Director of the Kislak Center & the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies
Will oversees the collections, research services and public programs of the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. As founding Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, he orchestrates its integration with Penn's broad primary-source holdings and guides the programs that support scholarship in the many disciplines that draw on the Libraries' rare and unique materials. In addition, Will works to advance key partnerships and engagements between the Penn Libraries and libraries and cultural institutions locally, nationally and internationally.
A specialist in the fields of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman manuscripts, Will came to Penn in 2012 from The Walters Art Museum where he had been Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books since 1997.
Will has groundbreaking experience in the application of digital technologies to manuscript studies and is especially well known for directing an international program to conserve, image and study the Archimedes Palimpsest, the unique source for three treatises by the ancient Greek mathematician. With funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities he built the Digital Walters, an open access library that presents full digital surrogates and catalogs of illuminated Islamic, English, Dutch, Central European, Armenian, Byzantine, Ethiopian and Flemish manuscripts.
Will has published extensively, including a book with co-author Professor Reviel Netz, The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist. After receiving his Ph.D. from Cambridge University England, Will held positions at Downing College, Cambridge University, as Director of Studies in the History of Art; and at The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, as Assistant Curator of Manuscripts. He is on the faculty of the Rare Book School of the University of Virginia, and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History of Art at Penn.