Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Consuelo Dutschke Awarded Medieval Academy of America’s Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies

Consuelo Dutschke, curator of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at Columbia University, has been awarded the Medieval Academy of America’s Kindrick-Cara Award for her work on the Digital Scriptorium project.

The Committee praised Dr. Dutschke’s “tireless and expert work with manuscript collections in libraries across the country. But this award specifically recognizes her leadership in the creation and development of the project known as Digital Scriptorium (DS), which she began in 1997 and which she has ‘patiently and tenaciously’ developed, organized and promoted to the present….Consuelo has been a tireless advocate and teacher for the project and its many uses, guided all the while by her ‘constancy, optimism, and skillful diplomacy,’ which has allowed the project to flourish. The letters of nominations were exuberant in their praise for her profound technical skills, the breadth of her knowledge, her ability to learn new technologies and media, and her boundless generosity toward colleagues, students and scholars. Her endeavors truly constitute an outstanding contribution to the field of Medieval Studies, for which we humbly thank her and offer this award in recognition.”

A warm, heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Dutschke for this recognition!

The Manuscripts Lab (Cambridge/Stanford)

A great opportunity for collaborative, open-access scholarship in relation to manuscript studies:
“The Manuscripts Lab” is a digital collaboration between Cambridge and Stanford that promotes the study of manuscripts.
The Lab aims to provide a digital forum for collaborative work, whether research or pedagogical, across universities and thus promote the study and research of handwritten cultures. In particular, it aims to provide an open access venue for publishing what we call “jottings.” That is, small discoveries or insights that would not necessarily make an article-length piece, but could be useful for students and scholars. Unlike blogs or similar digital publications, anything published on the website undergoes a thorough system of peer review which ensures quality, yet maintains all the benefits of open access.

The Durham Priory Library Recreated Project


Durham Priory Library Recreated, an exciting collaborative digitization project between Durham University and Durham Cathedral, has been launched. The project aims to create an online, digital version of Durham Cathedral’s Priory Library, which is Britain’s best preserved medieval and Renaissance monastic library and a collection of international significance. With around 480 manuscript volumes dating from the sixth century and 110 pre-1540 printed books, the Durham Priory Library includes masterpieces of calligraphy and illumination that shed light on European historical and textual traditions, calligraphic practices and patterns of use through this period.

By re-uniting the entire collection for the first time since its dispersal due to the Dissolution in 1539, Durham University and Durham Cathedral hope that the project will encourage a surge of related academic research and activity, leading to both a better understanding of the life of Durham’s priory and also fresh insights into evolving intellectual, religious and artistic trends over the centuries.

Find further information about the project through the following media:

  • A Project Notice (PDF available here) which summarises the initiative and provides contact details of relevant University and Cathedral staff for enquiries and expressions of interest / support;
  • The project website: We will be adding further information and functionality to the website as the project progresses;
  • A Demonstration Site ( where images of the manuscripts digitized so far can be accessed by clicking anywhere on the screen;
  • A video profiling the Durham Priory Library Recreated project: The video features Professor Faith Wallis, a Visiting Fellow from McGill University, Canada;
  • An example of news coverage generated by our recent project launch.

The link to the project website will be added to the “Useful Links” page in the Resources section of our website!

Medieval Latin Reading Group at NYU: Spring 2016

Melissa Vise (visiting professor of Italian at NYU) is organizing an informal Medieval Latin reading group for graduate students. The idea is to have weekly, low-stakes but still guided work with Medieval Latin. The organizational meeting will take place on Thursday, December 10 at 7 PM in the Library of the Casa Italiana, and meetings will take place weekly in the spring. If you are interested, even if you cannot attend this meeting, please send Professor Vise an email at [email protected].

Virtual St. Stephen’s Project (University of York, UK)

The Virtual St. Stephen’s Project, at the University of York in the UK, is an ongoing AHRC-funded interdisciplinary research project on St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster as a building and institution from 1292-1941. Below, please find a message from the Project’s team:


Ever wondered how a medieval palace chapel was built?  St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster (constructed 1292-1363) was one of the most influential buildings of its age, and extensive records of its creation survive in the National Archives, London.  From 21st November 2015, we will be using Twitter to post a live feed of a whole year of the chapel’s building accounts (1323-24) in real time.  It will be updated twice weekly, showing details of materials, workmen and techniques which give a unique glimpse into the world of medieval building.

