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Augustana College Library

Augustana History Department

Augustana College
 
About the Site

As the capstone of their program, most Augustana history majors take a seminar, usually in their senior year. This is designed to be an intensive experience doing research in primary sources. In the seminar which met in the Fall of 2000, conducted by Thomas F. Mayer , students had an exceptional opportunity to work directly with a seventeenth-century manuscript which the Library had just purchased. It contains the correspondence of Reginald Pole (1500-1558) during the first part of his twin legations from the pope, first for the reconciliation of England to the Catholic church, and second for peace between France and the Empire. Students began with a little training in palaeography (the deciphering of old handwriting) and in codicology (the study of how manuscripts are put together). They then read extensively in secondary sources about an aspect of the legation which they found interesting. After both these preparations, they worked through the materials in the codex (in texts and translations provided by the instructor) in order to produce large research papers, as well as oral presentations to all the members of the department of history and interested students.