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Penn Libraries Virtual Exhibitions
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A Legacy Inscribed - title image

A Legacy Inscribed: The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of Manuscripts

In 2011, University of Pennsylvania Board members Barbara Brizdle Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Schoenberg (C53, WG56) donated the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of Manuscripts to the libraries. The Schoenberg collection brings together many of the great scientific and philosophical traditions of the ancient and medieval worlds. Documenting the extraordinary achievements of scholars, philosophers, and scientists in Europe, Africa and Asia, the collection illuminates the foundations of Penn's academic traditions.
(04-01-2014) Legacy Inscribed
Image: adapted from a decorative incipit and illuminated motifs found in a 13th-century Latin translation of an Arabic medical treatise by a 9th/10th-century Jewish physician

13th Century Entanglements: Judaism, Christianity & Islam

The selected original sources featured in this exhibit reflect scholarly efforts to develop a more integrated account of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic societies during the Middle Ages. They include a rich variety of Hebrew, Latin and Arabic manuscripts and early printed texts which illustrate a range of topics such as medieval liturgical poetry, law, rhetoric, philosophy, science, magic, social history, gender relations, inter-communal contact, conflict and other forms of entanglement both positive and negative.
(09-03-2013) Thirteenth Century Entanglements
Ormandy Conducting

The Midwest Experience: Ormandy in Minnesota

Although Eugene Ormandy is best remembered for his forty-four-year tenure as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for five years during the early 1930s he was conductor of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. Ormandy worked hard to build the orchestra and improve its musicianship, and by 1936, through tours of the East and South and landmark recordings for RCA Victor, he had established an international reputation for the orchestra and positioned himself for his appointment in Philadelphia as Leopold Stokowski's successor.
(10-17-2012) Ormandy in Minnesota
Oh Fresh! Broadside

Oh Fresh! Freshman Broadsides from the collection of Peter Zinman

Initiating freshmen into "college life" was, for upperclassmen, a long-standing ritual at many of this nation's institutions of higher education, including Penn. Some of these traditions eventually came to be considered forms of hazing and were banned. While they lasted, however, they gave rise to a fascinating documentary genre, the Freshman Broadside. This exhibit presents dozens of the most interesting and unusual from the collection of Peter Zinman as well as a number of Penn-related items from the University Archives.
(08-28-2012) Oh Fresh
Image: Porte de Jaffa, extC)rieur - The Jaffa Gate, outside. The sign reads: Cook's Travel Office. ca. 1885

Jews & Journeys: Travel & the Performance of Jewish Identity

The subject of travel and its complex range of practices and representations have provoked intense scholarly interest in recent years. Historically, Jewish travel has taken on many forms and is documented in a wide array of primary sources: merchant records; legends of the Wandering Jew; travel itineraries; pilgrimage accounts; photographs; postcards; journalistic reportage; motion picture footage. What cultural and ideological work is performed by these texts and what kinds of images of self and other are generated through them? A sampling of these sources, and scholarly discussions of these questions by the 2011-12 Katz Center Fellows, is displayed here.
(07-19-2012) Jews & Journeys
Woodcut from Flavius Vegetius Renatus's Vier Bucher der rytterschafft (Erfurt, 1511)

Reading Pictures: Sixteenth-Century European Illustrated Books

This exhibition surveys European book illustration during the sixteenth century. Examples include the very best—but also the most typical—and all come from Penn's rich collections of sixteenth-century European printing. Their wide variety of styles and subjects illuminate what early modern book illustrators provided readers in an environment visually far less rich than the one we take for granted. Religion, labor, science, warfare, costume, medicine, portraits, exotic places, and more—all these topics found their way not only into words but also into pictures. Opening up Penn's books not for their texts but their illustrations offers an entirely new way to see them.
(03-01-2012) Reading Pictures
Francis Johnson

Francis Johnson: Music Master of Early Philadelphia

Philadelphia bandleader and composer Francis Johnson (1792-1844), a free African American, achieved extraordinary renown and respect through performances of his band. This exhibit includes a selection from the over forty pieces of Johnson sheet music from the collection of the late Kurt Stein.
(11-08-2011) Francis Johnson
William Blake, Ruth

