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Probing the “Time Capsule” of the Cairo Geniza at Adath Israel Synagogue

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Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library

In mid-January, Emily Esten visited the Adath Israel synagogue in nearby Merion Station to deliver two presentations on the Cairo Geniza, one tailored to adult synagogue members and the other to children. 

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A Rare Discovery: Celebrating Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances with The Philadelphia Orchestra

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Yannick Nézet-Séguin in conversation with Matías Tarnopolsky

A wholly unexpected musical discovery was at the center of a collaboration between the Penn Libraries and The Philadelphia Orchestra, as the two institutions partnered to celebrate the only known recording of composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff playing his last major orchestral work, Symphonic Dances.

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Behind the Scenes: Curators Reflect on 'Making the Renaissance Manuscript' and 'Medieval Life'

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Item from Making the Renaissance Manuscript exhibit

Drawing from the collections of the Penn Libraries and other area institutions, two exhibits in spring 2020 use lesser-known treasures to capture and convey elements of Renaissance culture and Medieval life.

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Research Tea: Amy Hillier on Transgender Youth

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Headshot of Dr. Amy Hillier

Next Tuesday, February 4, Amy Hillier will present at Penn Libraries’ first Research Tea of the spring semester. Hillier — an Associate Professor in both the School of Social Policy & Practice and in the Weitzman School of Design’s Department of City and Regional Planning — will give a talk titled “Incorporating Youth and Trans Voices in Academic Research.”

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Supporting Guatemalan Healthcare through Improved Access to Clinical Literature

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Photograph of de la Cruz Gutierrez

Shortly after Fulbright Scholar Manuel de la Cruz Gutierrez joined the University of Pennsylvania’s Biomedical Library in 2014, he became involved with the Perelman School of Medicine’s long-standing partnership with a group of Guatemalan universities and Maya communities. “I had a particular interest in the region because I’m from Latin America,” explains de la Cruz Gutierrez

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Sensing Climate with Librarian Margaret Janz

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Bethany Wiggin and Margaret Janz holding signs at climate lecture

“I’ve always been a nature nerd,” says Margaret Janz, who was trained as a science librarian and currently serves as the Scholarly Communications and Data Curation Librarian at Penn. When the College of Arts and Sciences organized the 1.5* Minute Climate Lecture Series this past September, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) Director Bethany Wiggin invited Janz to co-present

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Book Art: Zoe Leonard Sculpture on Display at Penn's ICA

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Zoe Leonard's sculpture, a stack of 27 books

The University of Pennsylvania-affiliated Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) has no permanent collection. Instead, the ICA features rolling exhibitions of innovative artists both established and emergent. It was famously the first museum to present a solo Andy Warhol show and has hosted works by a miscellany of high-profile artists

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Student Spotlight: Jiaqi Song

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Jiaqi Song in Henry Charles Lea Library

Jiaqi Song was born on one continent (Asia, in Beijing), grew up on another (Europe, in Rome), and now attends college on a third (North America, in Philadelphia). Fittingly enough, he’s a second-year student in Wharton’s Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. 

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Research Tea: Megan C. Kassabaum

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Megan Kassabaum at dig site

On December 3, Megan C. Kassabaum will present at the Libraries’ final Research Tea of the semester. An assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, Kassabaum also serves as Penn Museum’s Weingarten Assistant Curator for North America. Her wide-ranging research interests include food and feasting, ceramic technology, social organization, and public and museum archaeology. 

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Student Spotlight: Juan Castrillón, Neyzen

Posted on by Gretchen Stiteler
Juan Castrillón holding ney in library stacks

The ney flute’s airy, organic melodies are a characteristic element of Turkish classical music, though the melodies don’t come easily. This end-blown woodwind instrument, crafted from a single reed, is notoriously difficult to master, requiring weeks of consistent practice for a novice to produce one recognizable note.

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