Awaiting the Cistercians and Medievalists

The most recent work encompassing all Cistercian foundations is that of Leopold Janauschek, published in 1877,

The most recent work encompassing all Cistercian foundations is that of Leopold Janauschek, published in 1877.

As we await the arrival of our Cistercian and medievalist guests, who will begin arriving next week, I have been looking at where we planned to be at this point last year.

The good news is that we’ve completed spreadsheets for all of the Cistercian monasteries in Laurent Cottineau, Repertoire topo-bibliographique des abbayes et prieurés (Macon, 1939) and Leopold Janauschek, Originum Cisterciensium Tomus I in quo praemissis congregationum domiciliis adjectisque tabulis chronologico-genealogicis veterum abbatiarum a monachis habitatarum fundationes ad fidem antiquissimorum fontium primus descripsit, (Vindobonae 1877). We have also created spreadsheets for modern foundations up to the present.  Graduate Students Marca (Mary Caroline) Hoyle and Vajra Regan have spent the long, cold winter months filling in cells and checking work and now we are ready to distribute them to specialists on Cistercians in particular regions to update and correct based upon their expertise at the congress.  Other aspects of the project, such as mapping and data mining, await funding before they can begin.  We have applied for a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Implementation Grant to support this project through its full development.  We’re working on the best method to allow everyone to participate in working with this material, considering Google+ or other collaborative workspace and suggestions are welcome.

We’ve also embarked on a new project, The Janauschek Portal Wiki (   Last year, we learned that Frank Sasama and Cornelia Oefelein were working to find a way to finish Dr. Janauschek’s work.  Janauaschek had planned a second volume of his work, which was to focus on foundations for women, and had also found references to additional houses in his ongoing research.  Dr. Sasama digitized Janauschek’s notes, held at at the Abbey of Heiligenkreuz.  After a great deal of research, it was decided that a wiki format would be the best way to allow scholars to consult the notes and participate in transcribing them.  The Originum Cisterciensium Liber Secundus:  An edition of the notes of Leopold Janauschek will be an important step in creating a comprehensive guide to the Cistercian Order from the middle ages to the present and will result in a new scholarly text edition.  Leopold Janauschek’s Originum Cisterciensium Liber Primus (Vienna, 1877) remains the most important reference work on the geographical spread of the Cistercian Order during its (then) 700-year history.  His intended Tomus secundus, a second volume on female houses, into which he planned to incorporate material discovered after publication of the first volume, was never completed.  This project will begin by transcribing Janauschek’s handwritten notes into a wiki.  The project is a collaboration between the Center for Cistercian and Monastic Studies at Western Michigan University and CistopediaCistopedia ( was developed with the collaboration of both branches of the modern Cistercian Order and other Cistercian “family” and attracts participants from many groups:  Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christians, Cistercian monks and nuns from many countries and different observances, lay people and religious.   We have submitted a grant to the National Endowment for the Humanities Scholarly Editions and Translaitons program to support this work.   Our editorial board, including Rozanne Elder (WMU), Cornelia Oelefein (Chairman, Verein zur Förderung  einer “Europäischen Akademie für Cistercienserforschung (EAC)” im ehemaligen Kloster Lehnin e.V.), Frank Sasama (Member, EUCist – Europainstitut für CistercienserforschungEuropainstitut), and AlKuin Schachenmayr (Vizerektor der Hochschule, Stiftsbibliothekar und Stiftsarchivar Europainstitut für cisterciensiche Geschichte, Spiritualität, Kunst und Liturgie Mitglied des Institutes für Kirchengeschichte und Kirchenrecht) and Susan Steuer (WMU) is beginning to develop guidelines so that the transcription efforts of interested scholars can be organized to contribute to the wiki site.  We hope to have collaborators meet at a conference in Europe after two years to discuss the results of the project and its impact upon their individual research.  The Janauschek Portal is currently being populated with images.  We have uploaded about 900 of an estimated 14,000 images into the wiki since January, and we hope our speed will improve as we get the protocols fully established.   If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact to get authorization and a personal login for the project.


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