Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress

May 28th, 2010 at 08:05

Contrary to popular opinion, Kalamazoo actually is a real place! Every May, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo plays host to 3,000 conference delegates for three and a half days of medieval scholarship. Most of those who attend are lecturers or researchers in universities in the U.S. and Western Europe, with just a few archivists and librarians who have responsibility for medieval collections. The 2010 Congress offered over 600 different sessions in just 12 timeslots. The speakers included academics from the University of Nottingham’s schools of English Studies and Archaeology, and me.

Speaking at the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo

Speaking at the International Medieval Congress, Kalamazoo

Visiting Kalamazoo was an opportunity to raise awareness of the Wollaton Library Collection, our current exhibition, and the new Wives, Widows and Wimples web resource. I gave a presentation about all these topics on the first day of the Congress. My presentation was part of a series of two sessions organised by colleagues from the Institute of Medieval Research at the University of Nottingham, under the umbrella of their ‘Accessing the Medieval‘ research programme.

Just as important for getting the message across was the Exhibits Hall, packed with publishing companies offering their latest books, second-hall book stalls, and vendors of ‘medieval’ goods such as amber jewellery, wooden musical instruments, and garments made of chain mail! Tables and wall space were made available for anyone to leave flyers and handouts. I had brought a big pile of exhibition catalogues and leaflets about the Wollaton Library Collection in my suitcase, and distributed some every day – they went like hot cakes.

The Western Michigan University campus was quite reminiscent of Nottingham’s University Park – a large, self-contained area on the edge of town, with plenty of green space in between the buildings. They even had their own University lake, complete with nesting swans, which delighted everyone as they made their way around between sessions.

Exhibits Hall at the International Medieval Congress

Exhibits Hall at the International Medieval Congress

Nesting swan at Western Michigan University

Nesting swan at Western Michigan University


Post a comment

Unauthorised comments will be moderated

Comments are moderated and they are subject to the University's Acceptable Use Policy and may therefore be removed without notice.

No comments for “ Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress ”