International Summer School (Marbach, 29 July–9 August)

Applications are invited for attendance at


the International Summer School


A (new) Republic of Letters:

intellectual communities, global knowledge transfer


29 July – 9 August 2018
German Literature Archive Marbach

Marbach Weimar Wolfenbüttel Research Association



Application deadline: 28 February 2018 


Link for Application


Marbach Summer School poster

Each Republic of Letters is based on words. They are, according to Anthony Grafton, ‘worlds made by words’ (2009). The booming research into global literatures allows us to see these worlds from a new perspective.



This International Summer School is hosted by the German Literature Archive Marbach, which makes numerous documents reflecting literary and scholarly collaboration available for research. On this occasion, the archive itself becomes a vehicle for international exchange.


Within the framework of the International Summer School, twenty doctoral students from around the world will have the opportunity to discuss the phenomenon of the Republic of Letters, its historical and theoretical manifestations, and the terminological challenges it poses. Please use the link above to apply to attend this exciting event!


Training School in Tallinn, Estonia, 13–16 March 2018

Call for Applications

COST-Action IS1310 ‘Reassembling the Republic of Letters’

Training School in Tallinn, Estonia, 13–16 March 2018

‘EMLO on the road’



The third Training School of the Action will take place in March 2018 in Tallinn, Estonia.



Tuesday, 13th – Friday, 16th March 2018



The purpose of the Training School is to learn how to prepare metadata for publication in a union catalogue of early modern correspondence.



2 trainers and 12 trainees



Generously funded by COST Action IS 1310, the Under and Tuglas Literature Centre of the Estonian Academy of Sciences is hosting the third ‘Reassembling the Republic of Letters’ Digital Humanities Training School, in Tallinn.

We invite researchers to submit applications to a Training School to be held in Tallinn from 13 March to 16 March 2018.



The aim of the Training School is to teach participants to collate, standardize, and prepare for publication early modern correspondence metadata in a format that is compatible with a union catalogue in addition to meeting the needs and requirements of the contributing scholar’s own work and focus of research.



The training sessions will be conducted by Miranda Lewis (Editor) and Charlotte Marique (Editorial Assistant) of the online database Early Modern Letters Online [EMLO], which is maintained by the Cultures of Knowledge project at the University of Oxford. Using tools developed specifically for metadata preparation, and in combination with standards that enable interoperability, participants will learn how to collate and structure epistolary metadata for publication in a union catalogue. Attendees will be shown how to take advantage of pre-existing, standardized early modern person and place metadata, together with relevant associated authority file references and links. The sessions will be tailored to help clarify specific issues and problems that arise in the course of work with epistolary metadata assembled from a wide range of sources and in pre-existing formats.

All participants are encouraged to bring their own metadata (whether pre-structured, partially structured, or unstructured), but in special cases sample metadata can be supplied for training purposes. Sessions will be conducted in English, and supporting documents and guides in English and  German will be available. Each participant will be required to bring a laptop for use during the sessions that will enable work with online tools and is capable of running Excel. Please note that tablets will not be suitable. Although a basic knowledge of Excel will be assumed, full training in all relevant spreadsheet work will be provided.



A maximum of 12 participants can be invited. Applications are welcomed from scholars in all countries participating in the Action. This Training School is funded by a supplementary grant made available in the first instance to ‘Inclusiveness and Target Countries’, so if the event is oversubscribed preference will be shown to applicants from these countries.[1] Also encouraged to apply are early career scholars, representatives from institutions with large holdings of early modern correspondence, and individuals prepared to help disseminate the taught epistolary standards, techniques, and tools in their scholarly communities. Preference will be shown also to scholars working on correspondences that intersect with the broad international republic of letters, but the selectors will hope to include representatives from a wide range of disciplines and correspondences.


Costs and Reimbursement

Prior to the Training School, each trainee will receive by email an affirmation letter stipulating his/her participation and grant. The grant is intended to cover the majority of the Trainees’ travel, accommodation, and subsistence during the Training School. Individual grants will average €800.00 and will be awarded at the discretion of the selection panel based upon on the country of origin of each Trainee and the total funds available.

Invited trainees will be required to pay for their own travel prior to travel and for their accommodation and subsistence during the Training School. Participants will be reimbursed according to the COST Action guidelines after the Training School.



