Friends of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Welcome to
The Friends of the
Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

[Posted on 28 October 2023]

By request in the summer of 2023, we have founded the “Friends of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence”.  It will serve as a gathering point to welcome donors, contributors, volunteers, visitors, and others for special events, activities, previews, and more.

Who are the Friends?

As an informal group, the Friends of the RGME can interlink with the different categories that we have of engaging in the activities and mission of the RGME.  The Friends are open to our Trustees, Officers, Advisors (or Consultants), Honorary Invited Associates, Volunteers, Visitors, and others. For example:

Paying attention to the Friends opens more ways to interact with our Donors and Contributors, if wished, as we seek to express our appreciation and recognition for them. For example, we prepare webpages in their honor, to distinguish between the forms of “Donation in Funds” and “Donation in Kind”, such as pro-bono contributions.  Our custom is to respect the distinction between “Donations” and “Contributions”.  For all these forms of support, we are grateful.

Some people belong, by virtue of their forms of support for our work and activities, in both categories.

You might join the Friends of the RGME, too, without having a habit already of participating in our activities in one or other ways, or in a combination of ways.

The Organization and People of the RGME

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

RGME Logo in Color.

You see, when it formed as a nonprofit educational corporation in 1999, by request, the RGME chose the version “Without Members”. There are two options for nonprofit educational organizations:  “With Members” and “Without Members”.  Weighing the options, and taking advice, we chose carefully.  We do not have “Members” as such, but people can belong in our community by various other names and functions.  The years have shown the merits of our choice, at least for us as an organization.

Nonprofit educational organizations “With Members” customarily have annual subscriptions or dues (in several tiers), and Membership has the time-stamp of the duration of the dues paid, such as for a full year (calendar year, academic year, etc.).  You might be familiar with them.

Because the RGME has limited resources, with a very modest endowment and no paid staff or the other assets of a large and well-endowed organization, it advances with its activities and mission mainly by being powered by volunteers (including its Director).  Not having “Members” in the official sense means that we do not restrict ‘membership’ or participation in our work and activities to paid-up people for a specific duration.

Although there are disadvantages to subsisting mostly by volunteer donations, as we do without such “Membership Dues”, there are also benefits.  A principal advantage is the ability to welcome Friends to join us without checking a paid Membership List.  We may remind you about appeals for donations, such as for an Annual or Anniversary Appeal, but it is not the same ‘requirement’ as a membership fee might be.  This choice to be ‘Without Members’ in the technical sense for nonprofit educational organizations has suited us, whereas other organizations “With Members” have their reasons and strengths.

This is why we do not have “Members” in the usual sense, but we do have Trustees, Advisers, Honorary Invited Associates, Volunteers, and other tiers of participation.  And now, because we were asked, we have “Friends”.

We believe that the Friends of the RGME can bring together, if they wish, different parts of our audience and participants, by special, ‘curated’, events and other ways.

Our Events and Activities as Gathering Places

Apart from organizational meetings or the like, our scholarly events and celebrations are open to a wider audience.  At some of them, such as our sponsored sessions at conferences hosted by other institutions, attendance is open to registrants for those conferences.  In contrast, our own events, including our online events, are customarily open to you without such restrictions of attendance fees or subjects of interest.

For example, the “Episodes” for our online series “The Research Group Speaks” explore a wide range of subjects and adopt a varied approach, with presentations, roundtables, interviews, demonstrations, and more.  Their informal, but structured, style can encourage a welcoming approach to the experience of the encounter with the materials under discussion, both for the speakers and the audience.

As that series continues to explore more subjects, and invites specialists, students, teachers, and friends to talk about their interests, with scope for Questions & Answers with discussion and constructive feedback, it is possible that our explorations might include some subjects of interest to you.

We invite you to see for yourself.

Who Can Join “The Friends of the RGME”?

For now, there are no dues nor duties for the Friends.  Anyone might join, with an interest in the RGME and what it does.  You don’t have to be an expert in one or other of the subjects that we explore, research, discuss, or publish.  You don’t have to pass a test to attend our events or join our celebrations.

Several people have already joined the Friends of the RGME, as soon as we decided to form its place in our constellation of activities.  As we give shape to the Friends, we gather its ‘members’ — remember, we don’t have ‘Members’, but there are other ways to belong, including by joining the Friends.

And so, we begin to plan activities especially for you as a group of ‘Friends’ within the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.

For example, the new year of 2024 offers an ideal opportunity to hold something special of interest — in some form — to our wide audience of specialists, teachers, students, book-lovers, collectors, and many others.  Because the new year represents an anniversary year for the RGME, we look forward to celebrating with our Friends of the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence.

In 2024, we celebrate twice over.  That is, we not only mark 35 years as an international scholarly society founded in England in 1989, but also celebrate 25 years as a nonprofit educational corporation incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in New Jersey in November 1999 and based in Princeton since October 1994.

We believe that anniversaries are worth celebrating.  Here are examples from our Anniversary Years in 2009, 2014, and 2019.

Here are some plans for 2024.

Join the Friends

Would you like to join the Friends of the RGME? It is simple!

Before we can set up an online way to register, you could ask to join it and sign up for its special mailing list.

Do you have questions or suggestions? Please contact

Would you like to contribute to our activities? See, for example:

We welcome participation in various ways, by donations in funds and in kind, contributing to our activities and the furtherance of our mission, and joining our events and parties.



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