2016 Report for CARA

July 14, 2016 in Reports

Our Second Annual Report for the CARA Newsletter

Celebrating at the closing Reception of the 2016 Meeting in Boston of the Medieval Academy of America. Photography © Mildred Budny

Photography by Mildred Budny

This Report for CARA (Committee on Centers and Regional Associations of the Medieval Academy of America) has appeared in its 2016 June Newsletter (page 13).  We are glad to be part of the organization.

Like last year, this year our Director attended the Annual CARA Meeting, which regularly follows the Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting.  This year it took place in Boston.

The Report of our Group’s activities for 2015–2016 is now published in the CARA Newsletter, for which we thank Lisa Fagin Davis (our Associate), Executive Director of the Medieval Academy, and her staff.  We congratulate Lisa, shown at its closing Reception, for the success of the 2016 Meeting in Boston.

Here we reprint the Report, with the addition of active links to its items, plus some illustrations.  First we set the Report briefly in context.

The First Report

Last year we became an Affiliate of CARA.  Our first Annual Report on “Activities and Plans” for 2014–2015 appeared in its 2015 June Newsletter (page 12).  The reprint of the Report (also here) on our website gives active links and illustrations for the items covered.


The Custom

The custom of such a report joins the pattern of reports for our nonprofit educational corporation at various times of the year.

For example, toward the end of each calendar year, the Annual Appeal Letter from Trustees of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence describes our activities, plans, requirements, and goals — as with

In recent years, our Open Business Meeting at the International Congress on Medieval Studies regularly offers a single-page Agenda concisely listing the progress of our various activities, their directions, and the ways to aid them — as with

Those Reports are laid out according to the principles of our Style Manifesto and set in our copyright multilingual font Bembino (available for FREE).

Each year so far, the CARA Newsletter reproduces our Report (sent in this format) on a page for itself, where it emerges in double columns with right-justification.  We are glad to see it travel widely in the company of other organizations’ reports.


The Second Report for CARA (June 2016)

Logo of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (colour version)Logo of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (colour version)Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

The Research Group continues to expand the range of its interests and activities — as reflected by its recently adopted unofficial name: Research Group on Manuscript [and Other] Evidence. The Group exists to apply an integrated approach to the evidence of manuscripts and other written forms across the ages.

Without buildings or paid staff, the organization is powered by volunteers, donors, and contributors, so that donations both in funds and in kind principally support the activities themselves. As a sort of university without walls, the Group is open to the academic and wider worlds, including established as well as independent scholars and others alike.

In 2015, the first year of its Affiliation with CARA, the Research Group marked 16 years as a nonprofit educational corporation based in Princeton, and 26 years as an international scholarly organization founded in England. After the many activities of our landmark anniversary year in 2014 (described in last year’s Report to CARA), we focused in 2015 upon the upgrade and expansion of our official website, as well as upon other publications.

Poster for the Sponsored Session on 'Paper or Parchment' at the 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence. Poster laid out in RGME Bembino, with images supplied by David W. Sorenson. Reproduced by permission.As customary, we sponsor and co-sponsor sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. In 2015, there were 5 sessions, and 4 sessions in 2016, both with sessions co-sponsored by the Societas Magica and the Center for Medieval and early Modern Studies at the University of Florida. Both years, we co-sponsored a Reception with the Societas Magica (2015) and the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University (2014‒2015). Also, we produced an illustrated and downloadable Program Booklet with the Abstracts of Papers for one or more of our Sessions. See the 2015 Congress Report and 2016 Congress Report.

In time for the 2015 Congress, the Group launched its upgraded and redesigned website (in WordPress), with the old site (Drupal) archived online. In tandem, we issued our revised and illustrated Style Manifesto, incorporating our own multilingual digital font Bembino. Responding to requests for additions, we then issued Version 1.3 of this font, available for FREE via Bembino. The next Version will soon appear, with Runes, Armenian, and more. We welcome requests, corrections, and improvements for the font, the most popular download on our website.

Detail of an initial M on the verso of the leaf. Photography © Mildred Budny

Begun in 2015, our blog on Manuscript Studies reports and illustrates a variety of manuscripts, fragments, and documents, sometimes with seals attached. Some ground-breaking posts are article-length. The Contents List groups the subjects of the posts by category — with more to come. Guest-bloggers are welcome.

Poster 2 for the 2016 'Words & Deeds' Symposium at Princeton University, with 2 images from the Otto Ege Collection, The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Photography by Lisa Fagin Davis. Reproduced by permission. Poster set in RGME BembinoIn 2016, after a year’s interval following its anniversary activities, the Group resumed its Symposia, starting at Princeton University in March with a focus on “Words & Deeds: Actions Enacted, Re-Enacted & Restored, from Late-Antique Theater to the Legacy of Otto Ege, by way of, inter alia, Saint-Denis and Gutenberg”. Speakers included the Executive Director of the Medieval Academy. See the 2016 Symposium Announcement and the illustrated 24-page Program Booklet, downloadable in PDF format.

The Group continues its long-term work of research, photography, conservation, and discussions of manuscript and other evidence. It prepares published reports from our sessions at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. The Group also begins to plan sponsored sessions at other conferences as well, starting with a pair of Panels at the Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association (M-MLA) to be held in November 2016.

In developing its activities, the Research Group seeks suggestions for subjects, venues, hosts, sponsorships, and collaborations. We invite announcements, reports, questions, comments, news, and editorial support for our e-Newsletter, FaceBook Page, and website. Proposals, donations, and contributions of many kinds are welcome.

— Mildred Budny, Director


You may download this Report.