CHESTERTOWN—Two scholars known for bringing the Middle Ages into the modern publishing realm will talk about their work and the future of humanities scholarship in the digital age at a Friends of Miller Library event at Washington College on Tuesday, April 12. Ronald G. Musto and Eileen Gardiner, who beginning this September will share the post of Executive Director at the Medieval Academy of America and will edit its venerable journal Speculum, will lecture on “The Humanities in the Digital Age” at 5 p.m. in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. A reception will follow.
In their current positions as directors of Humanities E-Book (HEB) at the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the couple has overseen the creation and growth of a fully searchable online collection of nearly 3,300 scholar-reviewed books in the humanities. Launched in September 2002 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, HEB digitally publishes work from ACLS member societies and nearly 100 contributing publishers. Dedicated to exploring the intellectual possibilities of new media, HEB now adds some 500 books annually, including new XML titles that can use new media to communicate their scholarship.
In 1985, Gardiner and Musto co-founded Italica Press, a New York-based publisher that specializes in English translations of medieval and Renaissance works and modern Italian fiction. They co-authored the article “The Electronic Book” in The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010), and are currently at work on The Digital Humanities: A Primer for Scholars and Students, to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Gardiner holds a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature with a specialization in medieval literature from Fordham University and has worked in many aspects of the book trade since 1967. The winner of AAUW and Fulbright Scholar fellowships, she is the author of Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante. She also edits the website Hell-on-Line, a comprehensive collection of visions, tours and descriptions of the infernal otherworld from various religious and cultural traditions, and the online project The Pilgrim’s Way to St. Patrick’s Purgatory, which traces the medieval pilgrimage route from Dublin to Lough Derg in County Donegal.
Ron Musto holds a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University and specializes in the Italian 14th century. He has won fellowships from RSA Manuscript Research, the American Academy in Rome, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Mellon Foundation. Musto served as an adjunct professor at Columbia, Duke and New York University and has published seven books, including Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age (AHA Marraro Prize, 2004) and Renaissance Society and Culture (edited with John Monfasani). He also was general editor of the five-volume Documentary History of Naples and co-author of Medieval Naples, 400–1400.
Gardiner and Musto worked closely with Kent County resident Ben Kohl, a scholar and philanthropist who died last June, on two major projects on Venetian history. The first, The Records of the Venetian Senate, 1335–1400 is a digital archive of published by Italica Press in 2001; the second, Rulers of Venice 1332-1524, was published in 2009 by ACLS in collaboration with the Renaissance Society of America.
Kohl’s wife, Judy Kohl, is president of the Friends of the Clifton M. Miller Library. The Friends support the library at Washington College and its collections through membership fees, events, and advocacy. For more information, please visit: http://millerlibrary.washcoll.edu/.