“The overarching reason why I collect is the opportunity it affords me to participate in the history of human intellectual activity and the exchange of knowledge. I firmly believe that it is my role not merely to possess manuscripts but also to advocate for and to share the knowledge contained within their covers. As much as I enjoy the pursuit and acquisition of manuscripts, I find that helping others to engage in their own pursuits is just as rewarding. …”
-Lawrence J. Schoenberg from the Medieval Book: Glosses from friends and colleagues of Christopher De Hamel
Lawrence J. Schoenberg was founder and former CEO of AGS Computers, Inc. He held directorships in numerous corporations in the computer services and software industry. He was active on the Parents Council of Dickinson and Harvard when his children were in school, finally serving as a Trustee of Dickinson College for many years. He started collecting manuscripts in the early 1970’s but it was only after he sold his company to NYNEX in 1988 that he took up collecting with a passion.
Barbara Brizdle Schoenberg has been an executive and innovator in the software industry since 1967. After selling her consulting business in 1990, Barbara became active in social service and community affairs in Sarasota, currently serving on the national board of the Alliance for Children & Families, Inc., among others. She earned her BA from Cornell University in 1965. Barbara became involved in her husband’s collection when she was the driving force behind the publication of his catalog “Transformation of Knowledge, Early Manuscripts from the Collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg”
The Schoenbergs gifted their collection of 287 Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, valued at more than $20 million, to the Penn Libraries in 2011. In response to this generous gift, the Library set up the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, to continue the Schoenbergs’ vision and Philanthropic Mission: to collect, curate, digitize and disseminate original and rare materials for research and study.
Video: Schoenberg Institute: An Introduction
Video: Christopher de Hamel on Larry Schoenberg
Video: Lawrence J. Schoenberg Memorial Celebration, held June 29, 2014 at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.