The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at Penn brings manuscript culture, modern technology and people together.


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 194, Geometria

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 194,  Geometria, by the mathematician and educator Gerbert, who was elected Pope Sylvester II in 999. The manuscript was written in Bavaria between 1125 and 1175 in Latin and it is a collection of geometrical texts, including material from four chapters of the Isagoge geometriae; correspondence with Adelbaldus (also known as Adelbold or Albaldus, of Utrecht) about the area of isosceles triangles; and a treatise on the construction of astrolabes. It was annotated in the 12th century and again later in the 15th- or early 16th-century by an unknown late  humanist who collated the text with other manuscripts and noted the classical sources in the text.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.

 


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Happy new (school) year! Why do the Middle Ages matter?

On LJS 101, f. 1vTuesday evening Penn medievalists and early modernists kicked off the new academic year with the annual Welcome Back reception and the first Penn Medieval Studies program of the year:  a panel discussion on “Why the Middle Ages Matter.”  In addition to questioning the question, Rebecca Winer (Villanova University), Matthew Boyd Goldie (Rider University), Elly Truitt (Bryn Mawr College), John Haldon (Princeton University), and our own director Will Noel offered a variety of answers:

* the Middle Ages are relevant to the politics of Europe and the Middle East today

* the Middle Ages are NOT relevant in many ways, meaning they offer the challenge of entirely foreign conceptual frameworks

* the Middle Ages are part of mainstream culture through the medievalism of popular literature and games

* the challenge of understanding people distant from us in time prepares us to understand people who are distant from us in other ways

* historical studies sensitize us to the uses and abuses of history in politics today

* the interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies challenges specialists to make their projects matter to a wider audience

* we love the Middle Ages, they are a part of us.

Why DO the Middle Ages matter (to you)?  Add your comments!


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 46, Herbal

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 46,  Herbal. This manuscript was written in Italy and England, ca. 1520, ca. 1600. It is an Italian illustrated herbal with plant names in Latin and a group of texts in English, Latin, and Spanish about Morocco added less than a century later.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.

 


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7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

November 6-8, 2014
Collecting Histories

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year’s symposium highlights the work of the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts by bringing together scholars and digital humanists whose work concerns the study of provenance and the history of collecting pre-modern manuscripts. The life of a manuscript book only just begins when the scribe lays down his pen. What happens from that moment to the present day can reveal a wealth of information about readership and reception across time, about the values of societies, institutions, and individuals who create, conserve, and disperse manuscript collections for a variety of reasons, and about the changing role of manuscripts across time, from simple vehicles of textual transmission to revered objects of collectors’ desires.  The study of provenance is the study of the histories of the book.

For more information and to register online, go to

 http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lectures/ljs_symposium7.html


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Manuscript Monday: Ms. Coll 713, Breviary Collages

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s Ms. Coll 713,  Breviary Collages. This work features two collages of manuscript miniatures on vellum, probably from a breviary in Northern France, possibly Rouen, in the late 15th century. Both feature a centerpiece of 9 panels with mostly Biblical pictures on them, with a piece of text, in Latin, on each side of the outer frame, with strips of illuminated borders around the edges.

While it is difficult to tell the date these collages were assembled, this kind of specimen collecting reached its peak during the 19th century. The text comprises excerpts from the New Testament gospels, a calendar of feast days, and homilies of Pope Gregory I. The identifiable texts include Homilia XXI from Pope Gregory I, John 1.29-30, John 14.23, Matthew 9.18, Mark 16.1-2, and possibly Matthew 8.1-2 (in the form found in the Dominica tertia section of the Book of Obits). One of the unidentified texts refers to the bishops Julianus and Severus. The scenes depicted in the center of the collages predominately show Jesus blessing and teaching his followers, but also show the annunciation, the second coming of Christ, possibly the calling of Peter and Andrew, a figure wearing a mitre praying to an angel, and possibly the moneylenders in the temple. The illuminated initials have foliate decoration. Much of the surrounding decoration consists of sections of illuminated borders with geometric and floral designs and one dragon, using blue, green, red, white, gold, silver, brownish pink, and dark brown inks. Some of the flora is recognizable, including bunches of grapes hanging from vines.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 49, Rawḍat al-adhhān fī maʻrifat… (Anatomy Treatise)

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 49,  Rawḍat al-adhhān fī maʻrifat tashrīḥ badan al-insān by Manṣūr ibn Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, a Persian anatomist and physician. The manuscript was written in Persia around A.H. 813 (1411) in Persian and Arabic and it is a later copy, probably in the hand of the author, of an anatomy treatise originally written in 1396, with chapters on bones, nerves, veins, arteries and muscles, and complex organs.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.

 


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 47, Boethius’ De institutione musica

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 47,  De institutione musica by Boethius. The manuscript was written in France around 1490 in Latin and it is a copy of a Latin treatise on the Pythagorean-based theory of ancient Greek music, in which the text reflects an older (10th-century) tradition and the numerous diagrams related to ratio and pitch demonstrate later developments in the tradition.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.

 

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