Minutes of the Thursday, May 8th, 2014
Business Meeting
Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture

49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI

In attendance:

Fred Biggs (presider) called the meeting to order at 8:30 am.

  1. I. Minutes of the 2013 meeting were distributed, along with an agenda. The minutes were approved.

II. Report by Biggs on changes to SASLC.

A. The project will consist of three interrelated parts:

1. Its primary form, completed entries, will be hosted on an open-access database supported by Amsterdam University Press.
2. A collaborative space for subscribers to aid writers of entries and, more generally, scholars studying the sources Anglo-Saxon literary culture will also be hosted by AUP.
3. Individual fascicles of thematically related material will be published by AUP.

B. These changes will allows authors of entries to see their work published in a timely manner.

C. Entries already available for the open-access database (A.1) includes Abbo of Fleury, Abbo of Saint-Germain-des-Près, Acta Sanctorum, and Apocrypha.

1. Thanks to Patricia Hollahan and Robert Bjork, the project holds electronic rights to all published entries.

D. Material will be added to the open-access database in two ways:

1. one year after its publication in a fascicle; or
2. immediately following its approval at a May business meeting.

E. Four fascicles (A.3) averaging 25,000 words or their equivalent will be published each year.

F. The collaborative space for subscribers (A.2), which will develop as new uses are found for it, will initially include the following sections:

1. up-to-date list of projected entries, contributors, and a record of progress;
2. electronic versions of fascicles before they are added to the database;
3. drafts of entries for approval at next business meeting;
4. resources for entry writers; and
5. resources for scholars working on A-S sources.

III. Report by Simon Forde (Amsterdam University Press)

Forde described Amsterdam University Press and SASLC’s place in its mission, which emphasizes open-access publication. He explained that his assistant, Erin T. Dailey, who has been influential in the discussions about reshaping SASLC, will be directly involved in hosting the project at the Press. In then reviewing some of what Biggs had said, he stressed that strong, thematic fascicles would produce the revenue necessary to sustain the online publications. The key to success with these fascicles is to have a steady stream of material.

IV. General Discussion

A. Don Scragg asked how future aims fit into original plan for A-Z volumes. Biggs answered that, with Pat’s retirement the contracts for volumes with Western Michigan Press are no longer be in place and that this new plan seemed likely to speed up the completion of entries.

B. Elizabeth Teviotdale asked what the expectation is for updating/revising already published entries, and Biggs replied that suggestions are welcome, and can be implemented as materials are put online. [Following the meeting it was decided to add a section to A.2 that would address this suggestion.]

C. Scragg raised the issue of sustainability and access for online in a changing digital world. Forde stressed the press’s commitment to this form of publication.

D. Biggs proposed putting Brandon Hawk in charge of A.2 (the subscriber website). [This suggestion received general support, and has been accepted. Anyone interested in working specifically on this part of the project should contact Brandon directly.]

E. Shannon Godlove proposed that the website should serve to emphasize a collaborative workspace for all, with emphasis on open access; she especially advocated for the involvement of graduate students and faculty at non-research institutions, who may be put off from the project due to lack of financial resources. This was met with approval.

F. Larry Swain asked about the production end of editorial work for publishing fascicles.

[From the discussion several major points emerged:

1. The first four fascicles will be edited by Biggs and Charlie Wright. These will be Ambrose, Bede, Pseudo-Bede, and Caesarius/Cotton Corpus Homiliary. These will be ready by September. The marketing details need to be supplied in July.
2. The editors of the former alphabetical volumes are encouraged to propose fascicles from material already in hand. (They need not, of course, restrict these volumes to particular letters.)
3. Anyone interested in proposing a fascicle they would edit is encouraged to do so. The details for marketing for the two forthcoming fascicles need to be definitive each July and January.
4. An editorial board, which now includes the former editors of individual volumes, will grow from those contributing entries to the project.]

G. Michael Twomey noted that it will be essential to have reliable lists of assigned entries
and entries in draft in order for prospective editors to assemble fascicles.

[From this discussion it has been decided to make these files, which will eventually be moved to A.2, available immediately in Dropbox.]

H. Wright noted that the editors need to collect all hardcopies of existing entries.

[These will be scanned and added to Dropbox.]

I. Steve Harris suggested that fascicles may not be the only way to publish, proposing that some users may want to select collections of entries for print-on-demand. That way, individuals may not buy pre-made fascicles, but could choose which entries they want bound together to have on their shelves. Johnson pointed out that this was not mutually exclusive, but could be offered alongside editorial fascicles. This was met with approval.

J. Simon Forde suggested that Fred Biggs and Charlie Wright should have the authority to make decisions in the interim and liaise with the publisher on behalf of SASLC, and then report back each May to the meeting. This was met with approval.

V. Actions Going Forward [see also the bracketed material above.]

A. We aim to supply the existing material this Fall, for upload onto the open access site in 2015.

B. Biggs emphasized that 4 fascicles must be published during 2015, and made available open access with a 12-month delay: Bede (by G. Brown), Ambrose (by C. Wright), Pseudo-Bede (by B. Hawk), and Caesarius (by J. Trahern) with Cotton-Corpus Collection (by G. Whatley).

C. Wright noted that the next big step is to take stock of what is done, what needs revised, and how to move forward on other entries for future fascicles.

D. Rolf Bremmer proposed circulating a draft of the minutes from this meeting quickly, which was met with general approval.

E. All were encouraged to begin planning fascicles for publication.

F. It was agreed that Stephanie Clark may begin directing the project as soon as she wishes.

VI. SASLC at Kalamazoo 2015

Ben Weber offered to organize again for 2015, proposing two sessions:
1) A general, open session
2) A special topic session on the theme of a retrospective for source study, for the 50th anniversary of the Congress
These were met with approval.

  1. VII. Other Business. No other business was raised.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 am.

Minutes submitted by Brandon W. Hawk, May 8, 2014; revised by Frederick M. Biggs, May 11, 2014.