Bryn Mawr Classical Review Celebrates 20 Years

Posted November 18th, 2010 at 4:29 pm.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the second-oldest electronic journal in the humanities (surpassed by only a few weeks by Postmodern Culture), and one of the oldest open-access electronic journals, celebrates its 20th anniversary on Nov. 28.

BMCR was started in 1990 by Bryn Mawr Professor of Greek Richard Hamilton and James J. O’Donnell, then professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Hamilton (now emeritus professor) and O’Donnell (now provost at Georgetown University) still serve as senior editors, along with Camilla MacKay, head of Carpenter Library, and Rolando Ferri, professor of classical philology at the University of Pisa.

BMCR has grown enormously over the years, and some 700 reviews a year now appear in English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German. Two-thirds of the reviewers are located outside the United States.

The journal reaches a worldwide audience of hundreds of thousands through its website and a companion blog. Nearly 10,000 people subscribe to the journal via email and RSS feeds.

“Bryn Mawr Classical Review has perhaps the greatest international, indeed global, presence of any Bryn Mawr enterprise,” says Associate Professor of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies Radcliffe Edmonds, who serves as one of the journal’s associate editors. “Through the medium of Bryn Mawr Classical Review, the name of Bryn Mawr goes out on a daily basis to thousands of scholars around the world, scholars on every continent and in nearly every country.

“As a result,” Edmonds continues, “not only is the name of Bryn Mawr recognized by scholars throughout the world, but international visitors to the campus repeatedly praise the contributions that BMCR has made to the field by bringing together through the digital medium scholars from all over the globe.”

BMCR is almost entirely a volunteer operation, dependent on commissioned and volunteer reviewers and its editorial board, with a strong component of Bryn Mawr faculty and staff (Catherine Conybeare, Julia Gaisser, Mehmet-Ali Ataç, Annette Baertschi, Francisco Barrenechea, Peter Magee, Brunilde Ridgway, Steven Salkever, Darby Scott, Suzanne Spain, and James Wright). Ph.D. candidate in Classical Studies Jessica Sisk serves as assistant editor.

Sales of Bryn Mawr Commentaries, Greek and Latin textbooks, fund the operation of BMCR. The contributions of BMCR to the field of Classics were recognized last year at the annual meeting of the American Philological Association, the largest scholarly association of classicists in the world, when Hamilton was honored for his work in founding BMCR and Bryn Mawr Commentaries.

The Bryn Mawr Classical Review’s 20th anniversary occurs during Bryn Mawr College’s 125th anniversary celebration (see more at the 125th-anniversary website).

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