Medieval calligraphy workshop – secondary

Book of hours (detail), Besançon, ca. 1430–40
120 minutes
Year level
Year: 7–8
$170 per group (up to 25 students)
50 students. Note: programs do not run on Mondays.

Secondary students explore the medieval world of parchment paper, coloured powders and gold leaf in this hands-on calligraphy experience.

Dating back to the 5th century, the art of calligraphy flourished in the medieval age and required precise craftsmanship. In this creative workshop students will become calligraphers, learning how to write decorative medieval scripts using calligraphy pens and making their own illuminated manuscripts based on Latin text.

Students will also explore the history of medieval manuscripts while touring the World of the book exhibition.

Student experience

Students will:

  • discover how illuminated manuscripts were produced in medieval times
  • create their own illuminated manuscript using calligraphy pens and uncial script
  • explore the Library's unique heritage spaces, including the iconic La Trobe Reading Room, on a guided tour
  • view medieval manuscripts in the World of the book exhibition.

Skills development

This program links to the Victorian Curriculum and assists students to:

  • analyse the cause and effects of developments in the written word and book-making in the medieval period (VCHHHK117)
  • identify and connect specific features of visual artworks from different cultures, historical and contemporary times (VCAVAR039).

Excursion funding

Thanks to our generous philanthropic partners, Victorian schools with an Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) ranking of less than 1000 may be eligible to receive funding towards program and transport costs. You can look up your school's score on the My School website.

The Library can offer limited bus funding reimbursements, and program waivers for up to four groups per booked excursion. This offer is available until funding has been exhausted.

If you would like to be considered for excursion funding, please add your details when completing the online booking form.

Embark on a journey of discovery at the State Library

Held in the inspiring heritage setting of Australia's oldest public library, our school excursions offer students a uniquely immersive, enriching experience, encouraging return visits and life-long learning. The Library has provided free access to information and education since 1856, and we invite students to become part of history as they tour the breathtaking dome and view our historic collections. All tours and workshops are developed by experienced teachers, aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and facilitated by expert staff.

State Library Victoria is a Child Safe Organisation. Learn more about how we are working to ensure the wellbeing of children visiting the Library.