Dispatch from Will Noel:
Last semester I had the very great pleasure of teaching a Freshman Seminar, The World of Manuscripts, with Penn’s own Peter Stallybrass. It was a wide ranging course that took advantage not only of the special collections in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, but also the phenomenal manuscript holdings in other institutions in Philadelphia, including those of the Penn Museum (special thanks to Steve Tinney), The Library Company (where we were educated by Jim Green), and the Free Library of Philadelphia (where we were generously hosted by Janine Pollock). We studied cuneiform tablets, illuminated manuscripts, drafts of the Constitution, and the letters of Mary Shelley. We had fabulous students, Alexandra Pierson, James Bessolo, Linda Valadez, and Patricia Kamwela, who made a particular study of Penn’s Wycliffite New Testament, Ms. Codex 201, which they transcribed using the online transcription tool T-PEN, run out of St Louis by the magical Jim Ginther and his associates. As part of the course the students made a short movie of their work, produced in the Kislak Center, with the help of Dot Porter and Dennis Mullen. Here it is. Congratulations and thanks to all involved!