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



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 To what extent is preservation possible without evading historical documents?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.

You're invited to assist the live-streaming on YouTube or the Keynote speakers on CIDEHUS's Facebook


6 de Maio


09:00 UTC +1

Hermínia Vilar, Hermenegildo Fernandes

Sessão de abertura

09:30 - 10:00 UTC +1

Cristina Cunha (University of Oporto, Portugal) – "Discrimen veri ac falsi": still and always the path of Diplomatics”

Sessão Plenária

10:00 - 10:45 UTC +1

10:45 - 11:15 coffee break

Sessão I

Diplomática: novos avanços na análise documental

11:15 - 12:45 UTC +1

  • 11:15 - 11:45 Keynote: Ricardo Seabra (University Autónoma de Lisboa, Portugal)
    "Notarial Diplomatics in 2021: documental research and analysis"

  • 11:45 - 12:05 Laura Esposito (University of Napoly, Italy)
    "The Palimpsests Documents Of Santa Sofia Di Benevento Studied Through Multispectral Imaging"

  • 12:05 - 12:25 - Alessandro Alfier (University of Sapienza, Roma, Italy)
    "History, documentary sources and future: use of Diplomatics for the analysis of contemporary digital documentation"

  • 12:25 - 12:45 Debate

Sessão II

Paleografia: metodologias para o estudo das grafias

14:00 - 16:00 UTC +1

  • 14:00 - 14:30 Keynote: Maria José Azevedo Santos (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
    "A majestade da escrita e a escrita de Sua Majestade. O caso do reinado de D. Manuel I (1495-1521)"

  • 14:30 – 14:50 - Günter Mühlberger (Transkribus)
    "Transkribus, or how to make transcribing easier with machine learning"

  • 14:50 - 15:10 - Lívia Borges Souza Magalhães / Lúcia Furquim Werneck Xavier /Alícia Duhá / Leonardo de Jesus / João Andrade dos Santos (University of Bahia, Brazil)
    "Transkribus: a platform for paleographical reasearch in Portuguese"

  • 15:10 - 15:30 - Lúcia Xavier (University of Bahia, Brazil) / Carolina Monteiro (University of Leiden, Netherlands)
    "Assembling a jigsaw puzzle: palaeography, digital indexation and inter-institutional research"

  • 15:30 - 16:00 Debate

16:00 - 16:30 coffee break

Sessão III

O recurso às humanidades digitais na universitas

16:30 - 18:00 UTC +1

  • 16:30 - 17:00 Keynote: Miguel Calleja Puerta (University of Oviedo, Spain)
    "Old wine in new bottles? The Computer as a Tool for Diplomatic Research"

  • 17:00 - 17:20 - Paula Pinto Costa (University of Oporto, Portugal)
    "Digital resources as a condition for research and knowledge production: a teaching-learning experience in medieval studies"

  • 17:20 - 17:40 - Ana Reyes Pérez (University of Granada, Spain)
    "Multispectral digitalization. A spectrum of posibilities for historical documentation knowledge"

  • 17:40 - 18:00 Debate

7 de Maio

Sessão IV

Sigilografia: a tecnologia e o historiador

09:00 - 10:30 UTC +1

  • 09:00 - 09:30 Keynote: Saúl Gomes (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
    "The Royal Seals of the Kingdom of Portugal as Testimonials of Political Identity"

  • 09:30 - 09:50 Pablo Navas (University Complutense of Madrid, Spain)
    "Sigillum Castellae: Digitize and catalog the medieval seals of Castilla"

  • 09:50 - 10:10 Marta Durbán García (University of Granada, Spain)
    "Digital documentation of papered seals by means of photogrammetry and digital illuminations techniques"

  • 10:10 - 10:30 Debate

10:30 - 11:00 coffee break

Sessão V

Arquivos do presente e do futuro: propostas para a cooperação e comunicação entre instituições

11:00 - 12:30 UTC +1

  • 11:00 - 11:30 Keynote: Barbara Santiago Medina (University Complutense of Madrid, Spain)

  • 11:30 - 11:50 Jane Landers (Vanderbilt University)
    "The Slave Societies Digital Archive"

  • 11:50 - 12:10 Alberto Medina de Seiça / Zuelma Chaves (University Nova of Lisbon, Portugal)
    "Historical Musicology and Digital Archives in Portugal: possibilities and challenges"

  • 12:10 - 12:30 Debate

Sessão VI

Arquivos do passado: instituições e documento

14:00 - 15:30 UTC +1

  • 14:00 - 14:30 Keynote: Margarita Gomez y Gomez (University of Sevilla, Spain)
    "Documentos y archivos del pasado en el siglo XXI: entre lo analógico y lo digital"

  • 14:30 - 14:50 Israel da Silva Aquino / Tomás Lacerda Spindler Guedes (University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)
    "Parish sources on digital bases: Beyond Center-South Project and the Portuguese-Brazilian population studies"

  • 14:50 - 15:10 Ana Margarida Dias da Silva (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
    "The 19th century archive of the Venerable Third Order of Penance of S. Francis of Coimbra"

  • 15:10 - 15:30 Debate

Sessão VII

Agentes da escrita e guardas do documento

16:00 - 17:30 UTC +1

  • 16:00 - 16:30 Keynote: Filipa Roldão (University of Lisboa, Portugal)
    "Traces on parchment: what did agents of writing do?"

  • 16:30 - 16:50 Michela Galli (University of Sapienza Roma, Italy)
    "Using eScriptorium to work on documents: eScriprorium applied to a 13th century French cartulary"

  • 16:50 - 17:10 Tatiana Keller (University of Santa Maria, Brazil)
    "Written ability and level of literacy of writers from Rio Grande do Sul in the 19th and 20th centuries"

  • 17:10 - 17:30 Debate

Antonio Castillo Gómez (U. Alcalá) - "Paleografía, Historia social y nuevas tecnologías"

Sessão de encerramento

17:30 UTC +1

8 de Maio



10:00 - 12:00 UTC +1

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