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  • Exhibit

Egyptology at Penn in the 1850s: The Philomathean Society's Translation of the Rosetta Stone

See excerpts from a Penn student-run literary society's full translation of the Rosetta Stone, which was published in 1858 to great acclaim.

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July 16 - December 12, 2024
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Penn Museum Library (Penn Museum Academic Wing Level 3)
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Open to the Public
Report of the Committee appointed by the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania to make the inscription on the Rosetta Stone

The Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania, the oldest student-run literary society in the United States, facilitates learning outside the classroom. As one of its first major scholarly activities, the Society appointed three student members to translate the famous Rosetta Stone into English. The full translation of the Rosetta Stone’s inscription and the students’ accompanying essays were published in 1858 to great acclaim. 

The exhibit will display reproductions of select pages scanned from the original 1858 report, which demonstrate both the students’ extraordinary contributions to scholarship and the unique qualities of the published work.

Curated by Connie Kolakowski, Museum Library intern, and Deb Stewart, Head, Penn Museum Library.

Plan Your Visit

On view from July 16 to December 12, 2024. These reproductions are on display on the Penn Museum Library’s first level (Penn Museum Academic Wing Level 3). Penn students, faculty, and staff may enter the Penn Museum and its library for free with Penn ID. Find more information to plan your visit.

Featured image: Cover page from the Report of the committee appointed by the Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania to translate the inscription on the Rosetta stone, 1858. View online.