Category Archives: PRACTICALITIES – HELP – SUPPORT

Helen Waddell

Non-medievalist working on Irish medievalist Helen Waddell (1889-1965), author of The Wandering Scholars, Medieval Latin Lyrics, The Desert Fathers, Peter Abelard and more, should like to make contact with others researching Waddell or working in related areas. Continue reading

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VIRTUAL COMMENTS BOX FOR FEEDBACK

We would be very grateful for all useful feedback, as – customer-relations-speak aside – such comments are by definition “useful” and “feedback.” Please fill in the comments-form below, and we will strive to our utmost to add information and updates, answer all queries, and respond to all comments; and to do so as fast as humanly possible. N.B. This is not the membership form – it’s a wholly more sophisticated entity and may be found here.
[Click here to skip straight to the comments-form itself…]

Some possible topics (links are to descriptive notes):

  • Any of our own links – to parts of the Forum site – that lead to the “Easy, tiger…” message
  • Forthcoming events and activities
  • Websites that ought to be listed here
  • News about job and research openings
  • Ideas for discussion topics
  • Suggestions of new books for reviews – as well as films, plays, poems, exhibitions, concerts, and other performances

We also welcome comments here on more general topics:

  • Questions
  • Suggestions for improvements to the site – layout, navigation, and other practical matters
  • Topical tips
  • Issues of syntax and semantics, in both human and computational languages
  • Spelling and grammatical mistakes
  • Inconsistencies and other niggles, however minute (the administrator thrives on this sort of thing)
  • Vagueness, ambiguity, confusion, and incoherence
  • Errors of fact or judgment
  • Updates or other changes to your profile page
  • Complaints about any posts, comments, or commenters – and any other gripes and grievances. Unfortunately, we must restrict this to matters directly associated with this site: we can’t help with noisy neighbours, the state of the nation, or the weather.
  • Any other sorts of feedback not covered above. We aim for crystal clarity of the sort that might hope to satisfy criteria for the Internet Crystal Mark from the Plain English Campaign.

Information on the site is as provided by advertisers, although the Administratrix does a certain amount of checking and cross-checking, but within the limits of time available, dans la mesure du possible. Please do bear in mind that she is a full-time lecturer at one university (in a field with a heavy teaching load) and attached to another; has to fit research in somewhere along the way, research that involves a lot of reading – time-consuming – before one may even start to consider thinking and writing; and, of course, like anyone elese (most females, anyway…) has to dedicate some part of her week to the basics of everyday life (food-shopping, cleaning, cooking, eating, at least 6 hours’ sleep) – let alone some semblance of a minimally human existence.

To communicate your comments, type your pearls of wit and wisdom in the box immediately after this sentence, and press the “submit” button immediately after the box.

Forthcoming events and activities:
We depend on you for keeping us updated about Medieval and Renaissance events and activities around Ireland.

If you are planning an event and would like information on it to be posted here, we will duly update this main EVENTS page. The information you provide will also first be cross-posted as a full entry in NEWS & UPDATES (to enable its archiving and ability to be searched for). Where possible, we will of course err on the side of cautious multiple cross-posting.

“Events” is used in the loosest sense to include all manner of Medieval and Renaissance events and activities: talks, lectures, conferences, conference calls for papers, colloquia, workshops, seminars, exhibitions, concerts, performances, readings, re-enactments, discussions, links to radio and televised broadcast appearances, other calls for papers (for journals and books), new publications, notices, announcements (such as funding advertisements and awards), … and indeed any other Medieval and Renaissance news you might wish to share with the Forum.
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Websites that ought to be listed here:
Please bear in mind that the links listing on the right-hand side of this site is for sites providing useful information that is PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE ONLINE AND FREE This does not exclude sites with which one must first register before gaining access. It does, however, exclude many useful electronic publications that are very far from free (I am thinking here in particular of a certain publisher whose name starts with the second letter of the alphabet). Links to such sites will appear on the RESOURCES page (under long-term construction).

