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Medieval Unicode Font Initiative

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MUFI: The Medieval Unicode Font Initiative 1. Background

1. Background

The Medieval Unicode Font Initiative is a non-profit workgroup of scholars and font designers who would like to see a common solution to a problem felt by many medieval scholars: the encoding and display of special characters in Medieval texts written in the Latin alphabet.

MUFI was founded in July 2001 by a workgroup consisting of Odd Einar Haugen (Bergen), Alec McAllister (Leeds) and Tarrin Wills (Sydney/Aberdeen). The members of the workgroup communicates primarily by e-mail, but have occasionally met in Leeds (July 2002 and 2003). The first MUFI group meeting was held in Bergen (30-31 August 2003), the second in Lisboa, (10-12 March 2005), the third in Bonn (12-13 June 2006), the fourth in Mainz (23 June 2008), the fifth in Bergen (7-8 April 2011), and the sixth, also in Bergen (8-9 September 2015). As of August 2006, MUFI has a board of four members (listed in the right column of this page).

Why Unicode?

Unicode is the new international font standard. In version 8.0 (published 17 June 2015), it covers more than 100,000 characters in living as well as historical scripts. It is fully supported by computer platforms like Linux, Mac and Windows. There is simply no alternative to Unicode.

Many characters needed by medieval scholars are already defined in Unicode, but a great number of other characters, and especially abbreviation marks, are missing. The Private Use Area in Unicode may be used for encoding missing characters, but we would like to see as many special characters defined in the official area as possible.

For this reason, the MUFI groups is pursuing two lines, (a) coordinating the allocation of medieval characters in the Private Use Area and (b) proposing missing medieval characters to Unicode.


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