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


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 414 – Astrological compendium

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 414, Astrological compendium. This manuscript was written in Iran, ca. 1670 (A.H. 1081), in Persian, and it is a collection of astronomical works, including 2 on the astrolabe, a treatise on a horoscope referring to Khawaja Haji Ghulām Ḥusayn and the date A.H. 1047, and an illustrated work on Dhu al-Qarnayn, a Koranic figure later associated with legends of Alexander the Great.

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

 


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 99 – Table of integer square roots

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 99, a table of integer square roots. This partially baked clay tablet was created in Iraq, between 1999 and 1800 B.C., in Sumerian. It is a table of numbers whose square roots are integers, in Babylonian sexagesimal notation.

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

 


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 235 – Kitāb al-Adwār

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 235, Kitāb al-Adwār, by ʻAbd al-Muʼmin ibn Yūsuf Urmawī. This manuscript was written in the Ottoman empire during the 16th century, in Arabic, and it is a treatise on the theory of music, including division of frets, ratio of intervals, consonance and dissonance, cycles, rhythmic and melodic modes, and the 5-string oud or lute, with an anonymous commentary.

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

 


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Manuscript Monday: Ms. Codex 1566 – Book of hours

Nicholas Herman, Curator of Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s Ms. Codex 1566, Book of hours: use of Metz. This manuscript was written in France between 1375 and 1399, in Latin, with a calendar in French. It includes the Hours of the Virgin, the Penitential Psalms and Litany, and the Office of the Dead.

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

 


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 392 – Taḥrīr al-majisti

Nicholas Herman, Curator of Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 392, Taḥrīr al-majisti, by Ṭūsī, Naṣīr al-Dīn Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad (1201-1274). This manuscript was written around A.H. 813 (1411), in Arabic, and it is a 13th-century recension of Ptolemy’s Almagest with the early 14th-century commentary of the Iranian scholar and astronomer Niẓām al-Dīn al-Nīsābūrī.

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

 


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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.

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

 


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Manuscript Monday: LJS 60 – Cosmographia

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 60, Cosmographia, by Mela, Pomponius. This manuscript was written in [Italy, between 1440 and 1450], in Latin, and it is a geographical work describing the populated areas of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia as known to the historian and geographer Strabo. Many leaves of the manuscript are palimpsests, the parchment having been formerly used for legal documents and washed for re-use. The earlier texts are occasionally faintly visible running perpendicular to the Mela text.

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