Medieval calligraphy workshop

Inspired by our Mirror of the world exhibition, secondary students make their own illuminated manuscript in this creative and fun workshop.

Medieval illuminated manuscript
60 minutes
Year level
Year: 7–8
$130 per group (up to 25 students)
50 students

New in 2017

In 2017, the Medieval calligraphy workshop will be moving to a 90-minute program combining a tour of the Library's rare and beautiful books and a hands-on, creative workshop. The fee will be $150 per group (up to 25 students), with a program capacity of up to 100 students (four groups). For more details, call our education team on 03 8664 7555.

In this hands-on workshop, secondary students explore the history of medieval manuscripts and view a range of primary sources in our Mirror of the world exhibition.

Inspired by the exhibition's displays, students create their own illuminated manuscript page, learning how to write in decorative medieval script using calligraphy pens.

Students also gain an understanding of the Library's role in collecting historic books and manuscripts, and experience first-hand our heritage building's unique architecture and legacy.

Student experience

Students will:

  • take a short tour of the Mirror of the world exhibition
  • view rare manuscripts and other treasures in the Library's collection
  • explore the history of writing
  • learn how illuminated manuscripts were produced
  • create their own illuminated manuscript using calligraphy pens and Uncial script
  • be inspired by the domed La Trobe Reading Room from the level 5 gallery level

Curriculum information

This program links strongly to the Victorian Curriculum, history, and is relevant to Years 7–8.

Skills development

This program assists students to:

  • describe the broad patterns of change over the period from the ancient to the modern world
  • identify and explain patterns of continuity and change in society influenced by the presence of books
  • understand the significance and importance of conserving the remains and heritage of the past

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.