2022 Autumn Symposium on “Supports for Knowledge”

April 7, 2022 in Announcements, Conference, Conference Announcement, Manuscript Studies

2022 RGME Spring and Autumn Symposia
on “Structured Knowledge”

2 of 2: Autumn Symposium
“Supports for Knowledge”
Saturday, 15 October 2022

2020 Spring Symposium "From Cover to Cover" Poster 2

2020 Spring Symposium Poster 2

[Posted on 5 April 2022 with updates]

In 2022, the Research Group returns to our series of Symposia (formerly held in person). The series underwent an interruption with the cancelled 2020 Spring Symposium, “From Cover to Cover”. See its record in the illustrated Program Booklet, with Abstracts of the planned presentations and workshops. Its core and its promise inspire this renewal.

This year, each Symposium in the pair is designed as a one-day event, with sessions and workshops of about 1 and 1/2 hours, giving scope for discussion. The Spring Symposium was held online by Zoom. The Autumn Symposium would be held online, but, conditions permitting, it might be hybrid, that is, partly in person, as well as online. See 2022 Spring and Autumn Symposia.

  1. Structures of Knowledge (Spring)
  2. Supports for Knowledge (Autumn)

These events, by request, flow in addition to — and partly from — our other activities during the year:

Lisbon, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga: The mid 15th-century Saint Vincent Panels, attributed to Nuno Gonçalves. Image via Creative Commons.

1) Continuing Episodes in the online series of The Research Group Speaks (2021–)

2) Our four sponsored and co-sponsored Congress Sessions at the 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies (online) in May

© The British Library Board. Additional MS 15505

, folio 22r. Italian, early 16th century. Circular diagram with coloured drawings of nine magical seals, as a textual amulet with charms against diseases.

Structured Knowledge (Parts I and II)

The interlinked pair of Spring and Autumn Symposia examine themes of Structured Knowledge.

Some proposed presentations at these Symposia offer refreshed materials which had been planned for the cancelled 2020 Spring Symposium.

The Spring Symposium is dedicated to “Structures of Knowledge”. The Autumn Symposium considers “Supports for Knowledge”. Sessions include approaches to databases and library catalogs; specific case studies and projects; issues relating to reproductions and display, research and teaching, and more.

Part I: Spring Symposium (Saturday, 2 April 2022)
on “Structures of Knowledge”

Vassar College, Frederick Thompson Memorial Library, Entry, Ceiling and Gobelin Tapestry Series.

Part II: Autumn Symposium (Saturday, 15 October 2022)
on “Supports for Knowledge”

Note: If you wish to register for the Symposium, please contact director@manuscriptevidence.org.

Private Collection, Book of Hours, Decorated Initial and Stub from Despoiled Leaf. Photography Mildred Budny.

Sessions under consideration include approaches to databases and library catalogs; specific case studies and projects; issues relating to reproductions and display, research and teaching, and more.

Speakers, Respondents, and Presiders include Linde M. Brocato, Mildred Budny, William H. Campbell, Katharine C. Chandler, Lisa Fagin Davis, Barbara Williams Ellertson, Hannah Goeselt, Thomas E. Hill, Zoey Kambour, Jennifer Larson, David Porreca, Lynn Ransom, Jessica L. Savage, David W. Sorenson, N. Kıvılcım Yavuz, and representatives of the Team from the DRAGEN Lab, at the University of Waterloo.

Subjects include:

  • “Catalogs, Metadata, and Databases, Continued (Part III)”
    — building upon our Roundtable in February on Catalogs, Metadata, and Databases, Part I and Session 3 on “Catalogs, Metadata, and Databases, Part II” in the Spring Symposium.
  • “The Living Library”
    — including David Porreca’s presentation which had been planned for our Spring Symposium: “The Warburg Institute Library: Where Idiosyncracy Meets User-Friendliness”; and Thomas Hill’s presentation on systems of structuring libraries in Germany from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • “Teaching with (and through) Manuscripts, Part II”
    — including presentations
    by William H. Campbell on the experience of teaching this summer using the Les Enluminures Manuscripts in the Curriculum program at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg;
    by representatives of the Team from the DRAGEN Lab, at the University of Waterloo (Caley Macaulay, Andrew Moore, Steven Bednarski), reporting on “initiatives in our lab to train students, both undergraduate and graduate, in medieval paleography”
  • “Hybrid Books”
    — including a presentation by Jennifer Larson on selected examples in her collection of miniature books,
    and Linde M. Brocato’s demonstration of how to catalog such cases, using some of Jennifer’s examples:

    “Paths of Access and Horizons of Expectation, II: From Book-In-Hand to Catalog(ues)”
    • I will demonstrate with some of Jennifer Larson’s books how “hybrid” can be cataloged under current models and technologies of cataloging. I will also address the different kinds of catalog(ues) that provide different levels and kinds of access to materials, and the kinds of bibliographic structures that allow us to access materials.
  • “History and Uses of Paper”
  • “Pattern in and on Books”
  • Etc.

Closing Keynote Presentation

Linde M. Brocato, “Hybrid Books:  Fragments and Compilatio, Structure and Heuristic in Richard Twiss’ Farrago

In the group of artists’ books from the Ruth and Marvin Shackner Archive of Concrete Poetry purchased by the University of Miami Special Collections, there is an extraordinary volume, sold by a vendor as late 19th century, anonymous, and an artist’s book avant la lettre.  Careful analysis for bibliographical cataloging revealed the error in all these assertions.

In this presentation, I will lay out both the process of that analysis, and its results, along with reflections on hybrid books of various kinds.  My reflections will encompass the kinds of structured information that make their way into databases, and structuring codes of cataloging and bibliography, all of which are necessary but not sufficient for our understanding and convivencia with books, which are always already hybrid.  In these reflections, I will bring together many of the strands of thinking we have all worked to weave together in the symposium.

Richard Twiss, Farrago, held in the Unversity of Miami Special Collections, Artists’ Books Collection. Sidelong View. Photograph Linde M. Brocato.

Glimpses of the volume comprising Richard Twiss’s Farrago can be seen in our blogpost called “I Was Here”, with photographs by Linde M. Brocato.

© British Library Board, London, British Library, Cotton MS Cleopatra C. viii, folio 36r, top: Sapientia in her Temple. Prudentius, Psychomachia, in a Canterbury copy of the late tenth or early eleventh century.


Other Activities for 2022

Between the Spring and Autumn Symposia, the Research Group sponsors and co-sponsors four Sessions at the 2022 ICMS online in May (see our 2022 Congress Program), proposes co-sponsored sessions for the 2023 ICMS Congress, and prepares more Episodes for The Research Group Speaks: The Series.

For example, Episode 7 in the series is planned for Saturday, 23 July 2022. See “Falling in Love with a Source”: An Interview with Michael Allman Conrad.

Suggestion Box

Do you have suggestions for subjects for the Autumn Symposium and other events, or offers to participate? Please let us know. For updates, see 2022 Spring and Autumn Symposia and The Research Group Speaks: The Series.

If you wish to join our events, please contact director@manuscriptevidence.org.

Do you have suggestions for more Links of Interest (Catalogs, Metadata, and Databases: A Handlist of Links)?

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