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

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Reactions: Medieval/Modern, a new exhibition at Penn

Reactions:Medieval/ModernIn conjunction with the 9th Annual Schoenberg Symposium of the same theme, Reactions: Medieval/Modern explores the many and varied ways that people have reacted to, and acted upon, manuscripts from the Middle Ages up to today. Reactions take many forms. They include the manipulation of physical objects through, for example, the marking up of texts, addition of illustrations, the disbinding books or rebinding fragments, as well as the manipulation of digital objects, thanks to new technologies involved in digitization, ink and parchment analysis, virtual reconstruction, among many other processes. Both the exhibition and symposium will also tackle how popular culture has reacted to manuscripts over time as witnessed by their use and appearance in books, games, and films.

A full-color illustrated companion volume exploring the themes of the exhibition will be available for purchase in late September. It includes and introduction by Dot Porter, exhibition curator, essays by Bruce Holsinger, Erik Kwakkel, Kathryn M. Rudy, Michael Livingston, Angela Bennett, and an exhibition checklist.

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Thai Manuscripts Exhibition at Penn

thai_300Congratulations to Susanne Kerekes, our 2015-2016 Graduate Student Fellow, on her newly installed exhibition of some of Penn’s most beautiful, important, and rarely viewed Thai manuscripts, Siamese Sampler: 19th-century Manuscripts of Scripture, Poetry, and Decree!

As the website states: “this exhibition highlights a sampling of the rich variety of Thai manuscripts held in the Penn collection, including one of the most exquisite specimens of an illuminated Thai manuscript—the Abhidhamma Chet Kamphi (Ms. Coll. 990, Item 5). Other religious works in this exhibition include commentary on the Dhammapada, and a Thai translation of some of the Gospels of the Bible. The exhibition also includes three, rare manuscripts, all concertina and written on black khoi: a government treatise; an elementary Thai lesson book; and a volume from the epic poem, Phra ‘Aphai Mani, composed by Sunthorn Phu (1786-1855), a royal poet considered the Shakespeare of Thailand.

And don’t forget to register for the conference, to be held Tuesday, September 6, to learn more about these fascinating materials!