Mirator: a link to the international medieval studies
In the 1990´s the possibilities of the internet were developing fast. Even prominent scholarly journals started to open their homepages in the internet, but the world wide web offered also opportunities to new publications that would have been too costly to appear in paper form. However, despite the rapid expansion of the electric publishing, the internet journals that share all their contents with their readers without any fee are still in a clear minority.
In Finland, the expansion of the new electric media coincided with something that can be described as a "renaissance of the medieval studies": the medieval history - Finnish as well as general European - is now studied intensively in practically every university with a faculty of Arts. Even the general public has become interested in the Middle Ages. The foundation of "Aboa Vetus" - a museum dedicated to the remnants of medieval Turku, the oldest town in Finland - has given the Middle Ages a new face to look at.
The expansion of the new electric communications and the revival of the medieval studies led firstly to "Medfenn", a mailing list for researchers and others interested in medieval history. A couple of years later, "Glossae", a paper-form newsletter for medievalists, started to appear on internet as well. In 1997, the National Archives of Finland launched a project that is going to result in "Diplomatarium Fennicum", a digital database containing all the texts related to the Finnish Middle Ages.
The history of "Mirator" (http://www.cc.jyu.fi/~mirator) can be traced to the above mentioned development. "Mirator" (ISSN 1457-2362) is a non-commercial multilingual electronic journal dealing with medieval issues, and it publishes articles and book reviews according to the same principles as the traditional scholarly journals. The site was founded in 1999 and it is maintained by the Department of History and the Department of Art History at the University of Jyväskylä, Central Finland. Its URL is http://www.cc.jyu.fi/~mirator.
The word "mirator" means "wonderer", but like the famous wonderer on our "cover picture" the journal, too, aims to act, to find something new and to break boundaries. We are especially keen on breaking language barriers, and that is why "Mirator" is ready to publish texts in several languages: in Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, English, French, Italian and Latin. All the published articles will be furnished with a summary in English. The home pages of "Miraror" are written in Finnish, Swedish and English.
The journal started its regular function in May 2000. The "Call for Contributions" is valid throughout the year. New texts will be published as soon as they have gone through the editing process. The bibliographical data concerning the articles published in "Mirator" is collected in "The History Journals Guide" (http://www.history-journals.de).
"Mirator" offers its readers also a long collection of links that lead to other internet publications or other sites that can be very useful for anyone interested in the Antiquity, the Middle Ages or the Early Modern Period.
On behalf of the Editorial Board of "Mirator" I welcome the visitors of this site, "Spolia", to visit our pages, too. We are going to continuously develop the contents of the site and we are very pleased to receive any feedback.