The Arnold and Deanne Kaplan Collection of Early American Judaica documents an astonishingly broad range of commercial, social, religious, political, and cultural ties that connected Jews and the general public from the early colonial era through the onset of mass migration at the end of the nineteenth century. The collection includes records of everyday lives, families, businesses, communal institutions, religious organizations, voluntary associations, and political circumstances of Jewish life. It provides a unique window into the changing character of colonial life and culture around the Atlantic world and within the United States and it documents changing perceptions and experiences of new worlds of space and time, not only from the perspective of its Jewish colonists and citizens but also in the context of the larger societies in which they have lived.
This website provides access to the medieval manuscripts of Philadelphia, books written entirely by hand, and often gloriously illuminated with sumptuous pictures. The Philadelphia region is home to a large number of libraries with truly outstanding special collections, most of whom are members of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Fifteen of these libraries have catalogued and digitized 450 medieval Western European manuscripts, available here, with the generous support of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), via its Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives initiative. For access to master TIFF images, web derivatives and TEI xml manuscript descriptions go to: http://openn.library.upenn.edu/html/bibliophilly_contents.html
How did Christians in the Americas learn to read Hebrew? The Bibliotheca Hebraica Atlantica includes datasets of the specific library editions w/ online access to help visualize patterns of learning found in the colonial libraries of the Atlantic World.
Canvas is the primary learning management system for the University of Pennsylvania. Instructors can use Canvas in conjunction with other digital tools as an interface for integrating special collections into their teaching.
Colenda is a system for long-term preservation and access to digital assets stewarded by Penn Libraries. Complete sets of images of digitized manuscripts and printed works are available on Colenda along with associated metadata. Colenda is a project of the Libraries, developed using the Samvera software framework. At this time, content accessible to the public in this application is in the public domain and is therefore available for public use, or where indicated, is of undetermined copyright.
Penn Libraries holds more than 3,000 manuscripts from South Asia, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the Americas. Predominantly Indic in provenance, the manuscripts are chiefly Sanskrit works written in Devanāgarī script. Though generally informed by traditional Hindu learning, the collection nevertheless remains thematically comprehensive and contains significant Buddhist and Jain texts.
The Digital Beehive Project provides a digital tool for navigating Francis Daniel Pastorius’s “Bee-Hive” manuscript, UPenn MS Codex 726. The project currently provides a complete page-by-page representation of the manuscript as well as a partial hyperlinked interface for navigating sections of the manuscript.
This open-access repository includes Robert Singerman’s magisterial two-volume Judaica Americana, an American Jewish bibliography of publications, both monographic and periodical, published prior to the 20th century.
The churches and synagogues of Philadelphia were gathering places in the 18th and 19th centuries and their records reflect the changing political, social and cultural mores. More than 40,000 scanned images from vestry and trustee minutes, baptismal, birth, marriage and death records, pew rents, accounting records, sermons and correspondence will give researchers opportunities to explore these connections. Collaborating institutions include Christ Church Philadelphia, St. George’s Methodist Church, Gloria Dei Church, Mikveh Israel, African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania Archives, Presbyterian Historical Society, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, American Baptist Historical Society, and Athenaeum of Philadelphia.
The finding aids provide a thorough account of manuscript collections and archival materials available at the University of Pennsylvania. Finding aids include an inventory of the collection as well as relevant background information.
This musical collection contains over 5,000 Judaic sound recordings, a key to Jewish life in Europe and American in the 20th century.
The Gershwind-Bennett Isaac Leeser Digital Repository brings together Isaac Leeser’s correspondence, the Occident, and various publications for full text search and discovery.
Over the course of many decades, Jay I. Kislak (1922-2018) built a collection of primary source material - rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and artifacts that convey the multifaceted history of the Americas, hemispheric cultural encounters, and global exploration beginning with Native American cultures and extending to modern times. In 2004, the Jay I. Kislak Foundation donated more than 3,000 items from this collection to the Library of Congress where they are available for scholarly research. Beginning in 2016 the Kislak Foundation, in partnership with the University of Miami and Miami Dade College, established a Kislak Center on each campus along with a gift of 2,500 books, manuscripts, and historic objects. The Kislak-MDC-UM partnership includes exhibitions, research, education, and public outreach programs that will serve MDC and UM students and faculty, the local communicty, and a global network of engaged scholars. The Jay I. Kislak Digital Library of the Americas aims to unite the materials from all of these institutions to tell a compelling story about early American history and culture.
