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 (, and the Shared Canvas initiative at Stanford University ( 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 223, Questiones logicales. This manuscript was written in Bavaria, ca. 1510, in Latin, and it is a collection of Aristotelian works and other philosophical works, including works on logic; short tracts (some incomplete) on Aristotle’s Categories, De interpretatione, and Posterior analytics; and several works on Aristotle’s Physics (including commentaries by Antonius Carpentier on both the Physics and the introduction to the Physics by Jacques Lefe╠Çvre d’Etaples published in 1492), this last group (f. 148v-206r) being more decorated than the rest of the manuscript.