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Medieval Studies and Research: Getting Started: Associations, Blogs, Handbooks

This research guide is co-owned and co-authored by Dr. Danielle Mihram & Dr. Melissa L. Miller

About this Page

This page includes a very small array of resources for the student and scholar who focus on medieval history and culture. It is intended to serve as an introduction for the enormous number of associations, handbooks, and societies in various areas of research on the medieval period.

Please note: The list of handbooks on this page is a small selection of titles at USC Libraries. To find additional titles for handbooks relating to the medieval period in the USC Libraries' online catalog, select: Advanced Search. and restrict your search to Catalog  then Type: Handbooks AND Medieval  and, for each keyword,  select the field: Subject.

Associations and Societies - A very Brief Listing

CARMEN.  CARMEN is a worldwide network of medievalists, its name being an acronym for the "Co-operative for the Advancement of Research through a Medieval European Network". It links a number of research institutions, universities, interest groups and individuals with common scholarly interest in the study of the Middle Ages. While based in Europe, it reaches out to all continents to create an open and truly international platform of co-operation in the field of medieval research and teaching.

De Re Militari: the Society for Medieval Military History.  Founded in 1992, De Re Militari is an academic organization for the study of medieval warfare, broadly construed. It has three major outlets for its educational activities. First is this website, which hosts many scholarly articles, primary sources, book reviews, and other resources for the study of military actions, technology, and topics from the fall of Rome to early seventeenth century. Second is our conference activity: each year, De Re Militari sponsors panels at international conferences on medieval studies and military history. Third, since 2003 De Re Militari has published (through The Boydell Press, distributed by Casemate), the periodical Journal of Medieval Military History (JMMH), the premier journal in the subfield.

Institute for Medieval Studies (University of Leeds). One of the major centers for Medieval Studies in the UK, offering interdisciplinary teaching at postgraduate level with both masters and PhD courses. It also offers discovery modules for undergraduate students with an interest in the medieval period. It is the home of the International Medieval Bibliography (IMB), established in 1967.  See also: Leeds'  International Medieval Congress:  "Drawing medievalists from over 60 countries, with more than 2,000 individual papers as well as public concerts, performances, excursions, bookfairs and more, the International Medieval Congress (IMC) is Europe’s largest forum for sharing ideas in medieval studies."

The International Association of Byzantine Studies (Association Internationale des Études Byzantines – AIEB) was established in 1948, shortly after World War II. Its foundation emerged from the Byzantine congresses taking place at that time. It publishes the Bulletin d’Information et de Coordination aiming at promoting Byzantine studies at an international level. In November 2017 appeared the Newsletter of the AIEB. The main aim of the AIEB Newsletter “Byzantine News” is to facilitate information exchange among Byzantine scholars worldwide. It hopes to fulfill this aim by functioning as an information hub, i.e. by receiving and distributing news and information about activities and events that may be of interest to Byzantine scholars throughout the world.  One of the most important activities of the AIEB is to organize international congresses which take place in a different country each time.

International Center of Medieval Art. In 1956, a group of medieval art historians and enthusiastic collectors and amateurs of medieval art founded a U.S. branch of a French organization called the Centre Internationale d’Etudes Romanes (International Center of Romanesque Studies). This American group was eventually expanded to become the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA). At first headquartered at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, the ICMA was moved in 1969 to its present home at The Cloisters, the branch museum of The Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of medieval Europe

The mission of the International Center of Medieval Art is to promote and support the study, understanding, and preservation of visual and material cultures produced primarily between ca. 300 CE and ca. 1500 CE in every corner of the medieval world. To this end the ICMA facilitates scholarship and education and sponsors public lectures, conferences, publications, and exhibitions.

The Medieval Academy of America "The Medieval Academy of America is the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. It was founded in 1925 and is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Academy publishes the quarterly journal Speculum; awards prizes, grants, and fellowships; and supports research, publication, and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages."

The Medieval Academy of ArtThe Medieval Academy of America is the largest organization in the United States promoting excellence in the field of medieval studies. It was founded in 1925 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. The academy publishes the quarterly journal Speculum, and awards prizes, grants, and fellowships. The Medieval Academy supports research, publication, and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, science, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages.

The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS).  The Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society (MRDS) is an academic association of scholars and other persons interested in early drama. Our activities include organizing annual meetings, sponsoring long-range research projects, awards, and performances, such as the Mostly Medieval Theatre Festival. We also publish material of interest to the Society, including the journal, ROMARD: Research on Medieval and Renaissance Drama.

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship.   SFMS promotes the study of the Patristic Age, the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era from the perspective of gender studies, women's studies, and feminist studies. It actively promotes and supports interdisciplinary exchanges at all levels of higher education across the world. Members represent every continent and every academic discipline within the arts & humanities.

Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies (SPBS). Established "in 1983, with the object of furthering study and knowledge of the history and culture, language and literature of the Byzantine Empire and its neighbours. Its scope is wide, covering history, archaeology, art history, philology, theology and literary studies, and embraces all the language areas formerly within the Byzantine Empire – Syriac, Armenian, Arabic and Slavic, as well as Greek and Latin."

Blogs - A Very Brief Listing

British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog.   "[This blog] promotes the work of our curators, who are responsible for these items and thousands more, including medieval historical and literary manuscripts, charters and seals, and early modern manuscripts, from Homer to the Codex Sinaiticus, from Beowulf to Chaucer, and from Magna Carta to the papers of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. / This blog provides regular updates on our digitisation projects, on current research, and on our exhibition programme."

The Iris The Iris is the blog of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles. "Launched in April 2010, the blog is a project of the entire Getty community, written by our curators, educators, scientists, scholars, digital specialists, guest speakers, interns, and many others. We strive to offer an engaging, behind-the-scenes look at art in all its aspects—history, conservation, research, publishing, education, and digital interpretation."

Manuscript Road Trip by Lisa Fagen Davis. "There has been increasing interest in recent years in identifying, classifying and cataloguing medieval manuscripts in North American collections.  My friend and colleague Melissa Conway and I have been traveling and corresponding with curators and librarians all around the country since 1996, collecting data on the numbers and cataloguing status of pre-1600 manuscripts. In this blog, I’ll be taking readers on a (virtual) state-by-state tour of manuscripts in the lower 48 (I’ll get to Canada eventually, I promise!), focusing on less-well-known collections, some in very surprising locations.

The Medieval Academy Blog. "We regularly post prize announcements, call for papers, conference announcements, job postings, workshops, and other listings that may be of interest to our members.  All postings to the blog also are published on our facebook page and twitter."

Medieval History Websites and Blogs. A listing of the latest news about what can be found on the Internet relating to the Middle Ages, including digitization projects, online collections and social networking.