Did you know the Lilly Library owns a possible medieval Hebrew palimpsest? That the Newberry Library has freely-available materials online for undergraduate teaching? Or that the Medieval Institute owns a nearly-complete microfilmed copy of the holdings of Milan's Biblioteca Ambrosiana? During the 2017 Kalamazoo International Congress on Medieval Studies, the Indiana Medieval Consortium hosted an eye-opening panel that revealed all this and more, "Medievalists in the Midwest: Promoting Resources, Collaboration, and Intercollegiality across Universities (A Roundtable).”
At first blush the Corn Belt might not seem a top destination for specialists of the Middle Ages, yet the representatives from Indiana University-Bloomington's Lilly Library, the Newberry Library, and Notre Dame's own Medieval Institute made clear that the Midwest boasts a rich trove of resources for medievalists. From the Ricketts Fragments at the Lilly Library to the rich collections of medieval manuscripts at the Newberry Library and at Notre Dame, and from the digital humanities projects underway at the Lilly and the Newberry to the diverse array of lectures, colloquiua, and seminars at the MI, participants quickly realized just how much material and programming lies at their doorsteps. Additionally, each of these institutions offers resources for teachers and for undergraduates; during the Q&A conversation quickly turned to how to encourage undergraduates to use these resources and collections. One excellent suggestion raised by the Lilly Library was to use Omeka as a digital platform for undergraduate manuscript description assignments. To learn more about the panel, read a recap of the live tweets via the #kzoo2017 and #s510 hashtags and see the list of presenters and topics on the Medieval Consortium's web site.