Follow us at

This Twitter feed forms part of the Virtual St Stephen’s Project based at the University of York, a facet of the wider AHRC-funded interdisciplinary project St Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster: Visual & Political Culture 1292-1941.  The accounts we are using are being transcribed and translated for publication as a critical edition by Dr Maureen Jurkowski and Prof. Tim Ayers.  This project is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.


Columbia Med-Ren will include the above-cited links in the Resources section of our website.

MAA Graduate Student Committee: Call for Self Nominations

Below, please find a message from the Medieval Academy of America:


Self-Nominations for the MAA Graduate Student Committee
Deadline: 15 December 2015
The Medieval Academy of America is currently accepting self-nominations for vacancies opening up on the Graduate Student Committee (GSC) for the 2016-2018 term. The GSC comprises five members appointed for a two- year term on a rotating basis. Self-nominations are open to all graduate students, worldwide, who are members of the MAA and have at least two years remaining in their program of study.
The GSC was founded more than ten years ago to represent and promote the participation of graduate student medievalists within the MAA and the broader academic community. In addition to fostering international and interdisciplinary exchange, the GSC is dedicated to providing guidance on research, teaching, publishing, professionalization, funding, and employment, as well as offering a forum for the expression of the concerns and interests of our colleagues. Our responsibilities, thus, include organizing pre-professionalizing panels and social events annually at ICMS Kalamazoo, the MAA Annual Meeting, IMC Leeds, and biennially at ANZAMEMS. We also run a successful and popular Mentorship Program that pairs graduate students with faculty to discuss any aspect of our profession such as teaching, publishing, finding a successful work/life balance, maneuvering the job market, and more. In addition, we seek to bring together graduate students through virtual communities such as the growing Graduate Student Group on the MAA website, Facebook, Twitter, the med-grad listserv, and this tri-annual newsletter.
GSC members are asked to attend the Committee’s annual business meeting at Kalamazoo for the duration of their term and to communicate regularly with the group via email and Skype. Ideal applicants are expected to work well both independently and as part of a team in a collaborative environment. Previous experience with organizing conference panels and social events, as well as facility with social and digital media are not required, but may be a benefit.
Interested applicants should submit the following by December 15, 2015:
  • –  The Nomination Form;
  • –  A brief CV (2 pages maximum) uploaded as part of the Nomination Form;
    –  A recommendation letter from your faculty advisor, sent to the Executive Director of the Medieval Academy by mail or as a PDF attachment (on letterhead with signature, to [email protected]).
New members will be selected by the Committee on Committees and confirmed by the Council of the Medieval Academy at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Boston, February 25-27. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].


New website: Historical Soundscapes of Andalusia

A wonderful new resource designed to explore the urban soundscapes of Andalusia from c. 1200-1800 is available at Check it out — it’s fascinating!

Seth Kimmel’s (Columbia, LAIC) “Parables of Coercion” Released

Parables of Coercion

We congratulate Professor Seth Kimmel, assistant professor of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University and a Columbia alumnus, on the publication of his latest book, Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain (University of Chicago Press, 2015). More information on the book can be found at this link:

A book launch event will be held at Book Culture on Tuesday, October 27 at 7pm. For more information on the event, please visit our event page:

New Online Resource for Studying Manuscripts

The Hill Museum and Manuscript Library has launched vHMML (virtual Hill Museum & Manuscript Library) <>, and it is an excellent new resource for the study of manuscripts in their collection, which will now be available to peruse online. In addition, vHMML has many other resources: instruction in Latin and Syriac scripts in School<>, Latin and Syriac annotated images in Folio<>, answers to terminological questions in Lexicon<>, and bibliography in Reference<> (exportable to Zotero, and with links to digital versions in

vHMML is constantly being updated, and it looks like an amazing resource. We’ve put the link in the resources section of our website!

History Professor Joel Kaye Awarded 2015 Barzun Prize

History professor Joel Kaye has just received the 2015 Jacques Barzun Prize in Cultural History, awarded by the American Philosophical Society, for his book A History of Balance, 1250-1375 (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Congratulations, Professor Kaye!

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