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


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 5, LJS 43

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 43 – Qaṣāʼid, a collection of Lyric Poems

In this video we talk about at LJS 43, a sixteenth-century collection of poetry from Persia. We compare the illuminated headers and the framing of the text with the design of the Star Wars manuscripts, and how the headers and frames in the Jedi texts would help Rey (or anyone else) read and understand them.

Online record and digital images of LJS 43: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/9954043173503681

A video orientation to this manuscript can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKS6bcyUo3s

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 4, LJS 26

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 26 – Algorismus and Tractatum de sphaera, by Joannes de Sacro Bosco

In this video we compare the diagrams in the Star Wars manuscripts to LJS 26, a thirteenth-century astronomical manuscript that contains several diagrams illustrating how medieval people (specifically Sacro Bosco, the author of the texts in this manuscript) conceived of the system of the earth, moon, and sun, and how those celestial bodies related to each other. When we look at the Star Wars manuscript diagrams what we see is a similar attempt to illustrate how those celestial bodies relate to each other, only – we think – across systems instead of within them.

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 2, LJS 449

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 449 – Medical and astronomical miscellany

A glimpse from the middle of our conversation, we talk about at LJS 449, a fifteenth-century German miscellany containing astronomical, astrological, and medical texts. We discuss how these three topics, considered quite separate by most people today, were part of a whole for medieval people, and we contemplate how this holistic approach might be evident in the Jedi texts as well.

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)


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Sacred Texts: Codices Far, Far Away – Episode 3, LJS 102

On October 8, 2018, Dr. Brandon Hawk and curator Dot Porter met to talk about these ancient books, and to compare them with manuscripts from the collection of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. This series is a record of those discussions.

LJS 102 –Zena nagaromu and hymns

The very first manuscript we discussed is LJS 102, which isn’t medieval at all. Rather it’s an early 20th century manuscript from Ethiopia that represents a very long and established manuscript culture – similar in some ways, we think, to the manuscript culture being shown in The Last Jedi.

Screenshots from the film and images from The Art of Star Wars are used under the Fair Use doctrine described in Section 107 of the Copyright Act (https://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107)