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On Visigoths and Vikings: The Middle Ages at Yale

A new exhibit in Sterling Memorial Library surveys the study of the Middle Ages at Yale from one of the first books donated to the University and the early history lectures by “Visigoth” Professor George Burton Adamsin in the early 20th century to the Medieval Lunch and Lecture Series and the wildly popular “Vikings!” course offered last year. Along the way the exhibit explores early efforts at interdisciplinary study of the period and the creation in the 1960s of the Medieval Studies Program. It also examines the support given by rich archival holdings and architectural riches of Sterling Memorial Library as well as the superb manuscript collections of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The exhibit is timed to coincide with the annual meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (March 18-20, 2010). The conference honors three Yale medievalists with special sessions focusing on their work, and so the lives and work of Robert S. Lopez, Fred C. Robinson, and John E. Boswell are also celebrated. The medievalist community has always had a strong communal spirit, manifested in 2006 by a reunion of graduate medievalists in 2006 entitled “Medieval Spring.” The exhibition represents both the scholarly and social sides of this gathering as well as of the usual round of Lectures and Lunch of medievalists on the Yale campus today.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and runs until April 30.