GENERAL USEFUL LINKS: Not necessarily Medieval and Renaissance: ex. W3C, Project Gutenberg.

IRELAND: GENERAL RESOURCES = mainly state and European-level bodies, libraries, archives, heritage, and public records offices

IRELAND: GUILDS & CONFRATERNITIES = unions, union congresses, professional organizations and bodies, and research councils

IRELAND: MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE RESOURCES =  All aspects of Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland: institutes and centres, research projects, scholarly societies, organizations, sites, metasites, and including links/resources pages for postgraduate programme websites

MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE HYPERPROJECTS (WORLDWIDE) = Medieval and Renaissance digital humanities / electronic / hypertext research projects online, in the rest of the world. Mainly projects using the TEI encoding scheme (ex. CELT here in Ireland), marked-up text, and relational databases. May well be of rather a narrow focus (ex. the Princeton Charrette Project). All are FREE AND OPENLY/PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE – even if one may need to sign up to get a password. Includes such projects that are based in Ireland, and which also appear in IRELAND: MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE RESOURCES

MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE MATERIAL SOURCES (WORLDWIDE) = Primary materials. Primarily, freely-available online texts, in the broadest sense of WRITTEN THINGS: documents, manuscripts, printed books, music, and images; transcriptions, facsimiles, editions, and translations; hyperprojects that also come under MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE HYPERPROJECTS: digital humanities, electronic, hypertext projects; featuring encoded or marked-up text, relational or searchable databases, …; and digital catalogues (especially of manuscripts). Some of the bigger sites and metasites linking to texts online have also been included here, for practical purposes.

MEDIEVAL & RENAISSANCE RESOURCES (WORLDWIDE) = Sites and meta-sites in the rest of the world providing FREE AND OPENLY/PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE online information about Medieval and Renaissance studies (ex. the ORB). Includes HYPERPROJECTS above.

As for the RESOURCES page, it should be emphasized that this part of the FMRSI is NOT a venue for the simple free advertising of individuals or institutions via their websites: rather, this part of the Forum is concerned with the collection and communication of informative content.
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Filed under CALLS FOR PAPERS & PUBLICATIONS, EMPLOYMENT, EVENTS & ACTIVITIES, NEWS, PRACTICALITIES - HELP - SUPPORT

USER’S GUIDE AND CODE OF PRACTICE

MENU FOR RAPID NAVIGATION…

A USER’S GUIDE
A CONTRIBUTOR’S ROUGH GUIDE
CODE OF PRACTICE
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

A USER’S GUIDE

The FMRSI is set up as a hybrid combining aspects of the website and of the blog, in the spirit of Web 2.0 and in line with W3C criteria. Whilst being the-blog-that-isn’t-one. WordPress was chosen for its fine touches on even the smallest things that make the greatest difference: user-friendliness (for all involved), flexibility and freedom (crucial for the bricks-and-mortar end), and – as just one example of its general humanity – the nicest and cuddliest “page error” message on the Web.

The tabs at the top of the page work like a traditional website’s menu bar, leading to static pages. MAIN MENU performs the same function. These are mainly for informative purposes.

SEARCH, appropriately enough, searches this Forum for any words occurring in text (including names) and in tags (tagging will be evolving gradually). There is one issue about which you should be warned: the search engine doesn’t always recognise <o’> and <ó>, for instance in O’Brien, but substituting <o>should produce the right result. We’ve tried to fix this as best we can with cunning tags. Searching is not case-sensitive, and other diacritical marks seem not to be affected. If you are looking for a Forum member here and can’t find them, please use the PEOPLE page and accept our humble apologies on behalf of computer programmers’ disdain for diacritical marks; in fairness if not forgiveness, it is often through their linguistic and historical ignorance.

