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


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Mapping Manuscript Migrations: A New Linked Data Portal for Manuscript Provenance Research

by Emma Cawlfield Thomson

The Mapping Manuscript Migrations portal publicly launched on January 30, 2020 at the Round Four Digging into Data Challenge Conference at the National Science Foundation in Washington DC: https://mappingmanuscriptmigrations.org/

Home Page

The Mapping Manuscript Migrations portal homepage.

The MMM portal enables you to track hundreds of thousands of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts by origin, owner, author, and title. You can also visualize their journeys over the centuries from their place of production to their last known location. The image below demonstrates the migration patterns of manuscripts in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps. Each arc indicates the movement of a single manuscript, changing color from blue to red as the manuscript moved from its place of production to its last known location.

MMM uses Linked Open Data principles and technology to combine data from three important manuscript databases:

The portal is the product of two and a half years’ work by the MMM project team, performed across four partner institutions: the University of Oxford (Oxford e-Research Centre and Bodleian Libraries), the University of Pennsylvania (Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies), the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (IRHT-CNRS), and Aalto University (Semantic Computing Research Group).

The MMM project has been funded by the Trans-Atlantic Platform under Round 4 of its Digging into Data Challenge (2017-2020). The national funding agencies contributing to the project are the Economic and Social Research Council (US), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (US), the Agence nationale de la recherche (France), and the Academy of Finland.

To contribute data to the MMM portal, do so via the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, which is free and open to all. Once you add your data to the Schoenberg Database, it will automatically flow down a linked data transformation pipeline into MMM.

Access the data and documentation of the MMM project via these pages:

The MMM dataset is available for reuse under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license.


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 15, A Retrospective

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.

In this final episode of “Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away” Dot Porter and Brandon Hawk reflect on how the medieval world and manuscripts have been used in the Star Wars saga.

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)

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 (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 35/52 Michele Zopello, Litterarum simulationis liber; University of Pennsylvania, Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, LJS 225, fol. 1r One of the masterpieces of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection at the University of Pennsylvania is the presentation copy of a work on cryptography made for Alfonso da Borgia (1378–1458) during…

via Who was Michele Zopello? — Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 14, Ms. Codex 1065

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 1065

Since we’ve been looking at bindings, we thought we would take a look at a manuscript that has no binding. MS Codex 1065 is a mid-13th century Latin Vulgate Bible written in England. When the manuscript came to Penn it was in a binding from the early 19th century – it was very common for book collectors to rebind their collections in the 19th century – but it was is such poor condition that it was eventually removed. The book hasn’t been rebound, which makes it difficult to use, but makes it easier to see the quire structure.

Online record and digital images of LJS 459: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9931765253503681

Phil Szostak, The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi (https://www.amazon.com/Art-Star-Wars-Last-Jedi/dp/1419727052/)

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 (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 34/52 Antiphonal, Philadelphia, The Library Company of Philadelphia, MS 19, front cover and fol. 150v The Library Company of Philadelphia possesses a small collection of about twenty Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, which are interesting on account of their diverse provenance histories. These manuscripts entered the institution at…

via Which Dr. Wickersham? — Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis


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Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 33/52 Bullarium Augustinianum (Collection of Augustinian Bulls); University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Codex 85, fol. 1r, with border here attributed to the workshop of Giovanni Pietro da Cemmo (doc. 1474–1507) The manuscript we are looking at today—another University of Pennsylvania manuscript—is a collection of papal decrees and bulls pertaining…

via That’s a Bullarium — Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis