Who Knew Manuscripts Would be a Social Media Hit?

Being on the social media team meant I spent a lot of time on social media, scoping out similar accounts and related content to try and grow our online presence with people who would appreciate our content instead of bots and it is a whole different world out there. Academic Twitter or Medieval Twitter is an already established community where academics can collaborate and ask questions, or make funny jokes and it is a great space to be apart of. Instagram  (@medieval_book) is less of an academic space since most of your media is consumed through photographs and many people neglect to read the captions because of mindless scrolling. I was pleasantly surprised at how many medieval accounts are on Instagram and the mini community they have. Most of it is looking at interesting marginalia, or looking at beautiful manuscripts but one thing I found is that everyone in that community follows one another help try and grow the community. It kind of overlaps with the calligraphy community and the meme genre since you can make some great memes from marginalia or manuscripts.

I also found a lot of sellers form auction houses selling manuscripts on Instagram which I thought was an interesting thing to do on this platform, but it kind of made sense since it is such a photo based social media platform. By the time of our exhibit launch, our Instagram account grew to 168 followers and an average of 50 likes per post which is incredible engagement for such a niche community. The account is also only two months old so that is incredible growth. I wish we could keep the account running, and continue to post more to it in hopes we can gain more engagement and attract more people to medieval studies, and history in general because I do not want this field to die out.  I love history and hope our online presence continues to go and take over the world 😉