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Digital Proceedings of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

On the Nature of Things: Modern Perspectives on Scientific Manuscripts

Introduction

The first meeting of the annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age was held in Philadelphia on October 24-25, 2009, at the University of Pennsylvania and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. The symposium examined scientific manuscript book production in Western Europe, Asia, and the Arabic world before the year 1600. The papers presented in this volume offer wide-ranging approaches to the study of manuscripts containing scientific material. From a presentation on the digital discovery of the lost texts of the Greek mathematician Archimedes to essays on alchemy, scientific writing in the Near East, the use of Latin in Spanish medical literature in the early medieval period, and the influence of Arabic scientific manuscript production on the medieval West, these papers reflect the importance of manuscript evidence in decoding intellectual history.

Recognizing that we are moving into the digital age and becoming more reliant on new technologies in everyday research, we concluded the symposium with a panel of digital humanities scholars led by Dr. Gerhard Brey of the Center for Computing in the Humanities at King's College, London. The panel discussed the role of new technologies in advancing our understanding of this period in the history of science. Dr. Brey's report is included in these proceedings as well and captures the spirited discussion that took place.

With this first volume, we launch the publication of the Digital Proceedings of the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Annual Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. It is with deep gratitude and heartfelt admiration that we dedicate this first volume to Mr. Schoenberg and his wife Barbara Brizdle, without whom this event and publication would not be possible.

Conference Papers

Presentations

Other