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Newsletter 6

2 April, 2008

The Medieval Chronicle Society

The MCS was founded at the 2nd International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle, held in Driebergen, the Netherlands. One of our members, Graeme Dunphy (Regensburg, Germany), wrote the following entry for Wikipedia:

The Medieval Chronicle Society is an international and interdisciplinary organisation founded to facilitate the work of scholars interested in medieval chronicles, or more generally medieval historiography.

Alongside annals, chronicles were the main genre of historical writing in the Middle Ages. Consequently they have always been of great importance to historians. The extent to which they are also of interest to students of medieval literature or of historical linguistics was only fully realised in the latter part of the 20th century. Since many chronicles are illustrated, they are also a fruitful object of study for art historians. It was the desire for a forum in which these disciplines could operate together that led to the foundation of the society.

The history of the society began with a series of triennial conferences initially in Utrecht, but later moving from place to place. These early conferences were hosted by Erik Kooper (English Department, Utrecht). It was at the second of these conferences, in 1999, that the society was formally founded.

Conferences so far:

  • 1996 Utrecht (Driebergen)
  • 1999 Utrecht (Driebergen)
  • 2002 Utrecht (Doorn)
  • 2005 Reading
  • 2008 Belfast

Offers to organize future conferences have already been received from Pécs (Hungary), Regensburg (Germany) and Liverpool (Great Britain).


The MCS is a virtual society in the sense that it has no formal organisation. Anyone interested in the study of medieval chronicles is eligible to membership. As soon as one’s name has been included in the MCS mailinglist, one is a member. There are no dues.

At the end of every triennial conference a General Meeting is held, and since all conference participants are on the MCS mailinglist they also have the right to take part in the discussions and decision making.

5th International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle

The 5th International Conference on the Medieval Chronicle will be held at Queen’s University Belfast, 21-25th July 2008. Preparations for this are well under way and those who have sent in an abstract will by now have received a message from the organizer, Dion Smythe, of the Institute of Byzantine Studies (dionsmythe{at}

The Medieval Chronicle

Volumes of proceedings of the first three conferences were published by Rodopi, Amsterdam, under the title The Medieval Chronicle, vols I-III (published in 1999, 2002, 2004). At the General Meeting in 2002, this triennial publication was transformed into a yearbook. The Medieval Chronicle is a peer reviewed journal: every article submitted to the editorial board is read by two of its members, who advise the chief editor, Erik Kooper.

Although it is at this moment not feasible to produce a volume annually, the frequency of appearance has gone up to two volumes in three years. Our publisher, Rodopi, has therefore formally enlisted The Medieval Chronicle as a journal, with an appropriate ISSN.


In October 2007 Godfried Croenen and Sarah Peverley (Liverpool) suggested that they might establish a website for the MCS. In November they and Erik Kooper (Utrecht) discussed possibilities and problems involved. At the moment the plans are being further developed in Liverpool.

Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle

A number of interdisciplinary projects have been inspired by the society. One of these is Graeme Dunphy’s Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, due to appear with Brill (Leiden) in 2009, and to which many members of the MCS are contributing items. For some areas, especially Italy, Byzantium, the Islamic world, and Latin works from throughout the Empire, a few additional contributors would be very welcome. Beside this there are still a few free items in other areas as well (English, French, Spanish and Celtic languages). If you feel like helping out, or know someone who might, please contact Graeme Dunphy at: g{at}

The Medieval Chronicle V

Earlier this year The Medieval Chronicle vol. V appeared. It contains two of the keynote lectures of the 4th Chronicle Conference, held in Reading in 2005, and 13 more papers.

Call for contributions to The Medieval Chronicle VI

Even before vol. V of The Medieval Chronicle came out, work had started on vol. VI. Several articles have already been accepted but there is room for a few more. Members are reminded that also edtions of short chronicle texts (with a parallel translation in one of the three MCS languages) are welcome (see, e.g., the edition of the Old Occitan town chronicle in vol. IV).

Discount for The Medieval Chronicle, vols III – V

Members of the MCS, i.e. those who receive this Newsletter, may order volumes III, IV and V at a discount of 30 per cent directly from the publishers, Rodopi, Amsterdam. Send a letter, fax or e-mail within a month (i.e., before 15 May) to our contact person, mentioning “MCS Newsletter”:

Esther Roth
Tijnmuiden 7
1046 AK Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel. ++ 31 (0)20 611 48 21
Fax. ++ 31 (0)20 447 29 79
E-mail e.roth{at}
Electronic newsletter and online titles:


5  The Medieval Chronicle V., KOOPER, Erik (Ed.) NEW
4  The Medieval Chronicle IV., KOOPER, Erik (Ed.)
3  The Medieval Chronicle III., KOOPER, Erik (Ed.)


Download Newsletter 6 in PDF format: Newsletter 6 – April 2008 (English).

The Medieval Chronicle Society
For information contact:
Dr Erik Kooper
Dept of English
Trans 10
3512 JK Utrecht
The Netherlands

Tel. +31 (30) 2536187
or +31 (30) 2538189 (secr.)

E-mail: erik.kooper{at}

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