Taking Turns: New Perspectives on Jews & Conversion

Taking Turns takes as its starting point the idea of converts and conversion - an unstable subject, in the double sense of a topic very much in need of definition, and a model of individual and group life that does not presume a fixed or univocal "identity." Through the study of conversion, our understanding of the very meaning of "Judaic," "Christian," and "Islamic" identities has been complicated and even transformed.
(07-28-2011) Taking Turns
Agents Wanted

Agents Wanted: Subscription Publishing in America

Nineteenth-century America saw the rise of a new kind of subscription publishing and a new approach to marketing. Once a relatively genteel means of seeking financial support for an expensive publication project with uncertain sales prospects, subscription bookselling expanded during the nineteenth century into a door-to-door solicitation of commitments to purchase particular titles. Drawing on the resources of the Zinman Collection, this exhibition explores what has long been a relatively unknown and inadequately documented aspect of the American publishing industry in the nineteenth century.
(12-08-2005) Agents Wanted
Bibliotheca Schoenbergensis

Bibliotheca Schoenbergensis: An Exhibition from the Collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg

For three decades, Lawrence Schoenberg has been collecting in an area reserved for the few: illustrated manuscripts from the medieval and early modern periods. What is most striking about the collection is its breadth. Stretching from the eleventh to the eighteenth century, it includes monastic, university, and lay texts. Here one can study the contrasts between public and private devotion, the evolution of the school curriculum, the practices of history, and some chapters in a yet-to-be written history of science and technology.
(02-03-2003) Bibliotheca Schoenbergensis
A Chef 
and His Library

A Chef and His Library: An Exhibition Selected from the collection of Fritz Blank

Chef Fritz Blank's culinary library helps to illustrate how a homegrown Jersey boy became one of America's foremost French chefs. Since surviving a 1987 dumpster fire that otherwise gutted Blank's restaurant, Deux Cheminées, at its original location, his collection has grown to over 10,000 volumes of cookery books plus recipe pamphlets, menus and other culinary ephemera. "A Chef & His Library" examines a paper trail of the influences—from his grandmother's cooking lessons to his career as a clinical microbiologist—that shaped Blank's culinary education and sensibilities.
(05-06-2003) Chef and His Library
Coming to the Small Screen

Coming to the Small Screen: Ormandy and Television

At 5:00 p.m. on 20 March 1948, the Philadelphia Orchestra made broadcasting history as the first American orchestra to perform on network television. The exhibition reproduces correspondence and photographs related to Eugene Ormandy's television appearances and his efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to gain more exposure on the "small screen."
(06-29-2010) Coming to the Small Screen
Composing

Composing: Harry Mathews' Words & Worlds

The focus of the exhibit "Composing" is on how one of today's most innovative writers actually puts together his literary works. Mathews' drafts, notes, and letters provide fascinating material evidence of his writing techniques—some ordinary, some extremely unorthodox. The University of Pennsylvania's collection includes the Locus Solus manuscripts as well as all of Mathews' typescripts and correspondence through the mid-1990s.
(08-31-2004) Composing: Harry Mathews' Words & Worlds
Cultural Readings

Cultural Readings: Colonization & Print in the Americas

An exhibition from the collections of the Jay I. Kislak Foundation and the Rosenbach Museum and Library. Grouped into six broad categories, "Cultural Readings" demonstrates colonization's impact upon indigenous peoples and Europeans from the 15th through the 19th centuries.
(02-03-2003) Cultural Readings: Colonization & Print in the Americas
Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania

Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania: Worlds of Learning in the Age of Franklin

In 1749, Benjamin Franklin published his educational call to arms, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania. This slim pamphlet led to the creation of the University of Pennsylvania, the fourth oldest institution of higher education in North America. But what were schools like in the early Delaware Valley? Who received an education, how, and where? Who were the teachers, and what was taught? The Libraries' 2006 exhibition surveyed the educational landscape of the period and investigated the importance, originality, and ongoing relevance of Franklin's vision.
(01-17-2006) Educating the Youth of Pennsylvania
Eugene Ormandy

Eugene Ormandy: A Centennial Celebration

Eugene Ormandy dedicated his life to music, from the age of three, when he first picked up a violin, to shortly after his 84th birthday, when he conducted his last concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra. It is with this orchestra that Ormandy's name will forever be associated, by virtue of his serving as its Music Director for 42 years.
(11-18-1999) Eugene Ormandy: A Centennial Celebration
Hidden in Plain Sight

