MAA News – From the Executive Director: Digital Updates

Greetings! I hope you are all well. I am happy to report that, in case you hadn’t noticed, 2020 is nearly behind us. I hope that we will soon be able to greet each other in person. In the meantime, we will continue our digital engagement with each other, with our research, with our scholarship, and with our students. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you about the Medieval Academy of America’s digital offerings, all of which can be accessed from our website:

1) Database of Medieval Digital Resources: MDR is a curated searchable database of peer-reviewed digital materials for the study of the Middle Ages. Browse the newest additions to the database here. If you don’t see your favorite digital resource in MDR, click here to recommend it for inclusion (we are still working our way through a very large backlog of submissions, so please be patient!).

2) Digitized Medieval Academy Books: The Medieval Academy’s publications page includes links to html and PDF versions of several dozen volumes of the Medieval Academy Books series.

3) The Library of Digital Latin Texts: The MAA is collaborating with the Digital Latin Library to support the publication of born-digital TEI-encoded open-access editions of medieval Latin texts. Several editions are in-process and will be available soon. For more information about the MAA’s role in this initiative, click here.

4) Event calendar: The MAA keeps a calendar of upcoming events of interest to medievalists. The calendar can be keyword-searched using the search feature on our homepage, or it can be browsed here.

5) Members-only digital benefits: Speculum: MAA members receive online access to the entire Speculum archive in addition to a print subscription; Member Directory: Members have access to an online directory of MAA members with profiles and contact information, accessible using the search box on our homepage after signing in; JSTOR Discount: Members are eligible to subscribe to JPASS – JSTOR’s individual access plan – at half price.

6) Medieval Academy Webinars: all of our 2020 digital programming is available online. The webinar series will continue in 2021; stay tuned for an announcement about upcoming programming.

7) Medieval Studies Webinar Registry: See below for more information about this new initiative!

The MAA has three standing committees tasked with digital matters: the Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Committee; the Digital Humanities and Multimedia Studies Prize Committee; and the MDR Committee. All of these groups are tasked with endorsing and supporting high-quality scholarship that engages with digital resources and methodologies in compliance with best-practices and, when possible, in open-access environments.

In my own scholarship, advocacy, and service, I have seen how medievalists continue to lead in the digital realm. Ever since Father Roberto Busa collaborated with IBM in the 1950s to produce a FORTRAN-based concordance of Aquinas, medievalists have led the Digital Humanities in developing new methodologies and resources, collaborating across disciplines, and teaching and learning new skills. This work, these methodologies, are here to stay. As the MAA continues to vet, promote, and reward digital resources and research, we are broadening the definition of scholarship beyond the article, lecture, and monograph, further legitimizing and centering digital methodologies.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Lisa Fagin Davis
Executive Director

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