Paleography and Diplomatics on the Digital Humanities Route: Pathways and Proposals



See Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Throughout human history, writing has held indisputable importance. It is a constant presence in our daily lives, not static, but changeable. Its form, its medium and the crafts linked to it have undergone various transformations, according to the time and the circumstances in which they were found.

Interpretation of documentary sources, with their textual richness, is fundamental for historical knowledge. Sciences such as paleography and diplomatics, sigillography, heraldry and codicology, among others, constitute a decisive element in a historian's work. They often, however, end up being relegated to the background and continue to be seen as "auxiliaries" in history. Nevertheless (and despite the work by several researchers), the questions that still arise, the hypotheses that they open and the challenges that they pose to historiographic work constitute a fertile field for advancing the study of them.

We can thus state that the humanities are presently going through a favourable phase in their development, especially with regard to the digital world. In this field, all sciences focused on the study of historiographical sources will be especially pertinent. This is not only on account of the challenges related to conservation and restoration, but also due to the availability of sources and the input that new digital tools can bring to the relationship between researcher and historical documentation. While it was already an interdisciplinary theme, the opportunity to work with new tools and gain access to sources has greatly extended it.

This congress sets out to pose questions and discuss hypotheses for the work of digital humanities in history: What past and what future? What are the paths for palaeography and diplomatics and the other sciences that allow historians’ work to continue? Are we dealing with new practices or new methods of addressing sources and writings? To what extent is preservation possible without evading historical documents? How can computer programming create tools for historians and archives?

We therefore invite all students, technicians and researchers to present their work and bring these or other questions to the debate.


  • Diplomatics
  • Paleography
  • Sigillography
  • Archives
  • Agents of writing
  • Universities and digital humanities

Authors Guidelines

Information needed

  • Name
  • Email
  • Contact
  • Academic affiliation
  • Academic background
  • Title of proposal
  • Keywords (4)
  • Proposal summary (max. 500 words)
  • Short CV (max. 300 words)
  • English is preferencial


We appreciate your interest, unfortunately the attendance quota is full. We are making an effort to stream the keynote speakers' talks. Please check this website for updates and instructions, details will be here. Thank you.


6 May


09:00 UTC

Hermínia Vilar, Pilar Ostos, Hermenegildo Fernandes

Opening session

09:30 - 10:00 UTC

Cristina Cunha (FLUP)

Plenary Session

10:00 - 11:00 UTC

11:00 - 11:30 coffee break

Session I

Diplomatics: new advances in document analysis

11:30 - 13:00 UTC

  • 11:30 - 12:00 Keynote: Ricardo Seabra (FLUP)

  • 12:00 - 12:20 To be defined

  • 12:20 - 12:40 To be defined

  • 12:40 - 13:00 Debate

Session II

Paleography: methodologies for the study of scripts

14:30 - 16:00 UTC

  • 14:30 - 15:00 Keynote: Maria José Azevedo Santos (FLUC)

  • 15:00 - 15:20 To be defined

  • 15:20 - 15:40 To be defined

  • 15:40 - 16:00 Debate

16:00 - 16:30 coffee break

Session III

Use of digital humanities in the universitas

16:30 - 18:00 UTC

  • 16:30 - 17:00 Keynote: Miguel Calleja Puerta (U. Oviedo)

  • 17:00 - 17:20 To be defined

  • 17:20 - 17:40 To be defined

  • 17:40 - 18:00 Debate

7 May

Session IV

Sigillography: technology and the historian

09:00 - 10:30 UTC

  • 09:00 - 09:30 Keynote: Saúl Gomes (FLUC)

  • 09:30 - 09:50 To be defined

  • 09:50 - 10:10 To be defined

  • 10:10 - 10:30 Debate

10:30 - 11:00 coffee break

Session V

Present and future archives: proposals for cooperation and communication between institutions

11:00 - 12:30 UTC

  • 11:00 - 11:30 Keynote: Barbara Santiago Medina (U. Complutense)

  • 11:30 - 11:50 To be defined

  • 11:50 - 12:10 To be defined

  • 12:10 - 12:30 Debate

Session VI

Archives from the past: institutions and documents

14:00 - 15:30 UTC

  • 14:00 - 14:30 Keynote: Margarita Gomez y Gomez (U. Sevilla)

  • 14:30 - 14:50 To be defined

  • 14:50 - 15:10 To be defined

  • 15:10 - 15:30 Debate

Session VII

Agents of writing and guardians of documents

16:00 - 17:30 UTC

  • 16:00 - 16:30 Keynote: Filipa Roldão (FLUL)

  • 16:30 - 16:50 To be defined

  • 16:50 - 17:10 To be defined

  • 17:10 - 17:30 Debate

Antonio Castillo Gómez (U. Alcalá)

Closing session

17:30 UTC

8 May



10:00 - 12:00 UTC

The workshop will give an introduction to the Transkribus platform which enables users to transcribe, recognize, and search historical documents. Transkribus is based on machine learning. Therefore users can adapt the recognition engine exactly to the documents they are working with. This is especially interesting for handwritten documents. Moreover Transkribus already provides a number of public models which are already able to recognize printed and handwritten text in many European languages. Workshop participants are requested to register and download the Transkribus expert client right before the workshop.


Important dates

28 March 2021

Submit your proposal

6 May 2021

Keynotes, presentations and a lot of discussion.

Organising Committee

Ana Pereira Ferreira

Ana Pereira Ferreira

CIDEHUS-UÉvora; CH-ULisboa
Ivo Santos

Ivo Santos

Leonor Dias Garcia

Leonor Dias Garcia

Nelson Vaquinhas

Nelson Vaquinhas

Arquivo Municipal de Loulé; CIDEHUS-UÉvora
Ofélia Sequeira

Ofélia Sequeira


Scientific Committee

Filipa Roldão

Filipa Roldão

Hermenegildo Fernandes

Hermenegildo Fernandes

Hermínia Vasconcelos Vilar

Hermínia Vasconcelos Vilar

Mª Helena C. Coelho

Mª Helena C. Coelho

Pilar Ostos

Pilar Ostos

Universidad de Sevilla
Renata Vieira

Renata Vieira


Contact Info


Largo do Marquês de Marialva 8, 7000-654 Évora, PORTUGAL


(+351) 266 740 800