Minutes of the Thursday, May 11, 2017
Business Meeting
Sources of Anglo-Saxon Literary Culture


52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI


In attendance: [Please inform us of any missing names.] Fred Biggs, Stephanie Clark, Jill Hamilton Clements, Sophia D’Ignazio, Kees Dekker, Jill Fitzgerald, Megan Gilge, Shannon Godlove, Rae Grabowski, Steve Harris, Tom Hill, Stephen Hopkins, David Johnson, Seth Koproski, Johanna Kramer, Kevin Kritch, Chris Scheirer, Sachi Shomomura, Matt Spears, Paul Szarmach, Larry Swain, Ben Weber.

Via Skype: Erin Daley, Brandon Hawk, Charlie Wright.

I. The Meeting was called to order at 8:30am by Fred Biggs.

II. The Minutes of the 2016 Meeting were approved.

III. Fred reported regrets from George Brown and again thanked him for having brought the Bede volumes to completion. Regrets also from Rolf Bremmer.

IV. [please add to this list] Congratulations were extended to members of the group for achievements outside of the project: Stephanie Clark and Shannon Godlove both received tenure this year; Ben Weber accepted a tenure-track appointment at Wheaton College (Chicago); and Stephanie and Brandon Hawk placed books at the University of Toronto Press.

V. To set the agenda for the meeting, Fred summarized the year’s progress:

A. Bede (Part 1) has been published—copies were distributed—and the indices, which will appear in Part 2, are being compiled.

B. The SASLC database is being constructed.

C. The SASLC wiki is up and running.

D. The University of Connecticut has contributed $4,000 to aid in transferring Bede to database.

E. Progress has been made on other print volumes.

VI. Erin Dailey discussed the database.

A. The data hosting service currently in our sights is FigShare, which was developed with the scientific community in mind and which, for this reason, provides many features for facilitating the sharing, sifting, searching, and comparing of raw data hosted in a variety of formats (including excel). The data can also be linked to other files the potential of which is worth exploring in the future. A brief video is available here.

B. AUP will also be enhancing the (open access) profile of SASLC publications through KUDOS.

C. As these develop, our next aim is to create an attractive, public-facing interface for the database (and portal for SASLC in general). This will be approached once the supporting architecture is in place. (A topic for the 2018 meeting.)

D. Fred added that the database will include all of the information from the headnotes of particular entries (manuscripts, lists, Anglo-Saxon versions, quotations/citations, and references) so that they may be searched in new ways. In the print versions, quotations and citations are ordered chronologically by uses by later authors and then sequentially within their individual works. So, for example, the first item in this category in the entry on Bede’s De temporum ratione is Alcuin’s letter 126; the next three, later passages in the same letter; and the fifth and sixth, two passages from letter 145. In item 71, Ælfric’s quotations from this work begin. The database will allow this list to be sorted differently, most significantly by following the order provided by Bede works either within or across later uses. So one will be able search, for example, for all of the uses of the opening lines of De temporum ratione, or all of the its uses by Alcuin. Obviously, as the database expands, this capacity will reveal not only who used Bede but also whom Bede used. Moreover, the information from the other categories (manuscripts, etc.) will be available within a single search. The database will thus offer scholars a powerful new tool for assessing the literary culture of Anglo-Saxon England.

E. Excel spreadsheets link entries to the database. The advantage for writers of entries is that the information they have gathered can be edited in Word using search and replace into a form that can be imported into the relevant columns in Excel. Once in Excel, it can be combined with other sets of data and reordered as needed.

F. Because we will keep the spreadsheets, the database can be expanded as need. While we are not, for example, currently recording information about the provenance of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, we could do so in the future.

G. Stephanie offered to write a guide for converting print entries to database entries. General approval.

VII. Walking the group through the Wiki, Brandon Hawk explained that it has two main functions: to aid writers of entries and to make the work of the project available to others.

A. The wiki is designed with two levels of access in mind:
1. At the most open level, certain pages are available to the general public: the Home page, History of the Project, Published Entries, Published Fascicles, and information pages about future entries, fascicles, etc.
2. Members and contributors of SASLC can join the wiki to gain permissions to view all content. Joining the wiki as a SASLC contributor allows access to certain members-only pages, such as Entries Under Review and Fascicles Planning & Discussion. Members are also able to discuss content using discussion threads, which appear at the bottom of every page of the wiki.

B. Brandon highlighted some of the main features of the wiki, including:
1. Previously published entries, which are now available to the public via open access.
2. The “Fascicles Planning and Discussion Page,” which will be used as a forum for discussing future fascicles and work on the project.

C. Brandon stressed that one new role that the Wiki will play is in organizing the work of the Project. He noted that the following groups are already forming:
1. Ben Weber and Fred Biggs on Augustine
2. Steve Harris and Chris Scheirer on Classical Authors
3. Shannon Godlove and Dave Johnson on Boniface
4. Brandon on Apocrypha (revision)
5. Kevin Kritch on Jerome
6. Stephanie Clark and Miranda Wilcox on Prayers and Creeds
7. Brandon on Isidore and Pseudo-Isidore

VIII. To promote the wiki and the project’s online presence, Brandon has also set up a Twitter account (@SASLCproject) and taken over as administrator of the Facebook page. Thanks to Larry Swain for setting up the Facebook page in 2013.

IX. Charlie Wright summarized the status of the planned published volumes:

A. He congratulated George and Fred on the publication of Bede (Part 1).

B. He reiterated that page proof for Bede (Part 2) has been corrected.

C. Benedict, by Shannon Godlove, Stephanie Clark, Jeffrey Love, and Amity Reading, and will be delivered to the Press at the end of August.

D. Pseudo-Bede and the Old English Bede are being revised.

E. Ambrose nears completion.

F. Stefan Jurasinski has agreed to revise Patrick Wormald’s entry on the Laws.

X. In addition, Wright summarized the immediate goals for the inclusion of new and existing entries on the Wiki.

A. Miranda Wilcox on Creeds

B. the “A” minors such as Acca of Hexham (a shameless plug: read Biggs’s article in Analecta Bollandiana)

C. “C” entries edited by Tom Hall.

XI. Under the direction of Ben Weber, the group decided to propose two sessions for next year’s Congress, one inviting papers that reflect on the methodological part of source study, and a second calling for those that deal with Carolingian and Anglo-Saxon connections.

XII. There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25.

(Written by Stephen Hopkins, revised by Fred Biggs)