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


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 188 – Ynstruction of the ephimeredes

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 188, Ynstruction of the ephimeredes. This manuscript was written in England ca. 1540 and it includes instructions in 22 chapters for the use of ephemerides, astronomical tables giving the positions of planets, the sun, and the moon. It also includes tables for the latitude of the moon, hourly motion of planets, duration of lunar eclipses, and lunar motion.

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 from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 38 – Prayers and commentary

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 38, Prayers and commentary. This manuscript was written in Turkey, A.H. 889 (1484), in Arabic, with commentary in Ottoman Turkish. It is a collection of prayers in Arabic, each preceded by a commentary in Ottoman Turkish, with a diagram (f. 217v) and information at the end for calculating the direction of Mecca from different latitudes.

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 from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

 


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 4, LJS 26

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.

LJS 26 – Algorismus and Tractatum de sphaera, by Joannes de Sacro Bosco

In this video we compare the diagrams in the Star Wars manuscripts to LJS 26, a thirteenth-century astronomical manuscript that contains several diagrams illustrating how medieval people (specifically Sacro Bosco, the author of the texts in this manuscript) conceived of the system of the earth, moon, and sun, and how those celestial bodies related to each other. When we look at the Star Wars manuscript diagrams what we see is a similar attempt to illustrate how those celestial bodies relate to each other, only – we think – across systems instead of within them.

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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Manuscript Monday: LJS 226 – Certain astrological and astronomical figures

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 226, certain astrological and astronomical figures: cut out of a manuscript book dated 1410. This manuscript, written in Latin, is a collection of astrological and astronomical diagrams gathered from 3 earlier manuscripts.

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 from ScholarlyCommons, the University of Pennsylvania’s open access institutional repository.

 


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 2, LJS 449

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.

LJS 449 – Medical and astronomical miscellany

A glimpse from the middle of our conversation, we talk about at LJS 449, a fifteenth-century German miscellany containing astronomical, astrological, and medical texts. We discuss how these three topics, considered quite separate by most people today, were part of a whole for medieval people, and we contemplate how this holistic approach might be evident in the Jedi texts as well.

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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Manuscript Monday: Play the De Ricci Digitized Archive Name Game

The following video tutorial demonstrates how to play the De Ricci Digitized Archive Name Game, a tool that creates links between bibliographer Seymour de Ricci’s handwritten notecards and name authority records in the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts (SDBM). Left behind from De Ricci’s unfinished census of all the manuscript material in the UK, these 64,000 notecards are a treasure trove of information about the people and institutions who affected the provenance history of manuscripts. The original notecards now live in the archives of the Senate House Library at the University of London, with digitized versions accessible via the De Ricci Digitized Archive on the SDBM website. Since the SDBM also manages a local authority file with records of people and institutions who owned manuscripts, there is a lot of related information contained across both collections.

When you play the Name Game, you will create direct links between
the notecards in the De Ricci Digitized Archive and SDBM records,

thereby increasing access to both datasets and
enriching our collective knowledge of manuscript provenance.

The Name Game is fun to play because it is both productive and informative. As you read De Ricci’s notecards and search for links in the SDBM, you will encounter extra tidbits of information in addition to standard bibliographic content. For example, the card related to George Abbot, a former archbishop of Canterbury, notes that he killed a man by accident while shooting in Lord Zouch’s park in Hampshire. While this fact has little to do with Abbot’s manuscript collecting habits, it does contribute to a broader understanding of his personal life as well as De Ricci’s own interests as a bibliographer and scholar. These facts–and the choices De Ricci made in recording them–enhance our understanding of the human agents involved in both the history of manuscript provenance and bibliographical scholarship.

We have only just begun sorting through these notecards. Who knows what other trivia await? Quirky biographical facts are just the icing on the cake of this stockpile of provenance data. Join the fun via the link here. You must create a free SDBM account before you can play.