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

Data for PennApps

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You want data for your app? We have data! And for the best app that takes advantage of any of our data, we have $500.

Our data sets include a lot of different information about books and manuscripts, and some of the sets include images too. Some possible applications could include:

  • Mapping
  • Timelines
  • Visualization
  • Mashups

Or even something like a Twitter feed that automatically pulls from a data set and posts every day or so!

1. Penn Provenance Project: This photostream contains images of marks of ownership found in books in the University of Pennsylvania Rare Book & Manuscript Library. We are trying to identify former owners and virtually reunite dispersed collections, and we welcome any information you have about the images posted here. We’re always happy to have help deciphering messy and illegible handwriting, and if you can pin dates to a person’s name please tell us! Comments from heraldry buffs willing to supply names and blazons for unidentified coats of arms are especially welcome!

2. Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts: Contains information about the provenance of manuscripts – where they were, when, and who owned them. Contains data, no images. The database front-end is here:  A dump of the data (comma-delineated) is here:

3. Early Novels Database: A humongous database containing so much data about the Penn Library’s collection of early novels. The front-end of the site is here:  A dump of the data (crazy MARC XML) is here:

4. Penn in Hand: The library’s collection of completely digitized medieval manuscripts (and other manuscripts too). Includes data and images. The front-end of the site is here:  A dump of the data (less crazy MARC XML) is here:

Email with questions or stop by 611 Van Pelt between 8pm Friday and 5am Saturday and 6pm Saturday and 6am Monday!


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