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


Leave a comment

Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 2/52 Traictie des VII fruis de tribulacion, Philadelphia, The Library Company of Philadelphia, Ms. 18 875.Q, fol. 1r A late-fifteenth-century manuscript at the Library Company of Philadelphia contains an unpublished devotional text in French, the Traictie des VII fruis de tribulacion or Treatise on the Seven Fruits of…

via The prior provenance of one of the first medieval manuscripts to arrive in Philadelphia — Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis


Leave a comment

Fifty-two discoveries from the BiblioPhilly project, No. 1/52 Lemaire de Belges, Jean, 1473-1524 – Pronosticque historial de la félicité future de l’an mil cincq cens et douze, Philadelphia, The Rosenbach Museum and Library, MS 232/11, fols. 1v-2r Our series begins auspiciously with a long-lost royal prognostication on the good fortune of the year to…

via An unpublished, autograph booklet by Jean Lemaire de Belges, presented to the Queen of France on New Year’s day 1512 — Bibliotheca Philadelphiensis


Leave a comment

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)


Leave a comment

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)


Leave a comment

Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 3, LJS 102

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 102 –Zena nagaromu and hymns

The very first manuscript we discussed is LJS 102, which isn’t medieval at all. Rather it’s an early 20th century manuscript from Ethiopia that represents a very long and established manuscript culture – similar in some ways, we think, to the manuscript culture being shown in The Last Jedi.

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)


6 Comments

Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Luke Skywalker gathered a small library of ancient Jedi texts and placed them in an uneti tree on Ahch-To.

Ancient Jedi Texts

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.

We’re publishing our conversations as a series of video clips, which we’ll publish on the YouTube Channel of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies. You can subscribe to the series here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snI2mkZ7hgw&list=PL8e3GREu0zuDCBZ1zju_uWTP5yiB5ZX75

We’ll release a new clip every couple of weeks until Star Wars Episode 9 is released on December 20th, 2019. We hope you’ll come along for our journey!

Six leaves as illustrated in the The Art of Star Wars: The Last Jedi by Phil Szostak

Folio 11v in University of Pennsylvania LJS 449

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)