Author Guidance

Typical Volume Structure

Volumes in this series typically comprise the following sections:

  • Preliminary pages and Table of Contents
  • Foreword, including any acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Three or more chapters, each with endnotes
  • Further Reading.

See further guidance below.

Key Points to Recall during Composition

Authors are asked to frame their proposal and to write their piece in order to:

  1. provide an accessible critical overview of the field for non-specialists
  2. present the very latest research; and they can do so in a provocative way, in relation to earlier or other research
  3. draw out unambiguously the resonances and impacts of the topic today.

Specific guidelines are provided to authors with their contract. Please note in particular:

  1. The word-length limits as stated in the author contact are strict, so that the press can ensure that the books can be published in a way that is affordable for students and scholars alike. Unless there are illustrations, the word-count should normally not be under 30,000 words nor above 35,000 words.
  2. The word-limit is comprehensive and includes citations. Indexes are not published for these volumes.
  3. Footnotes should be kept to an absolute minimum, since the aim of these volumes is to bring cutting-edge research to a wide readership in an accessible manner. Citations should follow the press’s standard practice. Notes are not intended to justify each assertion or lead readers to primary and secondary literature, but to provide supplementary information in note format which is not suitable for the main body of the text. Where available, you may wish to provide references to online resources.
  4. Authors are encouraged, if they find it suitable, to provide a few pages of Further Reading; perhaps a few dozen studies or articles to take the interested reader deeper into the topic. They can include information about key primary texts; where there are translations or accessible editions of such texts, please include these.
  5. In conformity with the practice of Arc Humanities Press, the principal Style Guide followed is the Chicago Manual. The one exception to this is the use of Canadian/British spelling instead of American (see further below).
  6. For a summary of the press’s general guidelines for authors, please see our Style Guide.

Spelling, Punctuation and Other Conventions

We are publishing for a global readership and make concessions to sensitivities of different cultures. We also try to make the research as accessible to the widest possible audience.

  1. Punctuation remains the US norms specified in the Chicago Manual.
  2. Dates conform to the Chicago Manual and guidelines can be found here.
  3. Measurements must be provided in metric, though imperial measures can also be provided
  4. In conformity with the practice of Arc Humanities Press, the principal Style Guide followed is the Chicago Manual. The one exception to this is the use of Canadian/British spelling instead of American.
    • Preferred spellings therefore include centre and colour (not center or color)
    • Words ending in -ize and -ization are preferred to -ise and -isation forms
    • Where a word-form is legitimate in both American and Canadian/British dictionaries, this is to be preferred; examples include
      • artifact, program, catalogue.


In keeping with the accessible nature of these volumes, footnotes should be kept to a minimum. A typical number might be fifty to sixty in a hundred-page book. The notes themselves should be limited in length, normally to one to three lines, only providing the key works that require citation or reference. If you are repeatedly citing a primary source, or even a secondary work, during a page or more of the main text, you can provide the line or page reference parenthetically, instead of including another note. For example:

Nothing better exemplifies this topos than the introductory section in Horst Fuhrmann’s 1997 Einladung ins Mittelalter in which he wishes that his book, intended as an “invitation” to medieval culture for a general audience, would close shut automatically if any professional historian tried to open and read it. Fuhrmann then confesses: “I hope it will be neither to the disadvantage of the subject matter nor the author if he admits that he had fun to explain himself to a readership of non-specialists: to sketch his own Middle Ages” (10).

Further Reading

Authors are asked to provide a list of approximately thirty key works that you would recommend a student or scholar to consult, in order to take their knowledge to a deeper level. These may include monographs, collections, primary sources, even digital or media resources. Ideally, you would supply a line or two of explanation of why this work is important and worth consulting. For example:

The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism. Edited by Louise D’Arcens. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016.
Foundational for anyone venturing into medievalism studies

Utz, Richard. “Speaking of Medievalism: An Interview with Leslie J. Workman.” In Medievalism in the Modern World: Essays in Honour of Leslie Workman, edited by Richard Utz and Tom Shippey, pp. 433–49. Turnhout: Brepols, 1998.
Recounts the founding of Anglo-American medievalism studies within its founder’s biographical context.

Warren, Michelle R. Creole Medievalism: Colonial France and Joseph Bédier’s Middle Ages. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
A study of one of the most famous modern medievalist scholars, and how his identity as a Frenchman from the island of Réunion shaped his nationalist academic work.

Workman, Leslie J. “Medievalism and Romanticism.” Poetica, 39–40 (1994): 1–34.
The classic essay by the founder of the study of medievalism in the English-speaking world. Distinguishes between medievalism (the revival of medieval culture) and romanticism and Victorianism (the survival of medieval culture).