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Ancient Abbeys of Brittany Project (AABP)

The main objective of the Ancient Abbey of Brittany Project has been to continue the work of Jules Henry Geslin de Bourgogne,and Anatole de Barthélémy who, in their Anciens Évêchés de Bretagne (6 vols, Saint-Brieuc, Guyon, 1855-1879), provided partial editions of the charters of several medieval abbeys situated in the area now known as Côtes-d’Armor: the Cistercian abbeys of Bégard, Saint-Aubin-des-Bois, Boquen, Bonrepos and the Premonstratensian abbey of Beauport. More generally AABP encourages the edition, publication and study of sources originating from or pertaining to Medieval Abbeys of Western Europe

The first phase of this project culminated in Claude Evans' publication of L’abbaye cistercienne de Bégard, des origines à 1476: histoire et chartes, ARTEM 16, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012).

The connected project BEAUPORTMEDSCRIPT, under the direction of Cédric Jeanneau, was financed by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme en Bretagne (MSHB). In June 2013 the International Conference Un scriptorium et son époque: les chanoines de Beauport et la société bretonne au Moyen-Âge / Beauport abbey and its scriptorium: Premonstratensian canons and Breton society in the Middle Ages took place at Beauport Abbey and at the Faculté Victor Segalen in Brest. The proceedings were published (Un ‘Scriptorium’ et son époque : les chanoines de Beauport et la société bretonne au Moyen Âge, sous la direction de C. Jeanneau, Brest : Centre de Recherche Bretonne et Celtique, 2015).

The AABP website is administered at York University as Kenneth Paul Evans, an academic accountant and a faculty member at York, is a collaborator.

In 2014 AABP sponsored the International Conference, Cistercians and Canons Regular in Medieval Brittany, Normandy, England and Wales held at York University on May 1 and at /The University of Toronto on May 2. Most of the papers presented at that conference are currently being prepared for a volume of articles expected to be published in 2021, see below.

In 2016 AABP sponsored the International Conference, Monasteries, convergences, exchanges and confrontations in the West of Europe in the Middle Ages/Monastères, convergences, échanges et confrontations dans l’Ouest de l’Europe au Moyen Âge held at the University of Toronto Mississauga on May 5 and at /The University of Toronto St George on May 6

AABP also sponsored sessions in two International Conferences:
International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
-2014 “Premonstratensian Houses: their Foundations, Socio-economic and Cultural History”
-2015, "Teaching History of the Language and Medieval Languages: A Multidisciplinary Roundtable"
-2016 “Origins and Practices of Religious Houses in Brittany, Normandy and Anjou”
-2017 ‘Cistercian Abbeys of Brittany” (Co-sponsored with the Cistercian Institute)
-2018 -Changing Landscapes and Images: New Collaborative Projects in Ecclesiastical
History: Monasticon Aquittaniae Mont-Saint-Michel, Milbreteur (l’an MIL en BRETagne et en EURope), Beauport Abbey (A Roundtable)
-2019 “Episcopal and Papal Influences on Monasteries of Western Europe”
International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds
-2013 "White Canons of Brittany and Lincolnshire"
-2015 “Monastic houses of Brittany I: reconstruction, reform, norms and deviance” and
"Monastic houses of Brittany II:   Material Culture"
-2016 “Everyday Life in religious Houses of Normandy and Brittany”.
-2017 “Money makes the (Monastic) World go round Financial Use and Abuse of Monasteries and Their Benefactors in  Medieval Europe”. (Co-sponsored with the Monastic Wales Project) and “Breton Cartularies: new editions, new perspectives”
-2018 “Monasticon Aquittaniae; The Mont-Saint-Michel Project; Milbreteur (l’an Mil en Bretagne et en Europe): Three New and Interdisciplinary Projects” – A Round Table Discussion"
-2019 "Premonstratensians and Cistercians: Material and Local Culture"

The second phase of the Ancient Abbeys of Brittany Project focuses on Notre-Dame-de Beauport, the only Premonstratensian abbey in Brittany. This phase has taken on an international and interdisciplinary aspect involving collaboration of the University of Toronto, York University and two French universities: Bretagne-Sud (UBS) in Lorient and Bretagne Occidentale (UBO) in Brest.

This phase will culminate in Claude Evans' publication  of Les abbayes de Saint-Rion et de Beauport des origines à 1305: histoire et chartes, a two-volume edition of approximately 500 charters originating from or pertaining to Beauport Abbey and its predecessor, the Victorine island monastery of Saint-Rion. Most of Beauport Medieval archives are held at the Archives départementales of Côtes-d’Armor in Saint-Brieuc. All documents concerrning Beauport in other European archives and libraries (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Archives nationales de France, National Archives of the United Kingdom, British Library, Lincolnshire Archives) will also be included. A historical introduction and an index of place and personal names.will be included. Expected date of completion: 2021.

Updated on June 14th, 2021.