Grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for the RGME Library & Archives in 2023

October 16, 2023 in Announcements, Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized


2023 Grant from
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
Research Libraries Program
for Phase 1 for the RGME Library & Archives

“Building the Plan for ‘The Plan’ “

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

RGME Logo in Color (2014).

Gratefully we announce that The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation, through its Research Libraries Program, has awarded the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (RGME) a grant for 2023 to begin the process of structuring our Library & Archives as a collection.

The grant is awarded through the Research Libraries Program, for which “the overall objective . . .  is to improve the ability of research libraries to serve the needs of scholarship in the humanities and the performing arts, and to help make their resources more widely accessible to scholars and the general public.”

Building the Plan

With this funding, the RGME undertakes a one-year planning stage to produce an initial survey of the collection and its records and to plan for its Records-Management overall.  This project, which would comprise Phase 1 of work on the collection long-term, has the task of “Building the Plan for Recording, Structuring, and Accessing the RGME Library & Archives”.

The scope and purpose of the work as a whole will permit us to address more holistically the structure, maintenance, and longevity of our collection.  We will do so, moreover, in ways concordant with best practices for preservation, cataloguing, access, and other responsibilities.

The beginning work for Phase 1 supported by this grant belongs within the cohesion of RGME activities on multiple fronts for this year’s overarching theme of “Materials and Access”, as are addressed in our corporate activities and explored throughout our scholarly events, meetings, and publications, such as our 2023 Spring and Autumn Symposia dedicated specifically to the theme.

The RGME has formed a Task Force to guide and oversee the funded work to build the plan for the collection and its records-management, wider access, and development.  Guided by shared experiences and expert advice, we look toward creating improved, structured ways — taking into account our characteristics, abilities, and needs as an organization — for preparing our resources for the future, new records, and improved access by scholars and others.

The project funded by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation Grant will span the entirety of the 2023 calendar year, concluding with an end-of-the-year report and a formal initial plan for the RGME’s archives and library.  This project will leave the Research Group, which in 2024 celebrates a key anniversary, in surer knowledge of its past and increased, informed, preparation for its future.

A Grant Unprecedented in our History

Logo of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence in Monochrome Version

The original RGME Logo in black-and-white (1989).

The RGME has never had a grant of this kind before.  During our history, first as an international scholarly society founded in England in 1989 (from a major research project on “Anglo-Saxon and Related Manuscripts” at the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge), then based at Princeton, New Jersey, since 1994, and now established there as a nonprofit educational organization (incorporated in 1999), our work has primarily focused on the activities in pursuit of our mission.

Formerly, grants from various sources have supported research projects on specific materials, or scholarly events such as our Symposia and Colloquia held in various centers, in the United States and elsewhere.  While those earlier grants have enabled activities pursuant to our mission, this grant from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation fosters the very essence of both our pursuits and our products as an entity, which was incorporated “for the purposes of lectures, discussions, and other publications”.

The Plan for the Project

The aim is to address our existing, in-coming, and future records (physical as well as digital, born-digital, obsolete digital, and digitized) with a responsible program according to “best practices” for preserving, conserving, archiving, cataloguing, digitizing, and accessing these materials for research, teaching, publication, and related purposes.  Equally, we take into account the needs of conducting our work as a living entity, for which more records continue to emerge.

For this year’s Pilot Project, to span the full course of the year, we have appointed a Task Force to guide and oversee the process of the work, and to produce a final report at the completion of this stage, along with our report to The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation at the close of Phase 1.  The Task Force will remain in place to continue to provide guidance in a next phase as it emerges.

The grant for 2023 gives the Research Group the opportunity to purchase equipment to archive digital materials and facilitate off-site consultation, and archival supplies to stabilize physical materials.  The grant also provides financial support for conservation services, technical back-up for our online meetings, and outside expertise in audio-visual processing/editing to increase the usability and access of our collections for scholars and others.  Significantly, too, the grant enables the process of undertaking the first steps for preparing for circulation the store of recordings which have emerged from our online events (since 2021), but had to await such an opportunity.  These measured steps in the project stand alongside, and integrate carefully with, the on-going work of our corporate and program activities as a living entity building for our future work, beginning with our Anniversary Year in 2024.

The Way Forward

The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence is most grateful for the generosity of spirit, the model, and the financial support of The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation for this significant step in the continuing history of our organization, as we now turn to addressing the nature, characteristics, responsibilities, and research potential of our Library & Archives as a collection.  The Pilot Project in 2023 enables us to prepare the Plan to do so.

For information, please contact [email protected].