Thursday, July 22, 2010

MedCos--A Resource

Those of my readers with too much time on their hands may have noticed that one of the sites listed on my side bar in the "Costume Resources" section is MedCos. I think MedCos is a very useful site, and it occurred to me that many of my readers who don't know about it might benefit from exploring it.  (Disclaimer: I happen to know about MedCos because I'm one of the moderators for the site. Feel free to draw your own conclusions about my objectivity.)

MedCos is a browser-based mailing list primarily for people interested in the historic costume of the time periods covered by the Society for Creative Anachronism (i,e, from antiquity until 1600 C.E.). (There are forums for post-SCA period costume and fantasy costume and they have some interesting photographs and posts associated with them, but the main thrust is pre-1600 CE costuming.) It's free, though the software (based upon an old educational software package, as I understand it) requires you to log in to see the site. However, if you don't want to give even the minor amount of information necessary to start a login account, you can hit the button marked "login as a guest", and the software will allow you to read posts, and look at all the other resources on the site--the only thing  for which you need an account is to post messages in the forums.

The various forums are broken down by time period, and they are moderated. I am the MedCos moderator for the Early Period, 11th-12th century, and 13th century forums. People with accounts can choose to read as many of them as they wish, and can enter settings that will send messages from the forums they choose directly to their preferred mailbox.

If you do stop by to take a look, you'll notice that the forums are not terribly active. I think that's because a lot of the more experienced costumers, who drove most of the discussions, have gone on to other things, and that we have a lot of members who simply read and do not post. However,  even without active discussions there is still plenty of interesting and useful information on the site. Each forum has a photo gallery and one or more resource lists associated with it. The resource lists include things like URLs of websites with useful information and book lists. The photo gallery features recreation costumes by the members of MedCos. In addition, some of the older posts also contain photographs of members' costumes, since the software permits that--and some of those costumes are really awesome!

Even if no one ever adds any information or writes any posts for any of the MedCos forums ever again, there is a large amount of useful information there. If any of this sounds interesting to you, log in as a guest and look around. Who knows? If enough interested people do that and decide to get a regular account, the forums might come to life again!

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