Hidden in Plain Sight: Musical Treasures in the Penn Libraries

Here are unexpected riches from among the Penn Libraries' music-related collections of books and scores and from the letters, papers, photographs, and printed and manuscript music that together document the career of an individual or the history of a cultural organization. These are random samplings, then: we wait to see where they will lead.
(01-03-2003) Hidden in Plain Sight: Musical Treasures in the Penn Libraries
Household Words

Household Words: Women Write from and for the Kitchen

The Aresty Collection of Rare Books on the Culinary Arts spans five centuries and represents cultures from nearly every part of the world. The books written by both men and women provide us with material enough for many culinary and social histories from many points of view. he exhibition focuses on women's writing and use of cookery and househ old books.
(02-03-2003) Household Words: Women Write from and for the Kitchen
The Illustrated Book, 1780-1830

The Illustrated Book, 1780-1830: Selected from the collection of Harris N. Hollin

Highlights from the collection of Harris N. Hollin are arranged by subject. In "Travel and Views" you will see Mayer's Views of Palestine, Daniell's A Voyage to India by way of China and a fascinating plate depicting a Russian bath from Charles Comte de Rechberg's Les Peuples de la Russie. You will also see an unusual fold-out color plate of Dublin in 1805 in Carr's A Stranger in Ireland. In "Architecture" you will see a selection from Pyne's History of the Royal Residences and Combe's History of Westminster Abbey.
(02-03-2003) Illustrated Book, 1780-1830: Selected from the collection of Harris N. Hollin
John W. Mauchly

John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer

We attempt in this exhibition to portray a history of the emergence of modern computing as seen through the eyes of one of its two principal inventors, John W. Mauchly (1907-1980), who worked at the Moore School of Electrical Engineering between 1941 and 1946, and whose papers are held at the University of Pennsylvania.
(02-03-2003) John W. Mauchly and the Development of the ENIAC Computer
Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski: Making Music Matter

One of the most influential conductors of his generation, Leopold Stokowski was at the same time one of the most controversial. His unorthodoxy is perhaps his greatest legacy, for it was his willingness to take risks and challenge convention that occasioned his most significant triumphs. This exhibition focuses on the conductor's passion for all things musical and his life-long dedication to sharing his noble ideals with the public. With few exceptions the materials on display are a part of the Leopold Stokowski Collection at the University of Pennsylvania.
(04-18-1999) Leopold Stokowski: Making Music Matter
Literae Humaniores

Literae Humaniores: in the University of Pennsylvania Libraries (2003)

The arts of the book are everywhere on display in this exhibition of the cultural exchanges between Europe and America during the past two and a half centuries. Humanist works from Italy, France, Germany, England, and the Low Countries are exhibited alongside books beautifully bound or illustrated with hand-colored drawings and plates. The selection was made for exhibition at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the oldest university in the Low Countries.
(04-08-2003) Literae Humaniores
Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson: A Life in Song

This exhibition celebrates the artistic development and musical career of Marian Anderson. Renowned throughout the world for her extraordinary contralto voice, she is also remembered for her dignity and grace under pressure. Through the mechanism of recorded sound, we can continue to enjoy Ms. Anderson's renderings of lieder and spirituals. Through the reflected light of photographs, we can glimpse the preparation and performance of her repertoire. And through the papers that she left behind, we can investigate and understand how, when, where, and with whom her life took shape, was enriched, and became enriching not only for her audiences but also for others in need.
(02-03-2003) Marian Anderson:A Life in Song
Networking Artists & Poets

Networking Artists & Poets: Assemblings from the Ruth & Marvin Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry

There is nothing comparable to the Sackner Archive in public or private hands today; it is quite simply the collection of record for contemporary artists' books.
(02-03-2003) Networking Artists & Poets
Edgar Fahs Smith

The Nine Lives of Edgar Fahs Smith

This exhibition examines the multi-faceted life and career of Edgar Fahs Smith (1854-1928), whose long and dedicated service to the University of Pennsylvania culminated in a decade-long term as Provost—then the highest position in the University. We focus on specific aspects of Smith's life—his "nine lives"—in order to reveal the distinct role each played in his larger "life."
(05-23-2005) Nine Lives of Edgar Fahs Smith
Petrarch at 700

