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


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 286 – Tadhkirah uṣūl handasah al-ḥisāb li-Uqlīdis

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 286, Tadhkirah uṣūl handasah al-ḥisāb li-Uqlīdis. This manuscript was written by Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad Ṭūsī in Persia around A.H. 890 (1485), in Arabic, and it is a commentary on Euclid’s Elements, with numerous diagrams in and marginal annotations around the text and additional commentary on leaves following the text.

You can see the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand and you can download all of the images and metadata from OPenn.  You can also download a copy of this video and an eBook version of the manuscript (epub format) from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

 


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Professor Alessandro Guetta leads a Virtual Seminar and films a MOOC

The SIMS/Katz partnership hosted its first Penn Virtual Seminar in Manuscript Studies on June 29, 2017.

Professor Alessandro Guetta, the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, Paris

“The Hebrew-Italian Translations of the Early Modern Period: A Presentation and a Few Questions.”

In collaboration with Professor Alessandro Guetta, the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) and the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania hosted the first-ever Penn Virtual Seminar in Manuscript Studies.

The seminar invited some of the finest advanced graduate students and early career academics on the topic of Italian Jewish literature of the early modern period to join a live discussion. The participants, drawn from institutions across Europe, the United States, and Israel, gathered in conversation with Professor Guetta virtually in real time.

Virtual SeminarProfessor Guetta presented a thus-far neglected phenomenon in Jewish textual history. In his words: “Since the brilliant articles by M. Steinschneider more than 100 years ago, little scholarly attention has been paid to the fascinating phenomenon of literary translations of Hebrew texts into Italian in the early modern period. Among the texts translated from Hebrew were fundamental classics–biblical, poetical, philosophical, sapiential, and other sources. These translations are especially interesting when compared with what happened in the other Jewish communities of the Christian world, where the local language was often not mastered, and certainly not written, until the late 18th century. Thus these texts teach us about the level of participation of Jews in the general cultural phenomenon of the volgarizzamenti—the translation of the classical corpuses into Italian. We will read together some significant texts, in both Hebrew and Italian, and ask ourselves the question: who were the potential readers of these works? Why were they written? We will also speak about the translations in the other direction, from Italian into Hebrew, in that period and later, and try to understand why such endeavors were undertaken at all.”

Participants:

Branka Arrivé, Paris
Miriam Benfatto, Bologna
Ilaria Briata, Verona
Giada Coppola, Hamburg
Debra Glasberg Gail, New York
Francesca Gorgoni, Paris
Rachele Jesurum, Paris
Sarah Parenzo, Ramat Gan
David Sclar, Princeton
Anamarija Vargović, Paris

 

Our aim with this project was to create networks of exchange among scholars working on similar topics in various locations and between scholars and manuscripts. We saw through this first trial that this can be a model for strengthening scholarship in a community of researchers.

Filming a MOOC

Filming a MOOCThis week the Center has been delighted to welcome Alessandro Guetta, Professor of Jewish intellectual history at the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales in Paris, to be the second annual Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies [SIMS]/Herbert D. Katz Center Distinguished Fellow in Jewish Manuscript Studies. The fellowship, funded in part by the David Ruderman Distinguished Scholar fund, pairs a prominent scholar in any field of Jewish studies with a manuscript in one of our collections. Guetta spent the week looking at an early modern Italian Manuscript in the Schoenberg holdings: Malkiel Aschkenazi’s Tavnith ha-mishkan and Hanukath ha-bayith (now CAJS Rar Ms 460), produced in Mantua in the early seventeenth century. The full digital manuscript is available online.

On Wednesday June 28, 2017, Professor Guetta filmed a short-form Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) —a minicourse on the value of manuscript studies for Jewish history. The course explored the nature of the document, the significance of its material form, and what this rare document reveals about the Jewish landscape of Renaissance Italy. He moved from libraries to book burnings, and philosophy to architecture, in his wide-ranging introduction to the early modern fascination with the biblical Tabernacle and Temple.

The mini-MOOC is now in production and will be available free and universally this winter. It will sit alongside the one filmed last year by Professor Y. Tzvi Langermann, on a 15th -century Sicilian medical miscellany. To watch Langermann’s MOOC click here, and for more information click here.


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 25 – Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Nicomachean ethics

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 25,  Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Nicomachean ethics, written in Italy ca. 1275-1299, in Latin.

It contains Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Nicomachean ethics, in the Latin translations by the Dominican William of Moerbeke from the Greek, followed by the first page of the Oeconomica, a work commonly attributed to Aristotle, in the Latin translation known as the translatio Durandi, attributed to Durand of Auvergne.

See the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand.

 


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Reactions: Medieval/Modern

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Reactions: Medieval/Modern, the current exhibition in the Penn Library’s Goldstein Family Gallery, located in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, on the 6th floor of the Van Pelt Dietrich Library. The exhibition can be seen from August 25 through December 16, 2016.

In conjunction with the 9th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium (November 17-19, 2016) of the same theme, Reactions: Medieval/Modern explores the many and varied ways that people have reacted to, and acted upon, manuscripts from the Middle Ages up to today. Reactions take many forms. They include the manipulation of physical objects through, for example, the marking up of texts, addition of illustrations, the disbinding books or rebinding fragments, as well as the manipulation of digital objects, thanks to new technologies involved in digitization, ink and parchment analysis, virtual reconstruction, among many other processes. Both the exhibition and symposium will also tackle how popular culture has reacted to manuscripts over time as witnessed by their use and appearance in books, games, and films.

 

 


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9th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age November 17-19, 2016

 

Save the Date! Registration opens at the end of the summer.

Reactions: Medieval/Modern

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (SIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries is pleased to announce the 9th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year’s theme, “Reactions: Medieval/Modern,” gives us space to explore the many and varied ways that people have reacted to, and acted upon, manuscripts from the Middle Ages up to today. Reactions take many forms. They include the manipulation of physical objects through, for example, the marking up of texts, addition of illustrations, the disbinding of books or rebinding of fragments, as well as the manipulation of digital objects, thanks to new technologies involved in digitization, ink and parchment analysis, virtual reconstruction, among many other processes. This symposium will also tackle how popular culture has reacted to manuscripts over time as witnessed by their use and appearance in books, games, and films. Our keynote speaker will be Michelle P. Brown, Professor emerita of Medieval Manuscript Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and former Curator of Manuscripts at the British Library.

For more information and a list of speakers, visit the website: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/lectures/ljs_symposium9.html.