Applications should contain the following:

  • a brief C.V.
  • a short description of the most relevant research project(s) in which you are involved (300 words), including a brief description of the metadata you could bring to the Training School and the correspondences with which you are working.

Please use the subject line: ‘Application for March Training School’ in your emailed application.



Applications will be selected by a panel consisting of the following persons:


Applications should be sent to:


The deadline for the submission of applications is Monday 15 January 2018 Tuesday 30 January (deadline extended).

The date of notifications for the selected participants will be Monday 5 February 2018.



Selected participants will be required to register and download their grant on the e-COST platform:


Contact person for queries on the content of the Training School:

Miranda Lewis (Training School Trainer), Oxford University:


Contact person for financial questions/reimbursements:

Arno Bosse (Manager), Oxford University:


Contact person in Tallinn for questions about local details:

Kristi Viiding (Training School Coordinator), Estonian Academy of Sciences:




[1] Inclusiveness and Target Countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Estonia; Latvia; fYR Macedonia; Greece; Hungary; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia.

Vacancies: 3 PhD positions in the new Republic of Letters research project

Thanks to a Consolidator Grant awarded by the European Research Council to our COST Action member Dr Dirk van Miert for his ‘Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks: the Republic of Letters as a pan-European Knowledge Society’ project, the Department of History and Art History of Utrecht University has vacancies for three salaried four-year PhD positions on networks in the Republic of Letters.  

A brief summary of the entire research project is available on the website of Utrecht University:

For the vacancies and more information, see the AcademicTransfer website:

–        PhD position ‘History of concepts: digital discourse analysis of the Republic of Letters, 1400-1800’

–        PhD position ‘Mining for learned identities in the Republic of Letters, 1400-1800’

–        PhD position ‘The structure of the networks of the Republic of Letters, 1400-1800’


The PhDs will start as of 1 January 2018. The deadline for application is 20 October 2017. Enquiries can be made to Dirk van Miert ( An extended research description is available upon request.

Early Stage Researcher (PhD and Postdoc) Funding Opportunity

Cost actionWe are pleased to announce a sixth call for applications for short term research visits (“Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)” relating to the EU COST Action IS 1310: Reassembling the Republic of Letters, 1500-1800.


This funding promotes international mobility between COST Countries participating in this Action, particularly for Early Stage Researchers.


Purpose of a STSM

STSM facilitates researchers from COST Countries participating in COST Action IS1310 to go to an institution or research centre in another participating COST Country to foster collaboration and to perform empirical research. Participation of “Early Stage Researchers” (ESR) in STSM is particularly encouraged. An applicant is considered as an “Early Stage Researcher” when the time that has elapsed between the date of the applicants PhD and the date of the applicant‘s first involvement in the COST Action IS1310 does not exceed 8 years. PhD students are also eligible to partake in STSMs. – The Action is also committed to the overall COST goals of gender balance and encourages applications from COST inclusiveness countries.


Specific information concerning STSM

An STSM can last between 5 days and 90 days (and up to 180 days if the applicant is an ESR – see definition of ESR above). The financial support provided is a contribution to the overall expenses incurred during the STSM and may not necessarily cover all of the associated outgoings. The following funding conditions apply and must be respected:

  1. Travel expenses cannot exceed EUR 500;
  2. For subsistence (accommodation and meals), the maximum allocation is EUR 160 per day;
  3. The maximum award per grantee is EUR 2500; aside from STSMs that last longer than 90 days; in this case a maximum of EUR 3500 can be granted;
  4. STSM activities must occur in their entirety within the dates specified in this call.


Financial support is limited to travel and subsistence expenses and is paid as a grant. For this call, the Management Committee of COST Action IS1310 has allocated a total budget of €15500, which can fund c. 6-8 STSMs. Although applicants are invited to request a specified amount and to justify their expenses, the amounts granted for each individual STSM will be determined during the evaluation process by the selection panel. The selection of applicants is based on the scientific scope of the STSM application, which must clearly meet the overall objectives of the Action. Most successful applications will engage directly with some aspect of the tasks and problems outlined in the agendas of the six Working Groups central to Action IS 1310, and should represent a meaningful contribution to the Action.


These agendas are summarized in a separate document available from the STSM Coordinator, and are outlined on the Action website at Applicants are requested to identify the precise, numbered agenda item(s) to which their proposal is aimed at, and to discuss them before the applications with the respective Working Group Leader, copying Chair and Vice-Chair of the Action in to this correspondence. In addition, the selection of this final set of STSMs will be informed by the need to fill gaps in the Action volume (available on the Slack Forum to Action members).


