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About Us

The International Arthurian Society (IAS) was formed in the course of the second Arthurian Congress, which was held in Quimper in 1948 and which brought together scholars interested in Arthuriana from France, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States. Jean Frappier, the President, Roger Sherman Loomis and Eugène Vinaver took the initiative; all those present at the Congress were convinced that "the study of Arthurian literature and of the 'Matter of Britain', because of its broad reach and the variety of approaches and problems that it addressed, was beginning to constitute a distinct discipline, and that the time had come to coordinate the efforts of Arthurian scholars world-wide" (Jean Frappier, Bibliographical Bulletin of the International Arthurian Society (BBIAS), 1, 1949, p. 5).

Statutes of the International Arthurian Society (pdf)

The International Arthurian Society has three main objectives:

  1. The holding of triennial Congresses, largely devoted to the reading and discussion of scholarly papers.
  2. The publication of an annual Bibliographical Bulletin which lists all scholarly publications in the Arthurian field, and which allows members to keep in touch with the activities of the Society.
  3. The establishment and maintenance in Paris of an Arthurian Documentation Centre, consisting of a library and a collection of bibliographical material.

At the outset, the International Arthurian Society had three branches only: American, British and French. However, the second volume of the Bibliographical Bulletin, published in 1950, shows the creation of a Belgian branch; at this time, too, the future shape of the Bulletin was established by a division into three sections:

  1. Bibliography
  2. Research and Criticism
  3. Arthurian News

Later, a fourth part would be added giving a list of members and their addresses. Finally, and progressively, German, Irish, Swiss and Spanish branches would be established.

Today, the IAS has eleven branches in all, having added Dutch, Hispanic (Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish), Italian, Japanese, Scandinavian and Romanian; there are also corresponding secretaries in Finland, Hungary, Israel and Russia.

Since 1948, there have been sixteen international presidents:

About Us