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The MARGOT group analyses and publishes French texts from the Medieval and Early Modern period, both electronically and in paper format. The major phases of research activity are listed below.MARGOT history timeline

1989 - 2003

The researchers of MARGOT (Jean-Philippe Beaulieu, Université de Montréal, Hannah Fournier, Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Delbert Russell, University of Waterloo) built a textual database of Latin and early French texts, using software developed at Waterloo for the computerization of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Using these computer tools, and with the help of graduate students the group published editions of medieval texts and early modern works by women writers. The first colloquium Femmes et textes sous l’Ancien Régime, held at Waterloo in 1993, demonstrated well one of the major research interests of the group.

1993 - 2003

In response to the opportunities offered by the expansion of the internet and the widespread use of web browsers, the first MARGOT website was created for electronic versions of texts by early women writers. The interest developed during the first MARGOT Femmes et textes colloquium in 1993 led to a continuing series on early women writers, and subsequent colloquia were held at St. Louis, USA (1995), Montréal, Canada (1997), Charlottesville, USA (1999), Rennes, France (2002), and Rouen, France (2005).

2003 - 2007

Work was begun on expanding the medieval electronic texts available on the MARGOT website, and on improving the search software. Delbert Russell, in collaboration with Frank Tompa (Computer Science, University of Waterloo) built an electronic edition of the Campsey collection of Saints’ Lives, British Library MS Additional 70513, as well as of the Anglo-Norman Vie de St. Clement. Dr. Russell’s participation in the team of researchers who developed the electronic version of the Oxford English Dictionary gave him the necessary expertise to create these electronic editions, and Dr. Tompa, one of the original creators of the OED software, advised on database structure and was responsible for the redesign of search tools for web-based electronic texts.

An international MARGOT Colloquium at Waterloo in May 2005 celebrated the past research of the group, and explored possibilities for future new directions. The colloquium marked both the retirement of Hannah Fournier, an original member of MARGOT, and the arrival at Waterloo of new colleagues Christine McWebb, François Paré, and Guy Poirier, all working in the areas of medieval and Renaissance studies.

2006 - 2008

The website was revised and database expanded with the addition of the Reading the Roman de la rose project.

2009 - Present

The CANTUS database was added to MARGOT. MARGOT is moving into software development for humanities students and scholars with imageMAT.

The next international MARGOT conference will be held at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York in 2014. Details to follow.