2024 Spring Symposium at Vassar College

October 16, 2023 in Announcements, Conference, Conference Announcement, Manuscript Studies, Reception, RGME Symposia, Uncategorized

2024 RGME Spring Symposium
at Vassar College

Vassar College: Current Seal.

“Between Past and Future:
Building Bridges
between Special Collections
and Teaching for the Liberal Arts”

Friday to Sunday, 18 to 21 April 2024

(hybrid, with both in-person events
and online participation by Zoom)

Celebrating the Acquisition of the
Nicholas B. Scheetz Collection
of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

[Posted on 16 October 2023, with updates]

For 2024, the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence celebrates an anniversary.  Our Theme for the Year is “Bridges”.  See “Bridges” for our 2024 Anniversary Year.

Vassar College, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, “The Open Missal”. Ludger tom Ring the Younger, circa 1570.

Among our celebrations, the RGME continues with its Symposium Series. With a Spring Symposium at Vassar College, in Poughkeepsie, New York, the RGME Symposia return to an in-person event, this time as a hybrid event also with online participation.

In 2023, the RGME began to return to in-person events with its activities at the partly-hybrid 58th International Congress on Medieval Studies. This step came after the cancellation of the Congress in 2020 and an online Congress in both 2021 and 2022.  For 2024, our Symposia join this return, with the invitation to hold our Spring Symposium at Vassar College.

For some of our Symposia, whether in-person at Princeton University in 2019 (and intended there in 2020), or online by Zoom in 2022 and 2023, our RGME Associates at Vassar have given presentations about their work, the Library, and Special Collections.  See, for example,

Now we visit Vassar to join the celebrations for a new catalogue and exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Books in the collection. We do so by gathering scholars, librarians, curators, cataloguers, collectors, vendors, teachers, and others to participate in an RGME Symposium which showcases the materials in the light of expertise and appreciation dedicated to them.

The choice of the Program and other components of the Symposium is guided by the Vassar/RGME Symposium Advisory Committee, and by other advisers both at Vassar and elsewhere.  The Advisory Committee comprises

Note on the Image

Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College, Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.  The Open Missal (circa 1570) attributed to Ludger tom Ring the Younger (1522-1582).  Image via “The Open Missal”.

Vassar College and its Special Collections

The location is Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, where we gather to

Front of Alumnae House at Vassar College shows the location of some events in our Symposium.

Front of Alumnae House, Vassar College (November 2014). Photograph: Collin Knopp-Schwyn, via Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The Series of RGME Symposia

The tradition of RGME Symposia began soon after the move of the RGME, as an international scholarly society, from England (where it had been founded in 1989) to its new base in Princeton, New Jersey, in October 1994.

At the invitation of our Associate, Jane Rosenthal, it began with the first at Barnard College in 1995. This inaugural event turned into the series of Annual Symposia on “The Transmission of the Bible” (1995–2000). Others followed, by turns, at Princeton University (1996 and 1999), Rutgers University (1997 and 2000), and Fordham University (1998), concluding with the fifth at Rutgers University.

Then, for a time, we concentrated energies on other activities, until our Symposia (or Colloquia) resumed as a New Series on various subjects, held variously at the British Museum (2002), The Ohio State University (2003), and Princeton University (2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2019–2020).

In 2020, our 2020 Spring Symposium scheduled for Princeton University had to be cancelled on account of the Covid pandemic, but we published its illustrated Symposium Booklet.  In 2022, we resumed our Symposia, albeit in online format, as we had turned to online activities in 2021.  With the creation of an online approach, we also expanded our activities with new series of events as well.  (See “The Research Group Speaks”: The Series and RGME Online Events.)

We expanded the pattern of renewal by holding a pair of Spring and Autumn Symposia in both 2022 and 2023.  The pairs in 2022 and 2023 took their overarching theme from the RGME Theme for the Year — itself an innovation, selected by the RGME Editorial Committee, formed in early 2022.  Then, with the 2022 Autumn Symposium, we resumed our tradition of publishing Illustrated Symposium Booklets for distribution at the event and beyond, in printed and digital form.  All these booklets, like many other RGME Publications, are available freely for download as pdfs on our website.

