Conference History

Please click here for a list of every plenary speaker from 1978 to the present, with the titles of their addresses

In honor of the Conference's twentieth anniversary (or fortieth, depending on how you look at it) in 2016, the Conference archives—which had previously been housed in cardboard boxes under a desk—were organized, inventoried, and incorporated into the New College Archives in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library in 2015.  Furthermore, the New College Digital Repository now features a collection dedicated to the Conference on Medieval & Renaissance Studies, which consists of all prior conference programs (1978–2018) as well as interesting ephemera from the Conference's early days (such as the 1978 "poster", Professor Snyder's original 1977 proposal for a "learned conference", and various memoranda related to the planning of the early Conferences). These materials are all publicly available as PDFs.

Every conference program from 1978 to 2018 has been indexed on this site, so you can use the "search this site" box at the top right corner of the page to search for every appearance of a person, subject, or keyword.

We are grateful to New College undergraduates Victoria Deal, Antonio Juncosa, Cymri Mellen-Jones, and Adelle Singer for their efforts to organize the Conference's archives in January 2015, and to Victoria Deal and Adelle Singer for establishing the digital collection in January 2016. Thanks also to Alison Piper (Associate Dean of the Library), Sarah Norris (Bibliographic, Access & Metadata Services Librarian), and Ana McGrath (Digital Imaging Technician) for their support of both phases of the project.

Finally, if you're interested in the further history of the Conference, we encourage you to explore the photo archive of the Manatee County Public Library Digital Collections, which hosts a number of photographs from the early days of the Conference, when it used to include an associated medieval fair (now spun off as the Sarasota Medieval Fair, a for-profit event held annually at the Sarasota County Fairgrounds).
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