27276 - Laboratory (1) (Med.)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop students will be able to plan a research path, collecting, selecting and organizing data and documentary information thanks to the specific tools acquired during the course unit; they will be able to analyse documentary, material and iconographic sources in a critical light and from a diachronic perspective. They will able to write a short text without assistance. They will have learned to be methodologically rigorous and precise. Attuned to group work, they will have learned judgment on a professional, human and ethical plane.

Course contents

The workshop consists of a first part which is common to all students and is focused on the examination of bibliographic tools of general interest, that will also be presented in the digital version. These tools will be useful for the preparation of a degree thesis in historical disciplines (total of 12 hours).

The first part of the lectures requires different shifts; students must register to each shift


The second part of the Workshop consists of specific lessons concerning the four chronological areas characterising the degree course in History (18 hours).  Students must register to each shift

The activities relating to the Middle Ages will concern the direct knowledge of the main sources, in order to equip students with the tools and skills needed to draw up a final thesis on Medieval History.

For this purpose, the first group of lessons (10 hours) will be dedicated to the analysis of the different kind of sources through the reading of some examples taken from the main critical editions and, if possible, from the direct reading of manuscripts.

The second group of lessons (8 hours) is focused on a practical exercise.

If the health conditions allow, an educational visit to the State Archive will be organized, where the modalities and the access tools to the archival heritage will be illustrated. Secondly, students will be guided in the critical reading of a small body of sources related to one specific study case.

First group of lessons (10 hours)

  • Final thesis in Medieval History; choice of the subject; historical sources and historiography; guide to using specific research tools
  • Introduction to the documentary historical sources: nature and main characteristics
  • Reading, dating and interpretation of documentary historical sources: the private document
  • Reading, dating and interpretation of documentary historical sources: the public document
  • Historical narrative sources and chronicles: nature and main characteristics
  • Material historical sources: nature and main characteristics

    Second group of lessons (8 hours)

  • The archive as a place of the historical research. The State Archive of Bologna and its heritage
  • The archive as a place of the historical research. Access and correct use of the tools to support research
  • From theory to practice. First approaches to a specific case study (1)
  • From theory to practice. First approaches to a specific case study (2)


Two of the following texts are required to be read:

  • P. Delogu, Introduzione alla storia medievale, Bologna 2003
  • M. Bloch, Apologia della storia o mestiere di storico, Torino 2009
  • F. Senatore, Medioevo istruzioni per l’uso, Milano 2008


Recommended readings:

    • S. Gasparri, Voci dai secoli oscuri. Un percorso nelle fonti dell’alto medioevo?, Roma 2017
    • Fonti medievali. Un'antologia, a c. di T. Di Carpegna Falconieri, A. Feniello, C. Grasso, Roma 2017
    • Materiale didattico fornito durante il corso

Teaching methods

During lessons, students will be invited to actively participate to the reading and analysis of the texts. For the last part of the Workshop, students will be divided into small groups (2/4 people), and under the guidance of the tutors and the supervision of the teacher, they will make a real research, thanks to the knowledge they acquired during the lessons of the first part of the Workshop and during the 12 hours related to bibliographic tools.

If the health conditions allow, an educational visit to the State Archive will be organized.

The frequency of 25 hours out of 30 is mandatory to obtain eligibility.

Assessment methods

At the end of the Workshop, students will have to write, in collaboration with the other members of their group, a 15 pages long (about 30000 words) paper, and they will have to create a Power Point presentation (which duration will be determined in the classroom based on the number of participants) that will be shown to the teacher, the tutor and the other students in order to expose the research activity critically.

On the basis of the paper, the teacher will analyse:

  • the knowledge of the topics discussed during lessons
  • the mastery of the tools and of the specific research methods for the Medieval area

The possession of such knowledge and skills, and in general the active participation to the proposed activities, will lead to an evaluation of eligibility.

Teaching tools

On the Workshop website will be provided the reproductions, transcriptions or the critical editions of the sources analysed during lessons.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Roversi Monaco