Petrarch at 700: An exhibition of books and manuscripts from the collections of Cornell University Library and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Manuscripts, many of them beautifully illuminated, and printed books display the Petrarch who was the author of Italian-language love poems that served Italian and European writers as models of love poetry for the next half-millennium. Petrarch also worked in a wide variety of other literary forms, among them invective, bucolic poetry, letters, and epic, and wrote not only in Italian but also in Latin, a language in which he became even more famous than he was in Italian.
(03-29-2004) Petrarch at 700
Robert Montgomery Bird

Robert Montgomery Bird: Writer and Artist

Robert Montgomery Bird (1805/6-1854) was a writer of considerable note. Born in New Castle, Delaware in 1805 or 1806, he entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1824. He graduated from Penn's Medical School and College of Pharmacy in 1827. The present exhibition reveals yet another aspect of Dr. Bird's creative life: his art. His later works, the core of what we show on this occasion, record scenes and impressions of Philadelphia, America, and Europe garnered during many travels. They display a freshness and vivacity of vision clearly occasioned by Bird's pleasure in the landscapes and figures he depicted.
(02-03-2003) Robert Montgomery Bird
Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie: "A Strangely Strong Novel in a Queer Milieu"

Sister Carrie remains vital for many reasons: as an historical marker for the turn away from sentimentality, romance, and moral rectitude in the American novel at the brink of the twentieth century; as a text that influencedpro and consucceeding American novelists over the next several decades; and as a conundrum that never ceases to provoke debate for readers both general and professional. While the first half of the twentieth century produced a diverse range of critical opinion on Sister Carrie by reviewers and essayists, the second half has been witness to an abiding argument within academia regarding the quality, value, importance, and interpretation of this signature text.
(01-03-2001) Sister Carrie
Textual Spaces

Textual Spaces: An Architecture of Reading

Where do we read? And how do those places affect our reading? Reading a newspaper by the fireplace is quite a different experience from reading it on a noisy street corner or in the social setting of a coffeehouse. Considering the physical surroundings in which readers encounter books, manuscripts, and other forms of printing and writing, this exhibition turns background into foreground.
(03-21-2008) Textual Spaces: An Architecture of Reading
Title page, the King James Bible

Translation Necessary: The King James Bible at 400

The 1611 English translation of the Bibleknown as the King James Bible or Authorized Versionwas unlike any that had come before it in both the scale of its production and the breadth of its influence. A landmark political event in the reign of James, the "Authorized Version" has figured in every major debate concerning the nature of Scripture, translation, and the development of the English language itself for over 400 years,
(03-3-2011) Translation Necessary: The King James Bible at 400
Piaroa Man Gutting Fish

Photographs from the field: Ethnographic photography by Penn Anthropology Graduate Students

Thirty-four ethnographic photographs by University of Pennsylvania graduate students are on display on the second floor of the University Museum Library.
(03-26-2004) Photographs from the field: Ethnographic photography
drawing of Mayan epigraphy

Strokes of Genius: The Art of Annie Hunter

Exhibit in the University Museum Library. Annie Hunter's drawings of Mayan epigraphy appeared in Biologia Centrali-Americana (1904).
(03-26-2004) Strokes of Genius: The Art of Annie Hunter
Secularism & Its Discontents: Rethinking an 
Organizing Principle of Modern Jewish Life

Secularism & Its Discontents: Rethinking an Organizing Principle of Modern Jewish Life

This exhibition about secularism and its discontents examines the complex interplay and often permeable boundary between the religious and the secular in modern Jewish history.
(6-1-2010) Secularism and Its Discontents: Rethinking an Organizing Principle of Modern Jewish Life
Jews, 
Commerce, and Culture

Jews, Commerce, and Culture

This exhibition on Jewish economic history argues that economics is not solely materialist and quantitative in nature but is rather an integral part of the larger fabric of Jewish religion and folkways.
(6-1-2009) Jews, Commerce, and Culture
Jewish & 
Other Imperial Cultures in Late Antiquity

Jewish & Other Imperial Cultures in Late Antiquity

In this exhibition, scholars of late antiquity grapple with the complex and multifarious material sources and received texts upon which are understanding of the Roman empire and its minorities is built.
(6-1-2008) Jewish and Other Imperial Cultures in Late Antiquity
Religious Communities in Islamic Empires

