The records in the DALME collections offer many opportunities for use in the classroom. Because the records are presented in their original languages, they will seem inaccessible to students at first blush, and are best suited to smaller, advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate classes where the instructor can take time to curate assignments or projects and to work through the evidence with students. A good, basic model is to create a set of search terms that will yield records associated with course goals, and then invite students to look more deeply into found sets, using the assistance of online dictionaries and translation software. The pedagogical goals include not only analysis and discussion of the contents of the found set but also introductions to advanced search techniques for digitized corpora and to dictionary and translation tools.


The following list offers examples and outlines of representative assignments across a range of themes that can be approached through DALME records. Contact us if you would like expert guidance.

The Material Culture of Religious Devotion

  • Paternosters or rosary beads
    • search terms include paternoster, pater noster, patres
    • ask students to identify the materials used for paternoster beads (such as coral) and then have them search by material type to see what else was made from that material
  • Paintings
    • search terms include words beginning with ymag- and tavol- (alert students to false positives for the latter)
    • ask students to identify other words associated with paintings (such as Beate Virginis Marie) and to search for them
  • Relics and reliquaries
    • search terms include words beginning with reliq- and relic-
    • the found set will include many false positives; invite students to identify words associated with relics and reliquaries and redo the search using those terms
  • Texts
    • search terms include words beginning with legendar-, psalter-, collect-, colletar-, and books (libri) in general, since many books in the collection have a devotional or religious purpose
    • to search for books, introduce students to a Latin declension generator and have them decline librum and enter the unique word forms into the search

The Home

  • ask students to use an online dictionary in the appropriate language to identify as many objects in the room as they can
  • search for records that identify specific rooms, for example:
Room Latin Provençal Italian
kitchen coquina, cucina focanea chucina, cucina, cocina
hallway meian-, mejan-, meihan-
office, study studi- scrict-, scritt-
storeroom penor-, penus guardaspensa, volta
bedroom camera camera, chamera
entryway portic- palcho
armsroom armari-
salon, living room sala
stable stabul- scuderia
shop butiga bottegha
solarium soler-
basement cellar- cella, volta da vino (wine cellar)
gallery, loft loggia
ground floor terrena

Clothing and Fashion

  • enter terms for clothing terminology, including tunica-, gardac-, mantel-, chlam-, opeland-, opelland-, chopa, cioppa, gonella, camiscie, cottardita, farsett-, gonell-, guarnacch-, calze, chalze, cappucci-, berrett-, gamurr-,
  • garments were especially likely to be described by color, thus, a search for color terms such as,
    • in Latin, rube-, scarlet-, scarlat-, livid-, virid-.
    • in Italian: cilestrin-, ner-, bianc-, scarlat-, mischi-, azurr-, adogat-, brusch-, violet-, bigi-
  • some garments were gendered; search terms include words beginning with femin-, mascul-, (de or ad usum) mulier-, (de or ad usum) homin-, donna, huomo, fanciulla, fanciullo

The following list includes resources that may be of assistance in preparing assignments.


Translation Tools

Video Tutorials

Finding books.

Finding records from a date range.

Finding records from rural places.