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

Coffee with a Codex

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

Every Monday at 12pm EST / 5pm GMT 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.

May 17: Medical Miscelleny

On May 17 we’ll look at Oversize LJS 24, a collection of standard 13th-century medical texts with inhabited initials showing medical scenes. Register to attend: https://libcal.library.upenn.edu/event/7751054

May 24: Ymage du monde

On May 24 we’ll look at LJS 264, a summary of all knowledge, divided into 3 parts on the creation of the world and man, geography, and astronomy, written in France, ca. 1400. Register to attend: https://libcal.library.upenn.edu/event/7763847

May 31: Cryptography

On May 31 we’ll look at LJS 225, a work on cryptography that describes two systems for keeping texts secret. Written in Rome, between 1455 and 1458, a gift to Pope Callistus III. Register to attend: https://libcal.library.upenn.edu/event/7764310

Manuscripts featured in past Coffee with a Codex events.

May 10 – Erbario. 15th century illustrated herbal with three styles of illustration, one earlier artist and two later ones. Northern Italy, 15th c. (On OPenn, Video presentation)

May 3 – Astronomical treatises and tables. Late 15th-century collection of Latin astronomical treatises. Germany, 1481. (On OPenn, Video orientation, Article, Online exhibition)

April 26 – Book of hours. Late 15th century French book of hours, badly damaged and reconstructed in the late 19th c. (On OPenn, Unboxing video, blog posts)

April 12 – Book of hours. 16th century Italian Book of hours of the Virgin Mary written in a clear Humanist script. Italy, 16th c. (On OPenn, Blog post by Dr Nicholas Herman)

April 5 – Chansonnier. Collection of 310 poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Oton de Grandson, Brisebare de Douai, Eustache Deschamps, Philippe de Vitry, and others. France, ca. 1400. (On OPenn, Presentation by Dr. Elizavita Strakhov, Article by Dr. Elizavita Strakhov)

March 29 – Book of Hours. Early 16th century French book of hours with incomplete miniatures. France, possibly Paris, early 16th century.

March 22 – Oversize Ms. Codex 665 – Statutes. 14th century copy of the of the Order of the Ship, founded in Naples in 1381 by King Carlo III ‘di Durazzo’. France, between 1381 and 1386. (On OPenn)

March 15 – Ms. Codex 107 – Cartulary. 13th century copy of the Cartulary of the monastery of San Andrés de Fanlo in Aragon, thought lost after 1940, but now at Penn. Spain, after 1256. (On OPenn, Article on the manuscript include a list of contents, published in 1964 (in Spanish))

March 8 – LJS 216 – Tractatum de spera … etc. 13th century collection of three scientific works by Johannes de Sacrobosco – on the spheres (the medieval conception of the world, based on the work of Ptolemy), on Arabic numerals, and a treatise criticizing the Julian calendar. France, ca. 1256-1276. (On OPenn, Video orientation)

March 1 – Oversize LJS 47 – De institutione musica. 15th-century copy of a Latin treatise on the Pythagorean-based theory of ancient Greek music, in which the text reflects an older (10th-century) tradition and the numerous diagrams related to ratio and pitch demonstrate later developments in the tradition. France, ca. 1490. (On OPenn, Video orientation, Dissertation)

February 22 – LJS 49 – Rawḍat al-adhhān fī maʻrifat tashrīḥ badan al-insān. / روضة الاذهان في معرفة تشريح بدن الانسان. Copy, probably in the hand of the author, of an anatomy treatise originally written in 1396, with chapters on bones, nerves, veins, arteries and muscles, and complex organs. Persia, A.H. 813 (1411). (On OPenn, Video orientation)

February 15 – LJS 57, Astronomical anthology. Collection of astronomical texts, including a copy of a treatise on the calendar originally compiled for Pedro IV, King of Aragon. Catalonia, ca. 1361. (On OPenn, Video orientation, Informational article)

February 8 – LJS 449 and LJS 463, Medical and astronomical miscellany and Medical and astrological miscellany. Two 15th century German medical, astrological, and astronomical miscellanies. (LJS 449 on OPenn, LJS 449 Video orientation, LJS 449 Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away; LJS 463 on OPenn, LJS 463 Video introduction)

February 1 – Ms. Codex 725, Fasciculus temporum. World and church history to the election of Pope Sixtus IV in 1471, with diagrams and drawings throughout the text. Italy, 15th c. (On OPenn)

January 25 – LJS 101, Periermenias Aristotelis … etc. 9th-century copy of Boethius’s Latin translation of Aristotle’s De interpretatione. France, 9th c. (On OPenn, Video orientation, Blog post)