Learn about the new Special Collections Center
The Campaign for Penn's Libraries
Learn about the new Special Collections Center

Programs & Events 2011

Exhibitions and Events of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library: Fall 2013

Current Exhibitions & Events

Upcoming Exhibitions & Events

Recent Exhibitions & Events

William Steig, detail of ink drawing of an artist sketching, Steig Collection, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books & Mansucripts

As the Ink Flows: Works from the Pen of William Steig

On exhibit August 22 - December 19, 2014
Goldstein Family Gallery, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
This exhibit explores the life and career of the artist, cartoonist, and children's book author/illustrator William Steig. The exhibition highlights materials from the recent gift of over 3,000 original drawings, notebooks and scrapbooks, correspondence, books, posters, and other materials made by Jeanne Steig, his widow, to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, supplemented with loans from his family.

Coming, Start: 08/22/2014, End: 12/19/2014
Detail of Currier & Ives trade card, The Graces of the Bicycle (New York, 1880), Dr. Daniel and Eleanor Albert Medical Ephemera Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Recent Acquisitions

On exhibit September 3, 2013-December 13, 2013
Goldstein Family Gallery, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
and
September 3, 2013-January 24, 2013
Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, first floor
Annually, the Penn Libraries acquires thousands of new books, periodicals, and materials in various formats for use by students and researchers. This exhibition will showcase many of these recent acquisitions and honor our donors. Materials on display are drawn from the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Middle Eastern Collection, and the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Recent, Start: 09/03/2013, End: 01/24/2014
Detail of White-Crowned Pigeon from John James Audubon, The Birds of America, (London, 1827-1838), Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Audubon's Birds of America

On exhibit beginning Friday, May 10, 2013
First floor (next to the Information Desk), Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
The Penn Libraries is pleased to announce a new permanent exhibition case devoted to the display of John James Audubon's spectacular Birds of America (1827-38). Penn's double elephant folio set of the Birds was a gift of Edwin H. Vare, Jr. in 1957-59. The page opening from the volume on display will be changed on a monthly basis.

For more information
Current, Start: 05/10/2025, End: 12/25/2025
An illuminated initial L

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

On exhibit March 11, 2013-August 16, 2013
Goldstein Family Gallery, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection of Manuscripts, donated to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by Penn Libraries Board members Barbara Brizdle Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Schoenberg (C53, WG56), embodies the great scientific and philosophical traditions of the ancient and medieval world. The manuscripts in this exhibition document the extraordinary achievements of European, Arabic, and Jewish scholars, philosophers, and the practitioners of science, medicine, and law. Often illustrated with complex diagrams and stunning imagery, these manuscripts bring to the present the intellectual legacy of the medieval past.

A 2013 thirteen-month wall calendar highlighting two of the manuscripts from the Schoenberg Collection has been produced in conjunction with this exhibition and is available for purchase through the website here.

More information about the exhibition | Virtual exhibition | 2013 wall calendar featuring illustrations selected from two of the Schoenberg Collection's astronomical treatises dating from the 1400s
Recent, Start: 03/11/2013, End: 08/16/2013

Ormandy in China: The Historic 1973 Tour

On exhibit November 2, 2012 - Late 2014
Eugene Ormandy Gallery, Otto E. Albrecht Music Library, 4th floor
The 1973 tour of China by the Philadelphia Orchestra marked an important milestone in relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Following on the heels of Richard Nixon's trip to visit Mao Zedong in 1972, the tour was a successful attempt at cultural diplomacy--the first visit to China by an American orchestra. In recognition of the fortieth anniversary of this historic tour, "Ormandy in China" reexamines the ten-day visit and places the tour in the context of the political and cultural climate of the time.
Current, Start: 11/02/2014, End: 12/13/2014
Title page detail from Abu Isa al-Tirmidhi, Kitab Shamail al-Mustafa (Fez, Morocco, 1865), Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Leaves from The Kingdom of the Book:
Thoughts on the history of printing in Morocco (1865-1935) and Penn's Fez Lithograph Collection

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 5:30PM
Lea Library, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
The Penn Libraries has acquired an extraordinary collection of lithographic books printed in Fez, Morocco, during the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Dr. Fawzi Abdulrazak, the leading scholar of the history of printing in Morocco and the builder of the collection, will present this remarkable material and explain its history and significance.
Recent, Start: 12/01/2013, End: 12/04/2013
Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles in Text and Image exhibition logo

