The Research Group on Manuscript Evidence exists to apply an integrated, holistic approach to manuscripts and texts in other forms through the ages. The work began on medieval Western European manuscripts and early modern printed books in specific collections, but the research work has expanded to embrace a wider body of written sources, from the Late-Antique Mediterra- nean world to the present.
The Group considers these and many related materials simultaneously as carriers of text, archaeological artefacts, works of art, layers of history, and monuments of culture. The Group seeks to examine, record, and analyze the evidence of these witnesses of history, life, thought, art, and culture, and to set their testimony in context. It also works to educate others in its methods and its results. It offers a concerted, informed response to the complex challenges of preserving, transmitting, and understanding the legacy of the past. By such means the Group seeks better to understand the present and to help prepare for the future, above all a future worth having.
Among the items of Menu on the Group’s website are history, origins, and aims; officers, organization, associates, and volunteers; and activities, which include meetings, photographic exhibitions, and publications. Meetings take the form of lectures, master classes, symposia, colloquia, seminars, workshops, and conference sessions. Conference sessions, both sponsored and co-sponsored, usually occur at the International Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Publications include catalogues, books, booklets, this website, and the illustrated Bulletin ShelfLife: A Meeting Place for Scholars, Collectors & Connoisseurs of Manuscripts, Books & the Written Word. The copyright high-quality digital font, called Bembino, is available for free use and suitable for multiple languages: so far English and most Western European languages based on the Latin alphabet, as well as Greek (both modern and polytonic), the Russian subset of the cyrillic languages, Hebrew, and Egyptian Arabic.