Explore the past twenty years of the Kislak Center’s exhibitions and events, including gallery and event photos and links to related online resources. Content is actively updated.
This page links to collection descriptions and online resources related to all of the collections within the Kislak Center. Links and descriptions are actively updated.
Manuscript Studies is a new journal that embraces the full complexity of global manuscript studies in the digital age, with full text content available through Project MUSE. It has been conceived with four main goals in mind. First, to bridge the gaps between material and digital manuscript research; second, to break down the walls which often separate print and digital publication and serve as barriers between academics, professionals in the cultural heritage field, and citizen scholars; third, to serve as a forum for scholarship encompassing many pre-modern manuscripts cultures—not just those of Europe; and finally to showcase methods and techniques of analysis in manuscript studies that can be applied across different subject areas.
Manuscripts of the Muslim World will include digital editions of more than 500 manuscripts and 827 paintings from the Islamicate world broadly construed. Together these holdings represent in great breadth the flourishing intellectual and cultural heritage of Muslim lands from 1000 to 1900, covering mathematics, astrology, history, law, literature, as well as the Qur’an and Hadith. The bulk of the collection consists of manuscripts in Arabic and Persian, along with examples of Coptic, Samaritan, Syriac, Turkish, and Berber. The primary partners are Columbia University, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania with signifiant contributions from Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College. This collection is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Mapping Manuscript Migrations (MMM) is a semantic portal for finding and studying pre-modern manuscripts and their movements, based on linked collections of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, the Bodleian Libraries, and the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes. Researchers are able to analyse and visualize the aggregated data at scales ranging from individual manuscripts to thousands of manuscripts.
This website hosts the technical documentation for the Mapping Manuscript Migrations (MMM) project. It includes descriptions of the three datasets that MMM combines (the Schoenberg Database, Bibale, and the Medieval Manuscripts Online Catalogue at the Bodleian Library), an explanation of the unified MMM data model, and a SPARQL tutorial where users can learn how to query the MMM dataset.
The Moldovan Holy Land Map Collection contains 94 maps from the 15th-18th centuries, and their high-res digital facsimiles for your review.
These videos celebrate the physicality of manuscripts that traditional manuscript digitization projects cannot capture. While digitization focuses on page images, and sometimes on text encoding, these videos feature scholars discussing what is special (or typical, or otherwise interesting) about manuscripts, providing an intimate view not only of the textual content of the manuscripts, but also their physical context.
The Needham Calculator is a tool created at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies for manuscript scholars, art historians, incunabulists, and all those interested in the categories and formats of fifteenth century paper, and the impact they had on the sizes of books and works of art. The Needham Calculator derives its name from scholar Paul Needham because it is dependent upon his classification of categories of fifteenth-century paper.
OPenn contains complete sets of high-resolution archival images of cultural heritage material from the collections of its contributing institutions, along with machine-readable descriptive and technical metadata. All materials on OPenn are in the public domain or released under Creative Commons licenses as Free Cultural Works. Materials on OPenn are available at full resolution, with derivatives provided for easy re-use on the web. Downloading can be accomplished by following instructions in the Technical ReadMe on OPenn. The Curated Collections page provides access to documents grouped together for a specific purpose, like a grant or a project.
The PACSCL Diaries Project allows researchers an intimate view into a wide variety of personalities, largely from Philadelphia, as they went about their daily lives and commented on the world around them. The project provides an online archive of diaries drawn from 16 PACSCL member collections. OPenn currently hosts a pilot group of 63 diary volumes. Participating PACSCL member libraries are the Abraham Lincoln Foundation of The Union League of Philadelphia, the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of Nursing, Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections, Drexel University Archives and Special Collections, Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, German Society of Pennsylvania, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library of the Independence Seaport Museum, Legacy Center at Drexel University College of Medicine, Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia, Penn Museum Archives, Quaker and Special Collections at Haverford College, Rare Collections Library of the State Library of Pennsylvania, Special Collections at Lehigh University Library, The Library Company of Philadelphia, and the Kislak Center.
