Coffee with a Codex

Join us for an informal visit with curators and manuscripts from Penn’s collections

Every Wednesday at 12pm EDT / 5pm BST we host an informal lunch or coffee Zoom meeting (depending on your time zone) to visit virtually with Kislak Curator Dot Porter, onsite at the Kislak Center, and talk about one of the manuscripts from Penn’s collections. Each week Dot will bring out a manuscript (or two), give a brief overview and then answer questions and lead conversation. Registration is required but the visits are open to everybody.

If you would like to receive weekly emails to remind you about upcoming Coffee With a Codex meetings, sign up for our email list here.

Recordings of Coffee With A Codex from January 2022 are on our YouTube Playlist.

Which manuscripts did we feature in 2021? Find out here.

July 6: Manipulus florum

On July 6, Curator Dot Porter will bring out Ms. Codex 1640, an early 14th century English compendium of extracts, designed as a reference work for use in writing sermons. Register to attend: https://libcal.library.upenn.edu/event/9284993

July 13: A Day off

They say you reap what you sow, we are sowing good things so we are reaping a day off! But we’ll be back on July 20 with more Coffee With A Codex.

July 20: Grammar and Definitions

On July 20, Curator Dot Porter will bring out Oversize Ms. Codex 722, a 14th century French dictionary of grammatical forms and definitions of theological, religious, and secular terms. Register to attend: https://libcal.library.upenn.edu/event/9285107


June 29: LJS 280 – Canon Law. An abbreviated version of the decretals compiled by Raymond of Peñafort in the 1230s by order of Pope Gregory IX. France, between 1250 and 1299. (CWAC Recording)

June 22: LJS 23 – Natural Philosophy. A very early copy of Thomas de Cantimpré’s general introduction to science, De natura rerum. France or Flanders, 1250-1275. (CWAC Recording)

June 15: We took the day off!

June 8: Munitions and Explosives. Three three treatises on munitions and explosive devices, with many illustrations of the various devices and their uses. (Ms. Codex 109, LJS 442, and Ms. Codex 129; Blog post by Mitch Fraas, Translation, CWAC Blog post, CWAC Recording)

June 1: Ms. Codex 1056 – Book of Hours. Illuminated book of hours written for a woman, in an early 16th century binding. Rouen, France, ca. 1475. (Blog post, Twitter thread by Lisa Fagin Davis, CWAC Recording)

May 25: LJS 361 – Astrology, Astronomy, Religion. Opening and closing sections of astronomical and astrological tables on either side of a remnant of commentaries on gospel and epistle readings. Naples, Italy, 1327. (Blog post, Published article, CWAC Recording)

May 18: Ms. Codex 1136 – Medicine & Magic of Women. Copy of De secretis mulierum (also known as Secreta mulierum), a work erroneously attributed to Albertus Magnus and concerning various issues of women’s health, with an unidentified commentary. Germany, 15th c. (Published translation, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

May 11: LJS 347 – Philosophy. An incomplete and heavily glossed copy of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, one of the most enduring and influential texts which remained popular throughout the middle ages. England, 14th c. (Penn in Hand, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

May 4: Star Wars Day. Dot Porter and Brandon Hawk discuss many aspects of manuscripts that appear in the Star Wars Universe. May The Fourth Be With You! (List of links, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

April 27: Ms. Coll. 728, folder 23 – Theology. A highly calligraphic document consisting of religious-themed poems, focused on Catholic orthodoxy. (Penn in Hand, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

April 20: U. Glasgow MS Hunter 231 – Devotion and Philosophy. An illuminated collection of devotional and philosophical writings with substantial self-insert of the person who commissioned the manuscript. England, 14th c. (CWAC Recording, Glasgow blog post)

April 13: Ms. Codex 1958 – Correspondence. A composite codex of two works on Persian letter composition from nineteenth-century India. India, 19th c. (Blog post, CWAC Recording)

April 6: LJS 27 – Arithmetic. Treatise on commercial and practical arithmetic. Italy, 15th c. (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

March 30: Ms. Codex 1065 – Fragility. Manuscript Bible, fragile due to lack of a binding, annotated through the 15th century. England, between 1240 and 1250. (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

March 23: Ms. Coll 591 – Fragments. Leaves and fragments from codex manuscripts, almost all on parchment and some with illumination. Location and places varied. (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

March 16: CAJS Rar Ms 533 – Prayer Book. A miniature manuscript of the order of the counting of the Omer. Netherlands, 1764-1765. (Blog post, CWAC Recording)

March 9: Ms. Codex 1630 and Ms. Codex 1629 – Rhetoric. A 15th c. copy of a rhetorical text, and a 14th c. commentary on that same text. Northern Italy, 14th and 15th c. (BiblioPhilly (1), BiblioPhilly (2), Blog post, CWAC Recording)

March 2: Ms. Codex 1053 – Biblia sacra. Bible in 2 volumes (Old and New Testament) with prologues. England, 13th c. (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

February 23: LJS 195 and Ms. Codex 2074 – Treating Illness. A medical compilation focused on the plague, and a new acquisition, recipes to combat the plague. Germany and France, 15th c. (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording)

February 16: Ms. Codex 63 and Ms. Codex 188 – Lope de Vega in manuscript. Two autograph copies of dramatic works. (Blog post, CWAC Recording)

February 9: LJS 470 and LJS 471 – Medicine & Magic. Two medical books, one with magical texts, from Italy, written in Hebrew (BiblioPhilly (1), BiblioPhilly (2), Blog post, CWAC Recording, Background reading)

February 2: Ms. Codex 1059 – Canon Law. A compilation of canon law made by Raymond of Peñafort by order of Pope Gregory IX, with gloss by Bernardo Bottoni (BiblioPhilly, Blog post, CWAC Recording, RBS Lightning Session)

January 26: Forgeries. Several items were looked at, including LJS 33. See the blog post and recording of the event for details (Blog post, CWAC Recording)

January 19: Ms. Codex 761 – Cosmographies. A copy of four ancient Greek cosmographies in Latin translation. Italy, ca. 1500. (BiblioPhilly, On OPenn, CWAC Recording)

January 12: Ms. Codex 1057 – Ferial psalter. Ferial psalter, including 150 psalms plus several additional prayers and illuminated initials. Tyrol, 14th c. (BiblioPhilly, RBS Lightning Talk)