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

2017-2018 SIMS Visiting Research Fellowships

SIMS is pleased to announce the following Visiting Research Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year:

Stefano Dall’Aglio, The University of Edinburgh (November 2017)

Preachers’ Lost Voice: The Roman Inquisition and Oral Sermons in Early modern Italy

Using the manuscript collections of the Henry Charles Lea Library (Inquisition Collection, MS Coll 729), this project will support my ongoing research on Italian preachers and the Roman Inquisition in the broader context of the work I am doing for my book Reading the Preacher’s Voice, which focuses on the orality of early modern Italian preachers and on the relationship between their spoken and written words. By means of Inquisition sources and other sources, I am analyzing and comparing the various written traces that survive for spoken sermons, and I am demonstrating that it is not impossible to reconstruct a great deal of early modern orality. I also aim to challenge the widespread assumption that a sermon coincides with its printed version. I am very interested in exploring the reasons for the differences between orality and writing in terms of content, language and reception.

Toby Burrows, University of Oxford and University of Western Australia (May 2018)

Manuscripts of Sir Thomas Phillipps in Philadelphia

My research focuses on the 19th-century English collector Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), and the fate of his vast and important collection of more than 40,000 manuscripts. At least 200 of these are now in Philadelphia, most of them in the University of Pennsylvania Library. During my SIMS Fellowship, I will be studying these Phillipps manuscripts to reconstruct their history and provenance. My work will be recorded in my own database of Phillipps manuscripts, in the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, and in the relevant library catalogues. I will be making a particular study of his Persian and Indian manuscripts, since there are three of these in the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, and this aspect of Phillipps’s collecting has never been studied.

Jack Hartnell, University of East Anglia (June 2017)

The Mathematics of Everyday Life: Calculation, Illustration, and Social Formation

This project proposes to examine the mathematical world of late medieval and early renaissance Europe through the lens of the Schoenberg Institute’s MS LJS 27, a rare surviving algebraic manual. The project aims to think historically and historiographically about LJS 27, considering both the manuscript’s extremely unusual illustrated contents and the place of mathematical objects like it within the discipline of art history.