Religious Communities in Islamic Empires

This exhibition reexamines the formative period in Islamic history between the 7th and the 11th century in order to understand how both Muslim and Jewish societies were shaped in this period, and how the presence of the majority of Jewish population worldwide under Islam modified Jewish life profoundly.
(6-1-2007) Religious Communities in Islamic Empires
The 
Jewish Book: Material Texts and Comparative Contexts

The Jewish Book: Material Texts and Comparative Contexts

This exhibition on the history of material texts investigates how the materiality and formatting of texts from antiquity to the present shaped authorship, transmission, reception, and interpretation; how the business of Jewish book production and the market forces of book consumption affected Jewish life and culture; how the visual art and design of Jewish books shaped reading habits, legibility, recollection, and signification.
(6-30-2006) Jewish Book: Material Texts and Comparative Contexts
Printer, Publisher, Peddler: The Business 
of the Jewish Book

Printer, Publisher, Peddler: The Business of the Jewish Book

This exhibition illustrates Jewish book production a business as well as a craft, a trade and an art form.
(6-9-2006) Printer, Publisher, Peddler
The Meaning of Words: Marcus 
Jastrow 
and the Making of Rabbinic Dictionaries

The Meaning of Words: Marcus Jastrow and the Making of Rabbinic Dictionaries

Tis special exhibition at Penn celebrates the anniversary of Marcus Jastrow’s famous rabbinic dictionary and honors the centenary of its creator for his contributions to the distinguished tradition of rabbinic learning and lexicography.
(8-28-2005) Meaning of Words: Marcus Jastrow and the Making of Rabbinic Dictionaries
Modern Jewish Literatures: Language, Identity, Writing

Modern Jewish Literatures: Language, Identity, Writing

This exhibition on Jewish Literatures in the Modern Age takes literature itself as a site of intense struggle around the question of Jewishness and modernity in which all the resources of the linguistic imagination were called into play to negotiate the passage from traditional society to contemporary life.
(6-1-2005) Modern Jewish Literatures: Language, Identity, Writing
Challenging Boundaries: History and Anthropology in Jewish Studies

Challenging Boundaries: History and Anthropology in Jewish Studies

In this exhibition, scholars of Jewish history and anthropology explore the dynamic tensions that exist in the way religious traditions instruct people to live their lives and the way people go about living them, between the presumably normative and actually lived experiences found in Jewish culture and history.
(6-1-2004) Challenging Boundaries: History and Anthropology in Jewish Studies
Tradition 
& Its Discontents: Jewish History and Culture in Eastern Europe

Tradition & Its Discontents: Jewish History and Culture in Eastern Europe

This exhibition considers Eastern Europe as home to the greatest living reservoir of Jewish civilization in the world for over three centuries and how it served as the location for key religious, intellectual, artistic, and political currents that shaped Jewish life across the modern period.
(6-1-2003) Tradition & Its Discontents: Jewish History and Culture in Eastern Europe
We 
have Revealed to You... Jewish Biblical Interpretation in a Comparative Context

We have Revealed to You... Jewish Biblical Interpretation in a Comparative Context

This exhibition presents the common scriptural heritage of Judaism, Christianity and Islam while highlighting the distinctive traditions that each of them has developed for interpreting the Bible and what they believed to be its message and meaning.
(6-1-2002) We have Revealed to You
Modern Jewry and the Arts

Modern Jewry and the Arts

This exhibition presents work in a rich diversity of cultural media and genres in an effort to illustrate and explore the characteristically modern features of Jewish aesthetic production and performance beyond the traditional texts that have defined Jewish identity and existence.
(6-1-2001) Modern Jewry and the Arts
Hebraica Veritas?

Hebraica Veritas?

This exhibition focuses attention on the relatively unknown intellectual movement called Christian Hebraism, an offshoot of Renaissance humanism whose devotees — biblical scholars, theologians, lawyers, physicians, scientists,philosophers, and teachers in Latin schools--borrowed and adapted texts, literary forms, and ideas from Jewish scholarship and tradition to meet Christian cultural and religious needs.
(6-1-2000) Hebraica Veritas
From 
Written to Printed Text: Transmission of Jewish Tradition

From Written to Printed Text: Transmission of Jewish Tradition

This exhibition examines how the transmission of Judaism has always been heavily dependent on written texts as well as the oral traditions surrounding them through the presentation of one of the critical moments in the transformation of the Jewish book from manuscript to print in the early modern period.
(6-26-1996) From Written to Printed Text: Transmission of Jewish Tradition