Kislak Center
for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts

Guided by the vision of its founder, Lawrence J. Schoenberg, the mission of SIMS at Penn is to bring manuscript culture, modern technology and people together to bring access to and understanding of our cultural heritage locally and around the world.

We advance the mission of SIMS by:
  • developing our own projects,
  • supporting the scholarly work of others both at Penn and elsewhere, and
  • collaborating with and contributing to other manuscript-related initiatives around the world.

Locally, we manage the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, which enables scholars to trace the provenance of manuscripts from origin up to today, and we provide space for the meetings of the UPenn graduate student paleography seminar.

Farther afield we collaborate with T-PEN, a web-based tool for working with images of manuscripts (t-pen.org), and the Shared Canvas initiative at Stanford University (www.shared-canvas.org). SIMS is active in the local rare books and manuscripts community, and welcomes manuscript-minded scholars and students to join our conversations.

The latest from our blog:

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers a video orientation to Penn Library’s LJS 194,¬† Geometria, by the mathematician and educator Gerbert, who was elected Pope Sylvester II in 999. The manuscript was written in Bavaria between 945 and 1003 in Latin and it is a collection of geometrical texts, including material from four chapters of the Isagoge geometriae; correspondence with Adelbaldus (also known as Adelbold or Albaldus, of Utrecht) about the area of isosceles triangles; and a treatise on the construction of astrolabes. It was annotated in the 12th century and again later in the 15th- or early 16th-century by an unknown late¬† humanist who collated the text with other manuscripts and noted the classical sources in the text.

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