Transylvanian Society of Dracula
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (September 2008)|
The Transylvanian Society of Dracula (TSD) is a cultural-historic, non-profit, non-governmental organization. Its members include Romanian and international scholars, folklorists, historians, esoterists, writers, cultural anthropologists, and individuals interested in comparative religion, magic and mythology. The TSD organizes scholarly activities both in Romania and abroad, as well as tours to sites of TSD interest in Romania. Some high ranked Romanian members make money out of the touristic activities of the organization, through the Company of Mysterious Journeys tourist agency. Modifications to this agency have occurred since the founder Nicolae Paduraru died. The Halloween 2011 tour, for example, did not include Bran Castle or Curtea Veche -in spite of what was published in their web site-, but it included a beauty pageant. One of the Romanian members of TSD working at the agency was one of the presenters of such pageant.
TSD was founded in the early 1990s by a group of writers, Romanian scholars, tourism experts, and others interested in Dracula and vampire folklore in Romania. Taking the lead was Nicolae Paduraru, formerly with the Romanian Ministry of Tourism. Paduraru died in May 2009
In May 1995, the TSD chapter in Romania organized the first World Dracula Congress. This event attracted scholars and aficionados from many countries. The list of speakers included some of the world's leading experts in the field, like Gordon Melton, Elizabeth Miller, Matei Cazacu and Clive Letherdale. The congress marked the first time when Romanian folklorists have the opportunity to share their knowledge and research in both the vampire legend and the history of Vlad Tepes with their counterparts in the West.
During the conference both the American and the Canadian chapter were established by J. Gordon Melton and Elizabeth Miller respectively. The American chapter is inactive. A short time later, an Italian chapter was founded by Massimo Introvigne, and since 2001, there is a German chapter run by Dr. Mark Benecke.
TSD in North America
The Canadian Chapter of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula was formed in 1995 following the first World Dracula Congress in Romania, as non-profit corporation. The Canadian chapter is run by Prof. Elizabeth Miller, Professor of English (retired) at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, author, among others, of “Dracula, Sense & Nonsense” and a facsimile edition of Bram Stoker's notes for Dracula. The Canadian chapter also publishes the MLA indexed Journal of Dracula Studies.
The Canadian TSD chapter is responsible for English speaking members, as well as anyone outside of the German and Russian chapters. The Canadian Chapter publishes a newsletter, The Borgo Post, four times a year, and the Italian Chapter archives Letter from Castle Dracula newsletter sent out by the Romanian chapter. Upon joining, new members receive a leather membership card, issued by the central office of the society in Romania.
Notes and references
- TSD information on Answers.com
- Photographs and more from TSD Congresses
- The first Dracula Congress
- Information about the tours, USAToday.com
- Nicolae Paduraru (1937-2009), founder of the Transylvanian Society of Dracula: An Obituary
- Bram Stoker's Dracula By Carol Margaret Davison, Paul Simpson-Housley
- Prof. Elizabeth Miller homepage
- TSD Consul in the Rhine Parts (TSD Konsul der Rheinlande)
- Canadian Chapter - Elizabeth Miller
- The Russian Chapter - Ekaterina Buley
- The German Chapter - Mark Benecke (dead link)
- The Italian Chapter
- One of the TSD 2008 symposium programme
- The official news bulletin
- TSD referred to in the Dutch version of National Geographic Magazine, March 2006
- TSD's flickr page