"Penn in Hand" database online

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the conclusion of a two-year project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to digitize and make available on the World Wide Web its medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.

Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts currently offers over 950 entries for facsimiles of manuscripts produced in Europe before 1601 and now held by Penn. Over the next year another 260+ facsimiles will appear on the site for collections in which some of the materials date prior to 1601. In addition, the Web site presents approximately one hundred facsimiles for the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection, an important group of early manuscripts, comprising mostly secular texts related to mathematics, science, and technology. 

In April 2011 the Schoenbergs announced a formal agreement with the University of Pennsylvania to donate their collection over the next several years. By the end of 2012 facsimiles for the entire Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection will appear on Penn in Hand, yielding over 1,400 entries for European manuscripts dated before 1601. The site allows several levels of magnification, single-page as well as opening views, and both keyword and faceted searching; it includes tables of contents when appropriate, as well as direct links to illustrations.

For inquiries, please contact: Nancy Shawcross, Curator of Manuscripts (shawcros@upenn.edu)