Dark Archives 20/20: A Conference on the Medieval Unread and Unreadable

Woman with back to well lit doorway looking into dark room full of books on shelves

This year, medieval primary materials have become physically inaccessible to researchers - and their archives literally dark - to a degree unknown since medievel studies first developed. And yet 2020 also caps a decade of highest growing in online digital images and other data for those sources albeit still only for a tiny fraction. As Dark Archives 2019 investigated, this burgeoning digital availability is fuelling some of the great ambitions of medieval studies: to scan, transcribe and assemble all of its physical materials, both extant and approximations of the lost, as a single 'graphosphere', enabling thereby a range of transformative new disciplines and insights. 

Dark Archives 20/20 therefore invites researchers from around the world to address a basic question underscored by our current physical isolation; if we no longer have access to the original sources, only to (overwhelmingly digital) copies, what of the medieval do we still possess, and what more might we thereby uncover.

We welcome proposals for papers and for practical workshops on any aspect of this topic, from any discipline.

See the website for details. 

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words by 31st July 2020, at the latest, to Dr Stephen Pink, Executive Officer, SSMLL, at ssmll@history.ox.ac.uk 


For more medieval matters from Oxford, have a look at the website of the Oxford Medieval Studies TORCH Programme and the OMS blog