DISPATCHES CATEGORISED, THE LATEST DISPATCHES, and DISPATCHES CHRONOLOGISED: Much material  on the site is dynamic, with pages and other areas changing whenever they are updated to take account of new posts and comments; appearing in reverse chronological order, newest first (except for MEMBERS’ PROFILES, tweaked to appear in alphabetical order). Posts can be multiply tagged and be in multiple categories, and more categories will be appearing along the way. We hope this manages to be as comfortable as possible, and not just user-friendly but writer-friendly. The idea is that contributions – posts and comments – should resemble threads in a traditional online discussion forum. Repliques in a conversation combined with virtual commentary and glossing: a mode ideally suited to Medievalists and Renaissanceurs.

  • DISPATCHES CATEGORISED has a drop-down menu, wherein posts are grouped by category: calls for papers, employment, and so on.
  • LATEST DISPATCHES shows some of the very newest posts in reverse chronological order, latest first (not categorised).
  • DISPATCHES CHRONOLOGISED collects all discussion forum posts and sorts them by month and year, again in reverse chronological order (except, again, MEMBERS’ PROFILES). This can be useful as an expanded version of THE LATEST DISPATCHES: in DISPATCHES CHRONOLOGISED, click on the current month to see all recent posts (again, uncategorised).

Further down on your right is a long list of links to sites providing potentially useful information.

Please do tell us about other websites you think it would be appropriate to list – there is always room for more.

NB: Information on the site is as provided by advertisers, although the Administratrix does a certain amount of checking and cross-checking, but within the limits of time available, dans la mesure du possible. Please do bear in mind that she is a full-time lecturer at one university (in a field with a heavy teaching load) and attached to another; has to fit research in somewhere along the way, research that involves a lot of reading – time-consuming – before one may even start to consider thinking and writing; and, of course, like anyone elese (most females, anyway…) has to dedicate some part of her week to the basics of everyday life (food-shopping, cleaning, cooking, eating, at least 6 hours’ sleep) – let alone some semblance of a minimally human existence.

META (right at the bottom): We offer several rapid, frequent, automated ways of keeping up to date with the Forum by subscribing to RSS feeds:

  • ENTRIES RSS (posts – the more immediately useful feed, for information),
  • COMMENTS RSS (just comments – more useful for following any heated debates here… ), and
  • EMAIL UPDATES. This latter is daily, whereas the former two are immediate, and so would be the fastest way of keeping up to the minute with announcements of forthcoming events, calls for papers, etc.

We hope this is useful as a traditional “passive” website for providing resources, but also intend this to be a Web 2.0-style active and interactive site. A continuation of noble and ancient traditions of debate and glossing, translated into this new virtual environment. Please start participating, writing, commenting, and discussing! Contributions may be of any length and style – a brief code of practice follows below.

We are especially keen to hear from organizers of Medieval and Renaissance events around the island of Ireland, one of the Forum’s main purposes being the collection and dissemination of such information.

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A CONTRIBUTOR’S ROUGH GUIDE

When you first compose and submit a comment/gloss/reply to a post, please brace yourself for the ignominy of awaiting moderation. Comments and commentators are moderated, especially in these early days as we sort out our settings. This is principally to avoid spam: our filters are set high, so less spam slips through the net, but the sad consequence is an apparent aloof distrust of fellow Medievalists and Renaissanceurs.

PLEASE NOTE  AND NOTE YE WELL: SPAM IS UNWELCOME AND WILL BE MERCILESSLY DELETED.
The Administratrix WILL swear and MAY OFTEN curse the perpetrator. (Admin is a redhead, which carries some weight, occasionally, in cursing circles.)
The Forum is NOT a place for any sort of commercial activity, or advertising of anything irrelevant. It is not a sorting-house and liaison for people wanting to come to Ireland, nor is it a travel agency, nor a visa facilitator. Nor is it an appropriate place to introduce people to the joys of assorted stimulants, chemical and sensual. Though these matters may be of academic interest to us in the form of the Medieval and Renaissance history, archaeology, artistic and literary representation, history of medical usage, etc. for the latter; and political, social, and economic history for the former matters. Which is why some more cleverly-worded spam may creep in from time to time (e.g. “I want to attend your conference…”), why our spam filters are set high, spam sorted through at least twice a day, and a State of Constant Vigilance maintained.

