Before the Stoicism Facebook page, before this subreddit, before social media, before Stoic Week, indeed before most of the Web as we know it… there was the Stoic Registry, founded in May 1996–almost exactly 25 years ago.
Erik Wiegardt is a pioneer in the modern revival of Stoicism.
That revival has had many threads, including:
But one inescapable feature of contemporary Stoicism is that it lives mainly on the Web. The ability of the Web to nourish niche interests is one of its chief attractions (for better or worse!). The Stoic Registry was a very early mover in this space. And now Stoicism is much less of a fringe interest than it was in 2016 or 2006, let alone 1996.
How important was the role of the Registry (or the affiliated College of Stoic Philosophers) in bringing about the present ubiquity of Stoicism? I'm looking forward to reading the book chronicling the 20th/21st-century resurgence of interest in Stoicism when someone writes it; in the meantime, I'll just say that the Registry was probably my first inkling that anyone alive today described themselves as Stoics.
According to the email newsletter I received, the Registry will continue to exist. Its new director will be Todd Odenauer, based in Seattle. It'll be interesting to see how the site evolves in the near future.