manuSciences '15

manuSciences '15:

Franco-German Summer School : Interdisciplinary approaches to manuscript studies combining philology, materials studies, computer science and digital humanities

→basic information




Basic Information


Interdisciplinary approaches to manuscript studies combining lectures in history and philology with materials analysis, imaging techniques, digital humanities and computer science, complemented with practical courses on mobile instruments (XRF, RTI) and on computer programs.


Up to 40 (max.) young researchers, from master and Ph.D. students to researchers and university lecturers. Active participation is expected (including poster presentation). The lectures and courses will be in English.


6-12 september 2015

the application deadline has passed and we cannot accept any further candidates.

Inquiries and questions may be sent to or (for details see below)


On the beautiful island Frauenwörth, 83256 Chiemsee, (Germany) (

→ google maps


Matthieu Bonicel (digitization projects, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, biblissima, Paris, France)
Roger Easton (optics, especially multispectral imaging, Rochester Institute of Technology)
Leif Glaser (DESY, Hamburg, Germany)
Daniela Handl (virtual 3D visualization and modelization, Volume Graphics, Heidelberg)
Philip Huyse (Middle Persian, École pratique des hautes études-Sorbonne, Paris, France)
Verena Lepper (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz & Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany)
Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke (Helmholtz-Zentrum/FU Berlin, Topoi, Berlin, Germany) coorganizer
Eve Menei (Papyrus restoration, Paris)
Christian Müller (Arabic documents, Institut de recherche d’histoire des textes, CNRS, Paris)
Bernd Neumann (Artificial Intelligence, Universität Hamburg)
Michael Phelps (Sinai Palimpsest Project, multispectral imaging)
Kathryn Piquette (RTI, Cologne Center for eHumanities, Universität Köln)
Ira Rabin (XRF, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Berlin)
Véronique Rouchon (Centre de recherche sur la conservation, Paris, France)
Judith Schlanger (Medieval Hebrew manuscripts, École pratique des hautes études-Sorbonne, Paris, France)
Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra (Qumran scrolls, École pratique des hautes études-Sorbonne, Paris, France) coorganizer
Piotr Targowski (Optical Coherence Tomography, University of Torun, Poland)
Lior Wolf (Artificial intelligence, Tel Aviv University, Israel)


Supported by:


Programme (lectures, practical courses, poster session)

(to be updated)


a. Fundamental Problems and questions around cultural heritage:

Writing is an old cultural technique with a long history of development, from clay to papyri to books. And such scripts are a profound source of our knowledge about former societies and their appearance and disappearance. Therefore investigations on and of writings can tell us a lot about the time of creation and how to preserve them. In a different view ornaments and jewelries are “writings” as well (Judith Schlanger, Daniel Stökl Ben Ezra, Verena Lepper, Christian Müller).

b. Spectroscopic and imaging techniques:

about various optical and x-ray techniques (Leif Glaser, Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke, Kathryn Piquette, Ira Rabin, Piotr Targowski)

c. Digital humanities and computer science

about pattern recognition in automatic palaeography and layout analysis, mathematical reconstruction and the organization of large digitization projects (Matthieu Bonicel, Daniela Handl, Bernd Neumann, Lior Wolf)

d. Conservation

Conservation and restoration are vital aspects for the manuscripts to be handled even after digitilization (Veronique Rouchon, Eve Menei).


Practical Courses

Portable instruments:

  • X-ray fluorescence and line scanning (H.-E.Mahnke, I.Rabin, F.Kutz)
  • Reflectance Transformation Imaging (K.Piquette)
  • Multispectral imaging microscopy (I.Rabin)

Computer programs:

  • 3d reconstruction in tomography (D.Handl, S.Engels)

Participating masters students may obtain ECTS credit points from FU Berlin, Fachbereich Physik.


Poster Session

The participants are invited to contribute with posters to the topics, a dedicated session for discussions at the posters, display of posters for several days will provide opportunities for further discussions in small groups.


See also:

Application deadline is May 26, 2015

Applications should include a motivation letter, CV, a recommandation letter and send by email to or

For those already working in the discipline we encourage sending a 1-page abstract (camera-ready, pdf or doc) for a presentation poster.

Master students can receive ECTS via the department of physics at the FU Berlin.

Des étudiants de master peuvent recevoir des ECTS par le département de physique de la FU Berlin. Il faudra le mentionner dans la lettre de candidature.

Responses will be given around June 10, 2015.



  • Inscription fees : 100 € (non-refundable) (before 3 july, 2015, after this date 150 €)
  • hotel (double room) and meals (6 days) 390 €

Important: We have a certain number of scholarships to cover hotel and meals. Your argumented request for such a scholarship should be included in the application.

We hope to be able to support a large number of candidats.



Prof. Dr. Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra  

 Director of the digital humanities programme of the EPHE, Paris


 Prof. Dr. Heinz-Eberhard Mahnke

 Freie Universität Berlin

 Fachbereich Physik and Excellence cluster TOPOI

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