Digital collections and projects feature unique, primary-source materials for teaching, research, and discovery drawn from the Penn Libraries’ signature collections or from our collaborations with the Penn community and with cultural heritage institutions. It provides access to important rare books, manuscripts, photographs and multimedia sources represented by images, texts, audio files, bibliographic databases, catalogs, and archival finding aids for the study of a wide array of subjects ranging from Philadelphia neighborhoods and the life of Marian Anderson to medieval manuscripts and Shakespeare’s plays. In addition, this site gathers together Penn Libraries’ pre-1923 materials publicly available through the Internet Archive as well as Penn-produced scholarship accessible in the ScholarlyCommons.
This Omeka site contains over 18,000 images from Penn Libraries’ special and general collection related to the Holy Land.
This website lists and provides access to online exhibits from the Penn Libraries collections created over the past two decades, including collections at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Library at the Katz Center for Advanced Juadaic Studies, and the Otto E. Albrecht Music Library and Eugene Ormandy Music & Media Center.
The site offers bibliographic information and digital facsimiles for selected collections of manuscript codices, texts, documents, papers, and leaves held by Penn’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Penn holds over 2,000 Western manuscripts produced before the 19th century; medieval and Renaissance manuscripts comprise approximately 900 items, the earliest dating from 1000 A.D. Its holdings of Indic manuscripts is the largest in the Western hemisphere with more than 3,000 items. The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection emphasizes secular topics, especially science and mathematics, and includes tablets from the 21st to 18th centuries B.C.
Print at Penn is the online repository for digitized facsimiles of materials from the University of Pennsylvania Libraries’ print collections. The site includes bibliographic information for each digitized work as well as faceted and keyword searches across and within collections. Among the facets are those which allow users to limit their queries to a specific collection or to a specific location within the Penn Libraries system. This functionality will allow users to discover materials more quickly and easily.
The Provenance Online Project (POP) makes digital images of provenance evidence contained in books—bookplates, inscriptions, labels, bindings, and other physical attributes indicating ownership—openly available alongside bibliographic and descriptive metadata. The images, currently totaling over 18,000, come not only from Penn’s collections but also from Library Company of Philadelphia, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Princeton University Library with images coming soon from the Newberry Library, the Clark Library at UCLA, the Beinecke Library at Yale, the Getty Research Institute, the Huntington Library, and the Library of Congress.
Browse more than 500 pages of the ledger and learn about Sabato Morais’ personal scrapbook of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, circulars, and typescripts that he collected during his lifetime (1823 - 1897).
Over 2,000,000 images from various collections of rare books, manuscripts, papyri, photographs and sheet music are available for your viewing. Each collection has its own web site that is unrestricted in the interests of knowledge and learning.
The SDBM continuously aggregates and updates observations of pre-modern manuscripts drawn from over 13,000 auction and sales catalogs, inventories, catalogs from institutional and private collections, and other sources that document their sales and locations from around the world. This is an interactive resource for finding, indexing, and researching the world’s manuscripts. Members of its user community can become contributing partners in its development by adding new entries, commenting on other users entries, aggregating entries to create “manuscript records,” and helping to build an authority file of persons and institutions associated with the movement of manuscripts across time and place. Video tutorials are available to demonstrate basic database tasks.
Guided by the vision of its founder, Lawrence J. Schoenberg, the mission of SIMS at Penn is to bring manuscript culture, modern technology and people together to bring access to and understanding of our intellectual heritage locally and around the world. We advance the mission of SIMS by developing our own projects, supporting the scholarly work of others both at Penn and elsewhere, and collaborating with and contributing to other manuscript-based initiatives around the world. Access the SIMS website for the SIMS blog, videos, projects and much more.
Scribes of the Cairo Geniza is a multilingual crowdsourcing project to classify & transcribe fragments of medieval and premodern manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza.
The Special Collections Processing Center (SCPC) of the University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts is responsible for cataloging rare books, manuscripts, and archival collections for use by the general public. The blog is our opportunity to talk about what we love, what surprises us, and what we learn from the treasures within our collections! Check back frequently for the most recent SCPC finds.
VisColl is a system for generating visualizations of a physical manuscript’s collation. It consists of a data model for modeling of a manuscript (based on quires, leaves in quires, and typology for the leaves (original, missing, added, replaced)), software for building models in a tabular format (published online and expressed in a custom XML schema), and software for generating visualizations from that model, via another online form. VisColl is free and available for anyone to use.
The Zucker Holy Land Travel Manuscript takes users on a tour through the Holy Land as it was known, geographically, both in Biblical times and at the end of the 17th century. View over 500 pages of text, maps, and illustrations (with transcriptions when possible).