Fragmentology: Scientific Analysis of Medieval Manuscript Fragments

The Fragmentologie Seminar in Action


Title of the Course: “Fragmentologie – Aktuelle Ansätze der wissenschaftlichen Analyse mittelalterlicher Handschriftenfragmente mit einem anwendungsorientierten Praxisteil zur digitalen Erschließung” (Internationaler Nachwuchsworkshop am 13.09.2023 an der Universität Freiburg)

Instructor: Dr. Inci Bozkaya, Lena Stockburger, M.A., PD Dr. William Duba (guest speaker)

Institution: University of Fribourg (Switzerland) with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Summary On September 13, 2023, early-career researchers (advanced students and doctoral candidats) from various European Universities (Switzerland, Germany and Spain) met at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) for a full-day workshop organized by Inci Bozkaya (Freiburg) and Lena Stockburger (Karlsruhe) to exchange ideas on medieval German manuscript fragments and their digitization. One aim of the workshop was to offer early-career researchers the opportunity to familiarize themselves with approaches and methods of fragmentology and to learn current techniques and instruments for the identification, description and publication of manuscript fragments using practical examples.

The event took place in cooperation with the Zentrum für Handschriftenforschung, the Mediävistisches Institut der Universität Freiburg and the DFG project 'Rudolf von Ems, 'Barlaam und Josaphat': Edition, Übersetzung, Kommentar', which is based at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; William Duba was invited as a guest lecturer.

The workshop had two parts. The morning was devoted to a discussion of current theoretical approaches to the understanding of medieval German-language manuscript fragments and the practical work on fragments. Two keynote speeches by the workshop organizers introduced the theory and practice of fragment research followed by an initial round of discussion.

William Duba then presented an introduction to the history, purpose, functioning and use of 'Fragmentarium', which formed the basis for the practical work in the afternoon. A central aim of the workshop was to familiarize the participants with the platform to such an extent that they were subsequently able to make further entries independently. Therefore the participants worked in pairs to enter the data of a fragment from the 'Barlaam and Josaphat'-complex that they had researched in advance into the database.

The workshop was made possible with financial support from the Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation and with funds from the Fakultären Aktionsfonds der Philosophischen Fakultät der Universität Freiburg and from the Fonds der Hundertjahrfeier der Universität Freiburg.