$50 at Fifty

Dear Friends,

The Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of the Medieval Association of the Pacific is swiftly approaching!

As we look forward to the Annual Meeting at the University of California, Davis, the site of the Organization’s founding in 1966, it behooves us to ponder MAP’s illustrious past as well as its long-term future.

In the first issue of Chronica, published in Fall 1967, President James J. Murphy recounted the origins of the new organization. Describing the initial planning meeting, Murphy wrote:

It was anticipated that perhaps fifteen or twenty of those attending the Conference [on Medieval Studies at Davis] would appear at the meeting. Instead, a total of almost one hundred jammed into a room designed for sixty-six.

The same newsletter also published an essay by Loy Bilderback (Fresno State College) on “The Computer as an Aid to Control of Medieval Bibliography.” In light of a pressing need to manage the rapidly expanding bibliography of published studies on the Middle Ages, Bilderback proposed implementing “a system of control” using the computer. While admitting that “the abandonment of customary bibliographical practices and the learning of new ways born of new conceptual schemes is not easy,” Dr. Bilderback concluded, “if we look forward to a day when selections [of bibliographic entries] must be made from among thousands of items, it is clear that the problem of exclusion of the irrelevant will be as important as the problem of gaining control of the useful.” Prophetic words, indeed.

MAP has flourished for a half-century because of the dedication and support of its membership. Many of us presented our first academic papers at an annual meeting, and MAP today continues to be a welcoming venue for graduate students and senior scholars alike.

To support this tradition of excellence for years to come, please consider making a gift to MAP this year:

“$50 at Fifty”

A $50 gift to MAP when you renew your membership supports our Prizes – the Founders’ Prize, which awards up to $1000 for the outstanding graduate papers presented at the annual conference, and the Benton Prize, which supports travel to any academic conference, MAP included. Your gift also assists in conference planning and organization.

Or round your annual membership dues – in 1968, set at $4/year ($2 for students!) – from $35 to $50.  MAP remains a tremendous bargain for regular members and graduate students, whose dues and conference registration fees are nominal.

For half a century, MAP has offered extraordinary service to our profession and to the development of young scholars. We need your support to carry this important work forward in the decades to come.


John Ott, Treasurer