Writing the East:
October 21-22, 2011
In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Penn Libraries are pleased to announce the 4th annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year's symposium will explore a range of issues relating to Asian reading and writing cultures, especially as they pertain to the manuscript source. Our focus will be on Asian manuscripts from the Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian traditions. We will bring together scholars representing these traditions to examine the ways in which hand-produced texts shape both meaning and interpretation, and to a larger extent, the cultural norms that define their use. We will also consider the role that modern digital technology can play to facilitate the study of manuscripts today.
- Adam Gacek, McGill University
- David Germano, University of Virginia, The Tibetan and Himalayan Library
- Paul R. Goldin, University of Pennsylvania
- Justin McDaniel, University of Pennsylvania, Thai Digital Monastery
- Yael Rice, The Philadelphia Museum of Art
- Peter Scharf, The Sanskrit Library
- Min Bahadur Shakya, Nagarjuna Institute of Exact Methods
- Kazuko Tanabe, The Eastern Institute
- Hiram Woodward, The Walters Art Museum
- Susan Whitfield, The British Library, The International Dunhuang Project
**Special Friday Workshop Opportunity**
Bringing Out the Best from Your Collections: Ask the Experts!
Friday, October 21, 2-5 pm, Free Library of Philadelphia (Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA, Room 108)
Are you a Special Collections Librarian with a collection of Tibetan palm-leaf manuscripts in your library, or a shelf of handsome Japanese woodblock print books, or rare Chinese medical texts from the fifteenth century, or a lovely but enigmatic collection of cuttings from Arabic and Persian manuscripts, or any other collection of non-western material that leaves you mystified? If so, we invite you to sign up for our Friday afternoon workshop and ask the experts for help!
Throughout North American libraries, scores of collections of rare manuscripts produced in cultures outside the sphere of European influence remain hidden from the public eye. Librarians and curators often know very little about how to care for, interpret, and provide access to these hidden treasures. Language and cultural barriers as well as differences in materials and production techniques present unique curatorial challenges in terms of access, interpretation, and preservation. This workshop aims to provide a forum in which librarians and curators can discuss the opportunities and challenges they face in caring for their non-western treasures, learn how to begin caring for and cataloging them, and what opportunities exist for collaboration and crowd-sourcing. We also invite participants to present case studies from their collections to the experts for their opinion and feedback. Bring your photographs, questions, and concerns, and get ready to learn about your hidden treasures!
The 2011 symposium is made possible with the generous support of the Center for Ancient Studies and the Departments of History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and South Asia Studies.