Tomorrow Never Knows:
The Beatles in Text and Image

On exhibit February 27-August 11, 2014
Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, first floor
On Sunday, February 9th 1964, The Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan's weekly televised variety show. Over 73 million viewers tuned in to watch the relatively unknown pop music group from Liverpool, England. Beatlemania had arrived in North America and the group would set the musical and cultural trends for the next seven years. Since the groups' breakup in 1970, the Fab Four's music, image and cultural relevance have endured. To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles arrival in America, the Kislak Center is hosting an exhibition of books about and by The Beatles. This exhibition is part of Penn's Year of Sound.
Current, Start: 02/24/2014, End: 08/11/2014
Kaplan Collection of Judaica logo of a combination steam and sail ship

Constellations of Atlantic Jewish History, 1555 - 1890:
The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica

On exhibit February 18–June 9, 2014
Goldstein Family Gallery, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
The Kaplan Collection, donated to Penn in November of 2012, is considered the most important private collection of its kind. It consists of over 11,000 individual items that document an astonishingly broad range of commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the colonial era through the onset of mass migration at the end of the nineteenth century. This exhibition, mounted in partnership with the National Museum of American Jewish History, features a treasure trove of representative examples of Jewish life around the Atlantic.
Recent, Start: 02/18/2014, End: 06/09/2014
Photo of overturned lifeboat on which 28 titanic survivors spent the night, from John B. Thayer's The Sinking of the Titanic (Philadelphia, 1940), Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Unpublished Titanic Collection Lands at the Penn Libraries

Tuesday, April 29, 2014; 5:30PM
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Please join the Penn Libraries and members of the Thayer family for a reception to welcome the John B. Thayer Memorial Collection of the Sinking of the Titanic to its permanent home in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. This unique collection, until now in private hands, documents the personal experience of John B. Thayer (Jack), a Penn alumnus who went on to serve the University as the Vice-President of Finance from 1939 to 1945, and his mother, Marian Longstreth Morris Thayer, both of whom survived the fateful shipwreck of 1912.
Recent, Start: 04/27/2014, End: 04/30/2014
Black and white profile photo of a man wearing a hat with a white spiral overlaid

Pataphysics Then and Now: A Conference

Friday, March 21 - Saturday, March 22, 2014
Slought Foundation and Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Part of Philadelphia a la Pataphysique, this two day conference will explore the life, works, and influence of French modernist Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). Jarry's "science of imaginary solutions--which he termed 'pataphysics--has had a substantial influence on 20th- and 21st-century art, theory, and culture. 'Pataphysics has influenced not only avant-garde practices throughout the past century, but also popular culture, from science fiction to Monty Python and The Beatles. An exhibition of Jarry-related highlights from the rare book and art collection of Linda Klieger Stillman will be on display at the Kislak Center on Saturday.
Recent, Start: 03/21/2014, End: 03/22/2014
6th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium
on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

Thinking Outside the Codex

Thursday, November 21 and Saturday, November 23, 2013
Free Library of Philadelphia and
the University of Pennsylvania
The 6th Annual Schoenberg Symposium will encourage participants to "think outside the codex" and turn the tables on traditional approaches to manuscript study. The conversation will begin with a focus primarily on instances of and responses to failure in the history of manuscript production and scholarship. By considering failures in manuscript design, production, reception, scholarship, and the digital humanities, we hope to provoke new questions and engender non-traditional approaches to the study of pre-modern manuscripts. In addition to a panel of speakers, the symposium will include four workshops offering hands-on exploration of problems and issues related to the study of manuscripts in the digital age.
Recent, Start: 11/18/2013, End: 11/24/2013

The School of Atha:
Collaboration in the Making of Children's Books

On exhibit September 8, 2014-March 27, 2015
Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, first floor
"The School of Atha: Collaboration in the Making of Children's Books," celebrates the life and work of children's book designer and art director Atha Tehon. The exhibition is based on the collection of her books and papers, including files on books she designed as a freelance book designer, recently given to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by her niece Susan Tehon, supplemented with loans from her family.

