The transmission of knowledge in clerical and academic settings of the later Middle Ages has been relatively well studied by traditional scholarship. But successes achieved in other subject areas by application of a set of methodologies grouped under the rubric of 'gender studies' offered hope that valuable insights might come from application of these methodologies to medieval education. This approach invited a re-examination in gender-political terms of the definition of knowledge by clerical elites and the concomitant rejection from the category of 'knowledge' of many varieties of knowledge which did not coincide with their template. This altered view of elite education was attended by a new delineation of the world of knowledge in communities of women who were, in varying degrees, sited on the margins of the elite educational communities. Such questions as the following emerged in communications by members of the research group and were repeatedly raised in the course of discussion: what varieties of knowledge were available to communities of women? What kinds of knowledge originated in or became characteristic of women's communities? What techniques did women develop to preserve and transmit their knowledge? In what ways and with what success was women's knowledge valorized, both by authors from within these communities and by 'authoritative' figures from outside? Under what circumstances could women become authoritative originators of and transmitters of knowledge?