The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence exists to apply an integrated, holistic approach to manuscripts and texts in other forms through the ages. Our work began on medieval Western European manuscripts and early modern printed books in specific collections, but our research work has expanded to embrace a wider body of written sources, from the Late-Antique Mediterranean world to the present.
The Group considers these and many related materials simultaneously as carriers of text, archaeological artefacts, works of art, layers of history, and monuments of culture. The Group seeks to examine, record, and analyze the evidence of these witnesses of history, life, thought, art, and culture, and to set their testimony in context. It also works to educate others in its methods and its results. It offers a concerted, informed response to the complex challenges of preserving, transmitting, and understanding the legacy of the past. By such means we seek better to understand the present and to help prepare for the future, above all a future worth having.
Our approach is inclusive rather than exclusive. We welcome scholars, both established and developing, as well as independent scholars, experts, students, and amateurs in many areas of interest in the academic and wider worlds. This company is manifested in our Officers, Associates, and Volunteers and in our welcome for newcomers. Our interests embrace many materials and fields of study, ranging from book culture, book history, library history, art history, palaeography, textual transmission, and linguistics, to archival studies, conservation, archaeology, and forensics. Although our individual experiences and forms of expertise perforce differ, we believe that we all might be equal in the quest for truth, and so benefit from fostering constructive discourse and feedback across disciplines, regions, and generations, with the aim of strengthening or refining knowledge overall.
Welcome to Our Website
We invite you to join our activities, subscribe or donate to our Bulletin ShelLife, and become a Sponsor or Benefactor of our work and mission. The Research Group is a recognized Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization in the form of a corporation, devoted to lectures, discussions, and other forms of publications.
Please explore the items on our Menu at the left to learn about our history, origins, and aims; our officers, organization, associates, and volunteers; and our activities, which include meetings, photographic exhibitions, and publications. Our meetings take the form of lectures, master classes, symposia, colloquia, seminars, workshops, and conference sessions. Our conference sessions, both sponsored and co-sponsored, usually occur at the International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Our publications include catalogues, books, booklets, this website, and our illustrated Bulletin ShelfLife: A Meeting Place for Scholars, Collectors & Connoisseurs of Manuscripts, Books & the Written Word. Our copyright high-quality digital font, called Bembino, is available for free use and suitable for multiple languages: so far English and most Western European languages based on the Latin alphabet, as well as Greek (both modern and polytonic), the Russian subset of the cyrillic languages, Hebrew, and Egyptian Arabic.
This site provides information on how to contact us and how to obtain ShelfLife and Bembino, become a Sponsor or Benefactor of the RGME, and join our mission. We invite you to explore the links of interest, in lists of websites devoted to manuscripts, rare books, and other materials transmitting the written word in a variety of periods, languages, and cultures. The lists focus on websites which illustrate many examples of the wealth of such materials, now dispersed and preserved in vary many collections, both private and public, around the world.
Redesigning our Website
We are redesigning this website, starting in April 2013. We invite suggestions for design, layout, and content. Please let us know your suggestions. You could contact us through this site -- Contact Us -- and on on our Facebook Page:
Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.
Meanwhile, we invite you also to visit the beautiful new site by our webmaster, with his thoughtful personal selection -- guided by decades of gifted study -- of a wealth of extraordinary examples of manuscript art, gathered from high-quality images made freely available by enlightened libraries in Paris and elsewhere: Manuscript Art. Beautiful.