How to apply for an STSM:

Interested Researchers are advised to follow the directions provided below and submit their application and supporting documents to the STSM Coordinator Vanda Anastácio by the deadline of the 31/08/2017.  No extensions will be granted.



  1. All applicants must carefully read the funding rules detailed in section 6 of the COST Vademecum: COST Action -­‐ Short Term Scientific Mission (pages 35-36). This document is available at: .
  2. All applicants must register for an e-COST profile at -­‐ adding their bank account details to their profile.
  3. All applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the host, AND a letter of support from their home institution confirming that they can undertake the STSM on the given dates prior to submitting an application.
  4. All applicants must complete, submit and download their STSM application online at:
  5. All applicants must send their submitted STSM application form and the relevant supporting documents to Vanda Anastácio for evaluation before the application submission deadline expires.


The list of supporting documents to be submitted for the evaluation are:

  • Letter of invitation to the applicant from a senior researcher affiliated to the Host institution
  • The submitted STSM application form (downloadable when the online application is submitted – see point 4 above)
  • A motivation letter including an overview of the proposed activities that will be performed which must contain a plan of work for the visit highlighting the proposed contribution to the scientific objectives of the respective COST Action (usually 2-4 pages)
  • A letter of support from the Home Institution;
  • A Full C.V. (including a list of academic publications – if applicable).
  1. The application will then be assessed by the Core Group of the Action IS1310 in terms of the contribution which it proposes make to the objectives outlined in the Action’s Memorandum of Understanding (downloadable at ) and the six Working Group agendas (at ).
  2. The applicant will be formally notified of the outcome of their STSM application by the STSM Coordinator, Prof. Vanda Anastácio soon after the 15/09/2017.
  3. Within 30 days from the end date of the STSM, the successful applicant must submit a scientific report to the Host institution and to the STSM Coordinator; the report has to be uploaded on the Action’s private forum and ideally on the frontend, too (the STSM abstract will be published on the website in any case). The applicant is also responsible for acquiring an official acceptance letter / E-mail confirmation of acceptance from a senior Researcher affiliated to the Host institution formally accepting the scientific report. This formal acceptance of the scientific report has to be sent to the Grant Holder and the STSM Coordinator for archiving purposes. Failure to submit the scientific report within 30 days from the end date of the STSM will effectively cancel the grant. (Please note that COST can request additional information to substantiate the information contained within the documents submitted by STSM applicants).


Deadline for applications to be submitted: 31/08/2017.


Notification of application outcome: soon after 15/09/2017


Period of STSMs: between 01/10/2017 and 31/03/2018.

Winners Of Round Four Of The T-AP Digging Into Data Challenge 2017

We would like to congratulate our three COST Action members: Eero Hyvönen (Aalto University), Bruno Emanuel da Graça Martins (Universidade de Lisboa), and Patricia Murrieta-Flores (University of Chester) for being awarded funding in the 2017 DiD funding scheme!


Map of Oaxtepec, Morelos from the Relaciones Geográficas (1580)


The Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities along with sixteen international research funders jointly awarded approximately (US) $9.2 million to international teams investigating how large-scale computational techniques may be applied to answering research questions in the humanities and social sciences. These teams will be pursuing research in numerous areas, including musicology, economics, linguistics, political science, and history.


Two of the fourteen winning projects are led by our COST Action members:


HJ-253524. Mapping Manuscript Migrations: digging into data for the history and provenance of pre-modern European manuscripts.
Abstract: An international collaboration mapping the movement of pre-modern European manuscripts. The project links disparate datasets from Europe and North America to provide a view of the history and provenance of these manuscripts. Funders: Finland (AKA); France (ANR); United Kingdom (AHRC/ESRC); United States (IMLS). Principal Investigators: Toby Burrows (University of Oxford); Eero Hyvönen (Aalto University); Lynn Ransom (University of Pennsylvania); Hanno Wijsman (Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes).


