My dissertation investigates how the letters and practices of letter-writing of certain fourteenth and fifteenth-century Dominicans served as vehicles for the authors’ charismatic or divinely inspired authority. These letters were not private correspondences but were a public literature which copyists bound repeatedly into manuscripts. The majority of these correspondences were letters of spiritual direction addressed to penitent women. In many cases, copyists bound these letters with those of St. Jerome of Stridon, which were also addressed to women. I suggest that this practice of letter writing and binding was intended to model the Dominican authors’ saintly authority in imitation of Jerome’s, thereby speaking to both the Observant and Humanist movements’ efforts to engage with a more perfect ancient past. With the support of the Rome Prize, I plan to pursue manuscript research in Roman libraries to study the letters within their manuscript contexts, examining marginal notations, rubbed parchment from frequent use, and what other texts were bound with the letters within a given manuscript. In this way, I aim to investigate how Italians related to these letters as physical objects, how they used them to shape their communal identities, and pursue religious and cultural reform.