Lectures & Conferences
Constellation Map from an Astronomical Anthology
Constellation Map from an Astronomical Anthology, Catalonia, ca. 1361, fol. 113r (collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg)

1st Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

October 24-25, 2008

In partnership with the Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science (PACHS) and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Libraries, and the Department of the History and Sociology of Science are pleased to announce the 1st Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age.  This year's symposium examines scientific manuscript book production in Western Europe, Asia, and the Arabic world before the year 1600.  It consists of two events: a public lecture hosted by PACHS and the Chemical Heritage Foundation on Friday, October 24, and a day-long symposium hosted by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Penn on Saturday, October 25.

For more information on the Schoenberg Symposium Series, click here.

Public Lecture:  Friday, October 24, 6:00 pm

Archimedes in Bits: The Digital Presentation of a Write-Off

William G. Noel, Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore and Director of the Archimedes Palimpsest Project, will speak on the trials, tribulations, successes, and surprises in the decade-long project to retrieve the lost texts of Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician, from a 13th-century Greek prayer book. 

The lecture will be held at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA [map].  The event is free and open to the public. RSVP.

Symposium:  Saturday, October 25

On the Nature of Things:   Modern Perspectives on Scientific Manuscripts

Six scholars will present papers on various topics from medieval astronomy, alchemy, chiromancy, scientific writing in the Near East, and the influence of Arabic scientific manuscript production on the medieval West.  The symposium will conclude with a panel of digital humanities scholars who will discuss the role of new technologies in advancing our understanding of this period in the history of science. 

The symposium will be held in the Rosenwald Gallery, on the 6th floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library [map] and will include an exhibition of scientific manuscripts selected from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Schoenberg Collection.  


The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.  Registration is now closed.

For schedule and program details, click here.

Speakers include:

  • Alejandro García Avilés, Universidad de Murcía
  • Gerhard Brey, Center for Computing in the Humanities, King's College, London
  • Charles Burnett, The Warburg Institute
  • Marilyn Deegan, Center for Computing in the Humanities, King's College, London
  • Gabriele Ferrario, Independent Scholar, Milan, Italy
  • Menso Folkerts, Institute for the History of Science, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität
  • Monica Green, Arizona State University
  • Kim Plofker, Union College
  • Dot Porter, Digital Humanities Observatory, Royal Irish Academy
  • Michael Solomon, University of Pennsylvania
  • John A. Walsh, Indiana University
  • Dominik Wujastyk, University College, London

The symposium is made possible with the generous support of the Program in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, the Departments of Classical Studies, History, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Romance Languages, and Religious Studies, and Dean Ann Matter and Dean Rebecca Bushnell.

For further information or problems with registration, please contact Lynn Ransom at lransom@upenn.edu or (215) 898-7851.