Coming, Start: 09/08/2014, End: 03/27/2015
Frontispiece engraving of William Shakespeare from the First Folio, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Shakespearian Residues:
A Celebration in Honor of the Bard's 450th Birthday

On exhibit April 23 - June 9, 2014; 5:30-7:00 pm
Sixth floor (by the Rittenhouse Orrery, next to the Class of 1978 Pavilion), Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
Join us to celebrate the 450th Birthday of William Shakespeare (there will be cake! and dramatic readings). The Kislak Center is home to the Horace Howard Furness Memorial Library, one of the world's preeminent collections of Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and the English theater. On display will be early editions, romantic images, quirky artifacts, and works inspired by the Bard from the collections. For more information.

Birthday Party for William Shakespeare
Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 5:30 PM
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
RSVP HERE or contact rbml@pobox.upenn.edu or 215.898.7088.
Recent, Start: 04/23/2014, End: 06/09/2014
William Steig, detail from untitled ink drawing, Steig Collection, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Muriel Pfaelzer Bodek Fund Lecture

Creating Children's Books: Collaboration and Change

Friday, October 17 - Saturday, October 18, 2014
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Creating Children's Books: Collaboration and Change honors the contributions of William Steig and Atha Tehon, two important figures to the world of children's literature during late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries. It will explore the creation of children's books from both the writer/illustrator and designer/publisher perspectives, looking at the role of collaboration in the process and considering the future of children's books from various perspectives, including that of diversity.
Coming, Start: 10/17/2014, End: 10/18/2014
detail from [The Alchemist] Tiré du Cabinet de Mr. le Brun
The A. S. W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography

Hidden Hands: Amanuenses and Authorship in Early Modern Europe

Ann Blair, Harvard University
Class of 1978 Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Intellectual work in early Modern Europe was rarely performed alone, despite literary and iconographical representations to the contrary--scholars worked with others in many ways. In these lectures, Professor Blair focuses on the family members, students, and servants who served as amanuenses by helping an author or scholar in the process of composing and writing.
Hidden Helpers
Monday, March 17, 2014, 5:30 PM
Hands and Minds at Work
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 5:30 PM
Authors and Amanuenses
Thursday, March 20, 2013, 5:30 PM

Recent, Start: 03/17/2014, End: 03/21/2014
Detail of Currier & Ives trade card, The Graces of the Bicycle (New York, 1880), Dr. Daniel and Eleanor Albert Medical Ephemera Collection, Rare Book & Manuscript Library
HOMECOMING WEEKEND

Gallery Hop

Sautrday, November 9, 2013 4:00-6:00 PM
Begins at the Fisher Fine Arts Library, Arthur Ross Gallery, 220 South 34th Street
The annual Hop will begin at the Arthur Ross Gallery and continue on to the Architectural Archives. The final stop will be the Kislak Center exhibition Recent Acquisitions. A curator will be at each exhibition site to talk with attendees. Refresh yourself at the end of the tour with hors d'oeuvres and dessert.

Kislak Center Self Guided Tours

Friday, November 8 - Sunday November 10, 2013 during library hours
Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, sixth floor
Drop by for a visit and self-guided tour of the Penn Libraries' new state-of-the-art Kislak Center. See the new Reading Room and Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, and experience the extraordinary views of Campus Green, Franklin Field, and the Center City skyline. Enjoy the exhibit on Recent Acquisitions of the Penn Libraries on display in the Goldstein Family Gallery (during gallery hours).

Recent, Start: 11/01/2013, End: 11/11/2013
Detail of Seamus Heaney's book jacket photo by Virginia Schendler, from Selected Poems 1966-1987

Seamus Heaney, 1939-2013

On exhibit September 27 - October 21, 2013
First floor (Next to the Kamin Gallery), Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
In honor of the late Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, the Penn Libraries is hosting a small display of his first editions held in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library collections. When Seamus Heaney died this past August, The New York Times noted that he "was often called the greatest poet since Yeats." Whether his work needs any such comparison is unclear. He was certainly one of the greatest poets of his own era and -- to the extent that anyone can predict -- his work has the strength and the beauty to go on being read as long as poetry in English is read at all.
Recent, Start: 09/27/2013, End: 10/21/2013