Practical/lab report2M2020-minute oral presentation, either in person or via recording.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The project is designed to underpin the module’s skills-based agenda. The assessment asks students to create a scholarly edition of a poem or selection of poems (of reasonable complexity and length), a work of fiction (a short story or a portion of a serial), or a piece of literary non-fiction (an essay on a literary topic), derived from a range of suggested sources. The module takes students through the various stages of this work, providing seminars and workshops that raise issues key to scholarly editing, assigning tasks for students at each session, and allowing time in the workshop for students to reflect/ask questions about the process.

Allowing students to design their own project ensures that their work will speak directly to their particular research interest or expertise and that they begin develop their own independent research, which is a priority for postgraduate study.

The oral presentation is to enable them: (1) to present on their work-in-progress; (2) think critically about their edition; (3) receive feedback on it from their peers and tutors preparatory to completing their project; (4) practise presentation skills important at postgraduate level; (5) practise the group-working skills and collaboration crucial to all editorial projects. This assessment can be delivered in person, 'live' via Teams, or via a recording.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2021/22 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2022/23 entry will be published here in early-April 2022. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.