    1. “Structures of Knowledge” (Spring)
    2. “Supports for Knowledge” (Autumn)
    1. “From the Ground Up” (Spring)
    2. “Between Earth and Sky” (Autumn)

In 2024, the RGME Symposia return to the in-person format with our 2024 Spring Symposium, having online participation as well, in hybrid form.

2024 Spring Symposium at Vassar College

While we continue to prepare the Program and refine some details, we announce the event, with dates and information about the Symposium, so that people can mark their calendars and consider travel plans.

We begin our announcements with the Save-the-Date Poster.

Poster 1: Save-the-Date for 2024 Spring Symposium at Vassar.

Poster 1: Save-the-Date for 2024 Spring Symposium at Vassar.

The poster is laid out in RGME Bembino, our own multi-lingual digital font.  (See RGME Bembino.)  We circulate the printed version in both quarto (8 1/2″ × 11″) and larger size (11″×17″).

The poster can be downloaded in digital form here. If you wish, please circulate it.

The Plan

For this Symposium, organized by both the RGME and Special Collections (The Catherine Pelton Durrell ’25 Archives and Special Collections Library) at Vassar College, we celebrate the rôles which Special Collections can fulfill as part of teaching in institutions dedicated to the Liberal Arts — among other valuable fields of study.

Vassar College, Nicholas B. Sheetz Collection, MS 42 recto. Book of Hours.

The Symposium showcases initiatives and developments in various centers, both at Vassar College and elsewhere. Notable at Vassar for 2024 are the new catalogue of the Medieval and Early Modern books or fragments in both Special Collections and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, and a companion exhibition to showcase examples of their riches.

Also, the RGME celebrates its Anniversary Year with the Theme of “Bridges”.  (See “Bridges” for our 2024 Anniversary Year.)

The Symposium will, in part, celebrate the acquisition of the Nicholas B. Scheetz Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.  The Symposium presents reports, observations, and discoveries in multiple fields, including descriptions of work-in-progress, collaborative projects, wish-lists or challenges, and new opportunities.

The title and sub-title of the Symposium set out the plan:

“Between Past and Future:
Building Bridges
between Special Collections
and Teaching for the Liberal Arts”

Among the speakers or respondents are Vassar College students, former students (Alums), faculty, and staff.  Also represented are Associates and the Director of the RGME, one of founders of the organization.  Some participants on the program have links between the RGME and Vassar.  This is the case with some Vassar alums, faculty, and staff, who are also RGME Associates, and with the RGME Director, a Vassar alumna.

“Thompson Library at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York”. Photograph by “Noteremote” on 2 November 2007, via Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thompson_Library_(Vassar_College).jpg.

Note on the Image

A photo of the Thompson Library at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York (taken by “Noteremote” on November 2, 2007), issued via Wikimedia Commons.

Vassar’s tradition makes it no accident that this image is selected as example on the Wikipedia page for a Liberal Arts Education (accessed on 29 September 2023), with Vassar’s rôle in that sphere shown as a principal representative.

Poster 2 has two manuscript images at the center, with the RGME logo at top left and the Vassar College logo at top right.

Poster 2: Program for 2024 Spring Symposium at Vassar.


We offer two Posters to announce and accompany the Symposium.  Issued in stages as our preparations advanced, they report the date, plan, and show samples of Medieval and Renaissance books or representations of books held in the Vassar Collections.  Here you may download them, which you are welcome to circulate.

The Symposium Program and Associated Events

We announce the Speakers, Presiders, and Consultants, in alphabetical order.