If you and your comment are bona fide – this would be the case, obviously, of any Forum member – your comment will be “approved” and appear, and future comments will appear straight away. If you are already a member, you will also metamorphose into what WordPress calls an “Author”; non-members will be invited to join, and may become Authors immediately thereafter. You will then be able to write, edit, and publish your own posts and comments (though if you misbehave there can be demotion to mere “Contributor” status, and … worse… ). Full control over your own material also means you’ll be able to start up discussion on new topics.

We are using posts as starting-points for discussion threads, as they provide several advantages over comments-boxes:

  • Posts provide a fuller range of  editorial tools and diacritical marks and the opportunity for some more scripting, enabling jumps to footnotes and back to the main text).
  • Posts can be password-protected; and can be published here directly by the Authors themselves. NB This is of course not a complete free-for-all, and the Forum co-ordinators reserve the right to exercise some editorial control, but – as social contracts must be bilateral – promise to do so within reason (see CODE OF PRACTICE below).
  • Authors can upload files directly (ex. PDF), and “embed” them in a post. Rather as one might attach a file from one’s own computer; and like that, this is not the file itself but a mirror-copy. Authors would be at liberty to choose whether to put the full text directly online, or to link to a file; and whether to password-protect their whole post, or to do so for the inserted file, or to do so partially (ex. prohibiting the copying of content but permitting its reading and printing).
  • If you decide to put up a whole text in your post, we can also reformat, script, style, and generally transform your posted words into beauteous post-form for you (if you include an electronic file of the document on your post, or transmit it to the Forum co-ordinators as an email attachment).

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CODE OF PRACTICE:
APPROPRIATE CONDUCT & GENERAL NETIQUETTE

This is a free forum for open discussion. In a spirit of good humour, politeness, and parity. “Courteous” conduct, if you will. Bear in mind that comments and commentators can be “unapproved” (WordPress’ term, not the Forum’s)… Contrariness to the opinions of the administrators will not be a reason for a comment or commentator being blocked from the Forum!

We will not edit comments, although we may comment on your comment: as moderators are also commentators just like any others. We might comment on matters grammatical, orthographic, or otherwise linguistic. It is possible that the use of txtspk might be mocked; other Classical, Medieval, and modern languages are of course welcomed with open arms (and we’re fairly sure most Roman AB diacritical marks are catered for – including þ and Ð – as well as Greek). Incisive argument is encouraged, as are witty one-liners.

On the other hand, any material that is insulting, defamatory, or derogatory will be removed. Jezebel and Lifehacker provide some excellent material on the ethics and jurisprudence of commentary and its moderation. (N.B. these are not Medieval, Renaissance, or scholarly sites. And, like all other external links on the Forum, these ones open in new windows.)

Moderation goes through the Forum co-ordinators. They can be contacted directly here on the site – all comments sent here go straight to all four of us posthaste – and our individual contact information (via less immediate “mail-to” links) is also on the HOME page. We will try valiantly to respond to you and our every query, as soon as practicable.

The Forum is in its infancy, so will not be entirely glitch-free for a while. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any and all useful suggestions – on such practical matters but also on more cerebral ones, such as topics for discussion. While many areas are already up and running, in a casual manner, we are in process of gently expanding them to feed into the online journal. This may involve inviting longer responses to set topics, or extensions of comments already posted here.

All images are from Wikimedia Commons and are freely usable.

This site, like many others, may be best viewed in Firefox (to ensure maximum security and freedom from cookies, tracking, and other evils). It has been set up not to allows any links to appear coming from other sites (trackbacks and pingbacks), or to show any related links from elsewhere (which, as we all know, are rarely even remotely related, and tend to be comical at best), or to accept any other such externally-inflicted and -controlled forms of advertising by third parties; as they are Repugnant and Diabolical Works and so we formally abhor them. SnapShots have been disabled as they have been known to cause allergic reactions in many people, ranging from mild irritation to apoplectic fits. All in all, we hope that this site will be a pleasure and a joy for you.

