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


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 300 – Calendarium and ephemerides

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 300, Calendarium and ephemerides, by Joannes Regiomontanus. This manuscript was written in Lambach, Austria, ca. 1500, in Latin. Manuscript copy of the Calendarium and Ephemerides as published by Regiomontanus in 1474. The Calendarium, for 1475-1530, gives information on lunar and solar eclipses, the length of days, and the signs of the zodiac and planets. Also includes a table of time corrections (f. 11v) for cities in reference to a longitude of approximately 10 degrees east (thus making no correction for Braunschweig, Nuremberg, Ulm, or Milan). The Ephemerides, consisting only of tables updated to begin in 1480 and ending in 1506, provides positions for the sun, moon, and planets for each day of each year.

You can see the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand and you can download all of the images and metadata at 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 359 – Liber canonis

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 359, Liber canonis, by Avicenna. This manuscript includes sections from Books 1 and 2 of Avicenna’s 11th-century comprehensive medical work, as translated into Latin in the 12th century by Gherardo da Cremona. Book 1 addresses medicine generally; the section in the manuscript is from the first treatise and concerns the four elements. Book 2 is devoted to materia medica.

You can see the full online facsimile of this work in Penn in Hand. and you can download all its images and metadata at 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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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 13, Ms. Codex 828

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 828

In this video we talk about the binding of Ms Codex 828, a 15th century Italian philosophical manuscript. The leather that originally covered the spine has been lost, so we can see the binding structure very well. We compare it with the binding practices illustrated by LJS 102 – the Ethopian manuscript we looked at in Episode 3 and Episode 10 – and by those of the Jedi manuscripts.

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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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 12, LJS 459

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 459: popular treatise in Arabic

In this video we look at LJS 459, a 12th century treatise presented as a letter from Aristotle to Alexander the Great on statecraft, astronomy, astrology, magic, and medicine, called the Secretum secretorum in Latin. It was a popular work in the Middle East and the West throughout the middle ages, although it was most certainly not written by Aristotle. We compare some of the textual elements in this manuscript – the layout on a page where the names of planets are written, along with some colorful illuminated headings – to textual decoration and layout in the Jedi manuscripts.

Online record and digital images of LJS 459: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9958033443503681

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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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 11, W.836 binding

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.

Walters Art Museum W.836: A broken binding

In this video we compare the bindings of the Jedi texts with that of Walters Art Museum W.836. W.836 is an early 14th century Ethiopian Gospel book from Tǝgray, Northern Ethiopia. The covers of this book are simple wooden boards, but at some point the front cover broke into two pieces, and someone fixed it by sewing the pieces together. Composite bindings – covers made from multiple pieces of hard material attached together – are a notable aspect of the Jedi texts, although it is a very unusual practice on earth.

Online record and digital images of W.836: http://manuscripts.thewalters.org/viewer.php?id=W.836#page/1/mode/2up

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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Manuscript Monday: LJS 400 – Commentary on the Zīj Gūrgānī

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 400, Commentary on the Zīj Gūrgānī, also known as the Zīj-i jadīd-i Sultānī, by ʻAlī ibn Muḥammad Qūshjī. This manuscript was written in Iran, A.H. 899, in Persian, and it is comprised of tables of calendar calculations, trigonometry, planets, and stars compiled from observations made at the observatory in Samarqand.

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 10, LJS 102 binding

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: Focus on the binding

This video begins the part of our series where we focus on the bindings of the Jedi texts. Our conversation in this video focuses on binding of LJS 102, the early 20th century Ethiopian prayer book which we looked at in Episode 3. We’ll compare this binding to the Jedi texts, and talk about how they are similar, and how they’re quite different.

Online record and digital images of LJS 102: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9948521743503681

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)