Keynote Speakers (Session 2):

Sandra Hindman and Laura Light, Les Enluminures

Speakers (Sessions 1, 3–6):

Mildred Budny, Gwendolyn Collaço, Maeve K. Doyle, Barbara Williams Ellertson, Mark Epstein, Özgen Felek, Scott Gwara, Justin Hastings, Elizabeth Hebbard, Emma Iadanza, Eric J. Johnson, Mark Seidel, Anna Siebach-Larson, Lynn Ransom, Angnieszka Rec, N. Kıvılcım Yavuz

Presiders (Sessions 1–6):

Nancy Bisaha, Debra Bucher, Yvonne Elet, Alberto Gelmi, Thomas E. Hill, Zoltan Markus, Paolo Scartoni

Consultants (Pre-Symposium Roundtable):

Linda Civitello, Martha Frish, Phillip Bernhardt-HouseN. Kıvılcım Yavuz

Remarks (Receptions, Conference Dinner):

 Natalia Fay (VC ’24), Sadie Keesbury (VC ’26), Jaden Miller (VC ’25)

Scott Gwara, John Murphy, Ronald Patkus

The Program

Now we announce the Program for the Symposium, with details of times and venues for the six Sessions, Receptions, Conference Dinner, Celebratory Sunday Brunch, and associated events, starting with a Pre-Symposium RGME Roundtable and rounding up with an optional Post-Symposium guided Walking Tour of Architectural Highlights of the Vassar Campus.

You may download the 12-page illustrated 2024 Spring Symposium Program as a pdf in two versions, depending upon your printer and your preferences.

1) as consecutive pages

2) as a foldable booklet

Registration for the Symposium

You can register for the event by the RGME Eventbrite Portal (RGME Eventbrite Collections or RGME Symposia). For details see below.

You must register for the event, whether attending in person or online. The registration fee for the Symposium is $55.00 for the three-day event.  Options for one-day access are available.  (See below.)  The fee is waived in special cases, for Speakers and Consultant Speakers. The event is free for Students; please let us know your affiliation.

With Registration is provided access — in person or online — to the events from Friday afternoon to Sunday lunchtime.  Also provided are the refreshment breaks (morning and afternoon), the Saturday lunch, the receptions on Friday and Saturday, the conference dinner on Friday, and the Sunday brunch.

For Registration, we provide a few required and optional questions, including your affiliation. For the catering, we ask if you have dietary requirements. Would you like to list your interests, and let us know your questions or comments?

After registration, the Zoom Link for online participation will be sent shortly before the event. Each of the three days of the Symposium will have its own Zoom Link.

The Registration Portal offers options for these different categories (“Tickets”).


  • Symposium Registration:  $55.00
  • Symposium Registration for One-day Access:  $35.00 (Saturday)
  • Symposium Registration for Half-day Access:  $20.00 (Friday afternoon or Sunday morning)
  • Registration for Speakers:  Fee waived
  • Registration for Students:  Free (please indicate your affiliation)

For any of these options, please register here:

We look forward to welcoming you.

Optional Donation

  • Registration with Optional Donation:  Voluntary donations for the RGME are welcome.Your donations, which may be tax-deductible, support our mission, work, and activities, for our nonprofit educational corporation endowed with few few resources, but powered mainly by volunteers and by your volunteer donations or contributions in kind.
  • See RGME Contributions and Donations

Note: Round 1 Registration (to 15 April) and Late Registration (to 21 April)

Registrations will close for the First Round Registration on Monday 15 April 2024 at midnight EDT (GMT-4). This will give us time to process the registrations, prepare Name Tags, notify catering, and the like.

Late Registration for both In Person and Online Attendance will remain open until Sunday 21 April 2024 at 9:50 am EDT (GMT-4). Its portal will open when Round 1 closes.

Travel and Accommodation

Information about travel to the Vassar campus, accommodation nearby, and campus parking:

More Information

Watch this space for more information as it unfolds.  This site serves as the ‘Home Page’ for the Symposium.  Here you can find updates.

2024 RGME Events:
Our Anniversary Year, with the Theme of “Bridges”

“Study on a Medieval Bridge” at Amares, Braga District, Portugal. Image by Pedro Nuno Caetano (2019) via Wikimedia Commons via Creative Commons 2.0 Generic.

Other Events are planned for the Year.  See:

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Donations and contributions, in funds or in kind, are welcome and easy to give.

We look forward to hearing from you.