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INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Some material appearing on the site in the form of posts and comments will be password-protected. The password will only be available to Forum members; we are still in experimental stages, but it looks like Authors can set their own passwords on their own material here. We would of course appreciate passwords being communicated to the Forum co-ordinators and other members (we’d be happy to act as liaison)…

As is standard online practice, all authors (administrator, moderators, commentators, and contributors alike) retain full rights to their intellectual property, which is freely available here (under Creative Commons), and may be consulted, copied, and distributed but ONLY with credit given to its authors and NOT for commercial purposes. Work may not be reproduced, resold, or otherwise stolen.

Do bear in mind that the Forum includes professional experts on Just War Theory and its practical aspects, in combat. More to the point, so to speak, we have friends in the re-enactment business. We know men with cudgels. Experts in heavy Medieval and Renaissance weaponry. And keepers of bloodhounds.

Creative Commons License
Forum for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Ireland by FMRSI and individual contributors is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

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FORUM UPDATES & RSS FEEDS

The Forum will be sending members Cuttings, an email newsletter-digest to members, starting in the Autumn of 2008. For good practical reasons, this is, however, a selection of recent Forum posts and intended as a supplement to this website itself; and it will be appearing monthly.

Should you wish to stay more up to date with Forum matters, our new email update service might be of interest to you. Subscribers to this (free) service will receive a daily email of new content on the site. We’ve tried to set it up to be as user-friendly as possible: via SUBSCRIBE TO DAILY EMAIL UPDATES – in the bottom right-hand corner, under all the links.

Drowning in newsletters? Tired of cluttered email boxes? We can, happily, offer an alternative. Spare yourself any exacerbation of all these agonies by subscribing to an “RSS feed” for the Forum’s site. There are two ways of doing this. Right at the bottom of the right-hand column, under “meta,” you will see two kinds of feed. ENTRIES RSS is for new Forum posts – that is, new items, that also appear on the right-hand side in “Recently on the Forum…” It may be the most useful way of receiving new information put up here. COMMENTS RSS should be self-explanatory; it will be more useful for following any heated discussion that might be taking place here, for instance in the Village Green.

Once you’ve set up The Feed on your computer, in your bookmarks and/or on a bookmarks toolbar, you are a mere click away from seeing if anything new has appeared on the Forum site since you last checked. Whenever we receive news of a new event or activity, before the information appears on the EVENTS page it will first be put up on the site as a post whose title starts with NEWS, NEWSFLASH, HOT OFF THE PRESS, BREAKING NEWS, or something of the sort. The existence of this update to the site will be noted immediately by your RSS feed, and it will update or refresh itself accordingly.

An RSS feed is the fastest way to stay up to the minute – indeed, up to the instant – with Forum news. It should save you time, and save you from the annoyance of going to the site only to find that nothing has appeared recently, or that too much has.

ABOUT RSS FEEDS AND HOW TO USE THEM
An RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed is essentially an electronic update, whenever a dynamic site – like the FMRSI – is updated. That is, once new posts appear or new comments are made on them. One of the main uses is by news sites. You’ll see RSS feeds on RTE and The Irish Times, for example. As ever, Wikipedia gives a good full definition; see also WordPress’ own reasons why RSS feeds are useful.

When you first subscribe to a feed, it’ll appear in the horizontal tool-bar at the top of your screen (Firefox and Internet Explorer both do this very similarly). You can decide where else to put it, what to call it, and indeed whether you would like to keep all your Feeds together under one sort of folder, or leave each in their own immediate entry. Click on RSS, then go into Bookmarks, thence to Organize Bookmarks, and sort out where your RSS feed will appear on your web browser window. (Depending on your computer setup, there may be other routes on setting up an RSS feed and bookmarking it – this one seems fairly cross-platform-ly reliable.)

RSS feeds enable you to see news or blog updates really fast, without going to the site, or indeed navigating away from where you are and what you’re doing. Just point your mouse at the symbol and a list of the most recent posts will appear. Clicking on any one will take you directly to it.

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