Picking up the Pieces

November 12-14, 2015

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries is pleased to announce the 8th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year's theme "Picking up the Pieces" considers the notions and consequences of fragmentation and reconstitution. When books are broken up, collections dispersed, or a society’s intellectual heritage is fragmented by time, nature, and human interventions, the act of piecing together the remains can lead to surprising insights about how and why books—the artifacts of our intellectual heritage—were produced, collected, and saved in the first place. Our aim is to examine various facets of the fragmentation of books, collections, and cultural heritages in literal, metaphorical, and philosophical terms. The topic also allows us to consider how the processes of both physical and virtual reconstitution inform our understanding of these artifacts and our relationship to them. The program begins Thursday evening, November 12, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library, with our keynote speaker Nicholas Pickwoad, Director of Ligatus, a research center of the University of the Arts London, and leading authority on conservation and history of bookbindings. On Friday and Saturday, the symposium will continue at the Kislak Center of Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania. The program features papers and workshops that delve into aspects of fragmentation and reconstitution. Participants include:

  • Debra Cashion, Vatican Film Library, St. Louis University
  • Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Academy of America
  • Anne-Marie Eze, Independent Scholar
  • Christoph Flüeler, University of Fribourg & e-codices
  • Scott Gwara, University of South Carolina
  • Grigory Kessel, Philipps University Marburg
  • Nicolas Pickwoad, Ligatus University of the Arts London
  • Dot Porter, University of Pennsylvania
  • Lynn Ransom, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dagmar Riedel, Columbia University
  • Sabine Schmidtke, Institute for Advanced Study
  • Stefan Schorch, Marburg University
  • Brent Seales, University of Kentucky
  • Dominque Stutzmann, French National Centre for Scientific Research, Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes

Registration is free and open to the public but advanced registration is required. Registration opens September 15. Walk-in registrations will be accepted for a fee of $35 ($15 for students with valid student ID) to be paid in cash.

Join the symposium Facebook group to connect with other attendees or tweet  @SIMS_Mss #pieces to start a discussion.

For further information, please contact Lynn Ransom at lransom@upenn.edu or (215) 898-7851.

Browse the contents of The 8th Annual Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age: