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

2016-2017 SIMS Graduate Student Fellowship

SIMS is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 Graduate Student Fellowship recipient:

Daniel Mackey, University of Pennsylvania

Digitally Documenting the Renaissance Reception of Aristotle’s De Anima Using TEI/XML: Encoding Texts and Their Metadata

The Renaissance reception of Aristotle’s works, especially the De Anima, is a fascinating and understudied topic. Several Renaissance De Anima commentaries are housed in in the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts’ collections, including the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies’ collection, many of which have yet to be explored and subjected to scholarly scrutiny. Using TEI/XML this project will seek to digitally transcribe and document sections of two of Penn’s Renaissance De Anima commentaries as well as their metadata, specifically: Ms. Codex 855 (attributed to one Placidus Aegidius Melander and the only known witness), and Ms. Codex 769 (anonymously attributed). The project will also include an in house exhibition, to be installed in the Synder-Granader Alcove gallery in the fall of 2017, which will feature texts from Penn’s special collections that can attest to the wide-reaching influence of the works of the man famously referred to throughout history as “The Philosopher.” By using TEI/XML as a transcription and encoding medium, this project will seek to establish four goals: First, to produce diplomatic and critical transcriptions of sections from both codices; Second, to encode the texts in such a way so as to be easily incorporated into the larger corpus of online texts; Third, to publish the transcriptions at LombardPress.org., and Fourth, to tag names, references, and quotations so they can be easily searched and linked with instances of the same in other De Anima commentaries.

Ultimately this research seeks to examine the relationship between the Renaissance reception of the De Anima and the earlier Scholastic tradition surrounding it. The specific research question at issue here is how did Renaissance and early modern commentators interpret Aristotle’s De Anima and to what extent do these interpretations stand in line with or depart from the preceding tradition of Scholastic commentaries on the De Anima.