- Conference Schedule
On exhibit August 8, 2016 - October 7, 2016
Penn is home to one of the largest collections—roughly 10%—of Thai manuscripts held in North American institutions.* Thai manuscripts can be either unbounded, made from palm leaves, or folded concertina, made from the bark of the streblus asper tree, known in Thai as khoi. They are written in the languages of Thai and/or Pāli, and can be written in a variety of scripts. The genres of Thai manuscripts include both religious and secular works, such as astrological treatises and legal documents.
This exhibition highlights a sampling of the rich variety of Thai manuscripts held in the Penn collection, including one of the most exquisite specimens of an illuminated Thai manuscript—the Abhidhamma Chet Kamphi (Ms. Coll. 990, Item 5). Other religious works in this exhibition include commentary on the Dhammapada, and a Thai translation of some of the Gospels of the Bible. The exhibition also includes three, rare manuscripts, all concertina and written on black khoi: a government treatise; an elementary Thai lesson book; and a volume from the epic poem, Phra 'Aphaimanī, composed by Sunthorn Phū (1786-1855), a royal poet considered the Shakespeare of Thailand.
* Penn owns 57 Thai manuscripts. There are roughly 650 manuscripts held by institutions in the Americas.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 2:00 - 7:00 PM
Conference and exhibition reception