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

Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 8, Astronomical treatises and tables

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On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

Ms Codex 1881

Our conversation in this video focuses on a 15th century German collection of astronomical treatises (in a beautiful new binding!). We take a look at the diagrams, including a number of volvelles (layered diagrams designed to be rotated), and we compare their design to some of the diagrams from the Jedi manuscripts. Maybe in TROS we’ll see some volvelles!

As of August 9, 2019, this manuscript is not online, but when it is online it will be at (for now, the full record is there, but not the digital images)

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (
Images of the “Tree Library” by Seth Engstrom & Rodolfo Damaggio
Mock-ups for six pages from the Jedi books by Chris Kitisakkul

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (

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