History of BMCR

Bryn Mawr Classical Review (ISSN: 1055-7660) was founded by Richard Hamilton and James, J. O’Donnell, and purports to be the second oldest online scholarly journal in the humanities, and the oldest open access journal.* The first reviews shipped in November 1990. In 1993, we were joined by the Bryn Mawr Medieval Review (since 1997: The Medieval Review), conceived by Eugene Vance of the University of Washington, later edited by Deborah Deliyannis, and now edited by Joey McMullen at Indiana University (where it is based). Email subscribers may elect to receive BMCR alone or BMCR and TMR together (subscription form here).

The editors are grateful to numerous colleagues and institutions over the years of our work. Chiefly we owe a debt to our editorial board and to our myriad contributors, whose work is the center of what we do. Particular thanks to former editors: Ellen Bauerle, Barbara Barletta, Francisco Barrenechea, Tad Brennan, Brendan Burke, Matthew Christ, Cynthia Damon, Mark Edwards, Joseph Farrell, Rolando Ferri, Edith Foster, Sander Goldberg, Alain Gowing, Richard Green, K. Signe Hansen, Dan Hooley, Simon Hornblower, Brad Inwood, Ine Jacobs, David Johnson, Christina Kraus, Eleanor Winsor Leach, Peter Magee, Miranda Marvin, Jenifer Neils, Robert Ousterhout, David Potter, P. J. Rhodes, Kent Rigsby, Jeffrey Rusten, Stephen Salkever, David Sansone, Nancy Shumate, David Sider, William Slater, John Yardley, among others.

We began with a simple list-serving program at Bryn Mawr College and have used Bryn Mawr College computing facilities gratefully throughout our history. Ann Dixon was assistant director of computing at BMC in 1990 and was indispensable in getting us up and running. John Wilkin, now at the University of Illinois but formerly of the University of Virginia, was also indispensable at different points in our history, first for providing the gopher site and technical support when we began serious archiving in 1992, and later for advice and technical support on our transition to online publication. (BMCR was linked from the first webpage ever in the early 1990s: see its reconstruction here, and follow “What’s out there?”.) We are also grateful to Kendon Stubbs of the University of Virginia Library for his support and assistance over many years. From 1994-1999, BMCR enjoyed the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation as part of a larger Mellon project to study the growth and functioning of electronic journals: Richard Ekman and Richard Quandt at Mellon were colleagues and friends through this period. The web presentation enjoyed the privileges of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Computer Analysis of Texts and could not have been possible without the assistance of Penn’s Jay Treat, Ken MacFarlane, Warren Petrofsky, and Ira Winston. The web instantiation through early 2020 emerged from a partnership with “The Stoa Consortium“, and in particular Anne Mahoney and Ross Scaife.

The present site launched in March 2020. All websites are “under construction” in perpetuity and this is no exception. Suggestions, comments, and criticism are eagerly sought and welcomed.

* BMCR was beaten to the punch by a matter of a few weeks in the fall of 1990 by Postmodern Culture, edited by John Unsworth and Eyal Amiran.