HJ-253525. Digging into Early Colonial Mexico.
Abstract: An innovative international collaboration to study Relaciones Geográficas, a 16th century compilation ordered by the Spanish crown that gathered vast amounts of information about the New World through multiple records, both in Spanish and indigenous languages. Using a Big-Data approach, this project applies novel computational methodologies to study this important source for the colonial history of America. Funders: Mexico (CONACYT); Portugal (FCT); United Kingdom (AHRC/ESRC). Principal Investigators: Diego Jiménez-Badillo (Museo del Templo Mayor, INAH); Bruno Emanuel da Graça Martins (Universidade de Lisboa); Patricia Murrieta-Flores (University of Chester).



Per Pippin Aspaas: Astronomia disciplina maxime oecumenica?


In the period 19 February – 2 March 2017, I stayed in Basel as a STSM grantee. My host was Dr. Fritz Nagel of the Bernoulli-Euler Zentrum, whose office is located at the Universitätsbibliothek Basel.


The main task of my stay was to go through the surviving correspondence of the Basel-born savant Johann III Bernoulli, who served as Astronomer Royal of Berlin during the 1760s, 1770s, and 1780s. In investigating his Nachlass, I was looking for correspondence dealing with astronomy, not just any kind of learned, or private, exchange of information. Thanks to generous guidance from Dr. Nagel and extraordinary services provided by the staff at the Sonderlesesaal, I managed to go through all letters that one could expect to deal with astronomy. Brief abstracts of a substantial number of letters were made on the spot, whereas others were photographed for further study at home.


The STSM grant enabled me to go through unique materials of this member of the Bernoulli family, whose correspondence has not been studied, nor edited except for very small fractions, until now. The expected outcome of the STSM is twofold. Firstly, a number of letters will soon be exported from my excel files and uploaded into EMLO. Secondly, an analytical article will be prepared by Thomas Wallnig and myself, exploring to what extent astronomers cross confessional boundaries in their scientific correspondence. Johann III Bernoulli will be one of several astronomers whose correspondence will be analyzed for our article.



Justine Walden: The Wealth of Early Modern Italian Letters

Italians wrote more letters than any other early modern group: against a backdrop of merchant letters from the 13th and 14th centuries and letters exchanged between humanists and literary figures in in the 15th, collections of printed vernacular letters poured from Venetian presses in the 16th.  A vast quantity of letters was exchanged between doctors, astronomers, physicists, literary figures and musicians in 16th-century Italy, and intersecting with this outflow were courtly, facetious, and scientific letters from academicians; circulars describing natural and ethnographic phenomena written by Jesuits; advisory letters written by traveling diplomats, and spiritual letters written by religious figures. Many of these letters were widely copied, circulated, published and republished. Yet records of early modern Italian correspondence and the letters themselves, however, can be difficult to locate, in part because the letters are dispersed across so many different repositories and in part because of the wide diversity of types of finding aids and inventories (e.g., .pdf, handwritten, typewritten, and online inventories and data sources).


An Early Modern Italian Letters Census


This short-term scientific mission (STSM) consisted of canvassing early modern Italian letters sources with an eye to the requirements of a more comprehensive census. The project consisted of forays into Italian archives and a residence in Oxford so as to understand EMLO data requirements. The project confronted challenges both technological and prosopographic. On the technical side, there were issues of undigitized catalogues and integrating diverse data sources and bibliographic formats. On the prosopographic, basic biographical metadata was collected for several hundred letter-writers to ascertain whether they fell within EMLO’s temporal remit. Other challenges included the problem of duplicate records, database organization, and questions of translation.



The STSM resulted in two projects: 1) a report to help future researchers find early modern Italian letters and 2) a database of Early Modern Italian Letters, or EMIL, which contains information on 128 letters repositories, metadata on 4,700 early modern Italian letters sources, and metadata on 2,700 individual letters. Database categories consist of the name of the letter-writer, their biographical metadata and profession, the name of the archive and shelfmark and a link to the source where possible, whether the source is in manuscript or print format, whether it is early modern or modern, whether it is in catalogue or item format, and where applicable, notes on the size of the letters collection or other factors.


Dirk van Miert receives 2 million euros for research into the Open Science ideals of early modern knowledge networks

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Consolidator Grant of 2 million euros to one of our COST Action members, historian and Latinist Dr Dirk van Miert, to conduct research into the ideal of sharing knowledge within early modern scholarly networks in Europe.

The Consolidator Grant will allow Dirk van Miert to set up his own team of researchers and study the pre-history of Open Science during a five-year period (2017-2022).