Stains Alive

For Libraries fellow Erin Connelly, stains are some of the most exciting discoveries in her study of medieval manuscripts. She is part of a national team analyzing stains in medieval texts using modern multispectral imaging. An exhibition at Van Pelt-Dietrich Library displays the researchers’ discoveries.

Louisa Shepard , Louisa Shepard

Public libraries can influence public health

The Healthy Library Initiative, a partnership between Penn and the Free Library of Philadelphia, works to expand the role of public librarian to serve the public health needs of patrons and the community.

Penn Today Staff

Reclaiming a fragmented history

Digital humanities scholars are orchestrating an epic crowdsourcing effort to sort and transcribe handwriting on thousands of documents discarded hundreds of years ago, known as the Cairo Geniza.

Louisa Shepard

A life of books

Books define the life of Peter Stallybrass, an English professor who has retired after 30 years at Penn, known for his History of Material Texts workshop. He explains the five seminal books of his storied academic career.

Louisa Shepard

Astronomical find

Penn Libraries has acquired a rare astronomical treatise dated 1481, with unique diagrams in the margins, and original discs of parchment that turn to demonstrate the movement of the sun, moon, and planets.

Louisa Shepard

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In the News

WWFM: The Classical Network

A Tempo: Expanding Access to Marian Anderson's Legacy

The Penn Libraries’ Kislak Center houses ephemera from the life of Marian Anderson, the first African-American woman to sing a lead role in The Metropolitan Opera. The Center’s David McKnight spoke with WWFM about a new grant funding the digitization of the Anderson collection. (Audio)


Philadelphia Inquirer

Scans Reveal Secrets of Medieval ‘Harry Potter’ Book and Medical Texts at Penn

Erin Connelly of the Libraries is working with other experts to identify old stains in a centuries-old medical text using multi-spectral imaging. The results of their studies suggest that the tomes were actively used in medicine and alchemy, a predecessor to chemistry.