Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

Introduction
In the 1940s the rare books, letters, manuscripts, and ephemera that had found their way into Penn's library collections for the past two hundred years were formally assigned to a department for special collections, known today as the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. This library also contains three special collections:

While all of the special libraries included manuscript materials, until the 1940s no programmatic efforts had been made to acquire and build the library's manuscript resources. The library then began a conscientious effort to document twentieth-century American culture through the acquisition of the Theodore Dreiser Papers and collections relating to his circle of professional and personal acquaintances. In addition, codex manuscripts were systematically added to the collection to provide the original texts that circulated before the advent and common use of the printing press.

Today the Rare Book & Manuscript Library actively seeks to provide original source material for study in the humanities at Penn. Not only are existing strengths developed, but the variety of documentary materials has expanded to reflect current critical methodologies. These collections support the research and instructional efforts of Penn's faculty and students and serve as a resource for scholars throughout the world.

Access to approximately 13,000 linear feet of modern manuscripts is provided through two electronic bibliographic utilities, Franklin (Penn's on-line catalog) and WorldCat (the on-line catalog of the OCLC). Guides to modern manuscript collections are available in the department; some are also available on-line. All Western codex manuscripts have been cataloged in Franklin and WorldCat. Superseding the published guide, Catalogue of Manuscripts (edited by N. Zacour and R. Hirsch) and its supplements is an on-line catalog entitled Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts; it includes full facsimiles of many of the manuscripts.

The following categories represent either lists or more explicit descriptions of manuscript holdings in various chronological periods and geographical areas.


Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

Medieval Studies--Manuscripts
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library possesses over 125 manuscripts dating before the fifteenth century. They include codices, fragments and unbound documents. Historically, items have been acquired for their textual or historical significance rather than for illuminations, illustrations, bindings, or other physical characteristics, although a recent initiative funded by Larry J. Schoenberg and Barbara Brizdle has provided for the acquisition of illuminated, illustrated, and glossed codices from both the medieval and Renaissance eras.

The bulk of manuscripts of this period relate to religion and the Roman Catholic Church, in particular, liturgy and devotions; theology and doctrine; and ecclesiastical administration. Holdings also include many works of philosophy and literature, as well as many documents concerned with official and legal matters, property, and finances. The majority of Penn's medieval manuscripts originate in Italy and France and are written in Latin.

In addition to these original medieval codex manuscripts, the library owns nearly one thousand medieval codices on microfilm. A listing by country/repository/shelfmark is available at the following url: http://www.library.upenn.edu/collections/microforms/medmss.html.

Liturgical and devotional works in the library's holdings include bibles, breviaries, missals, sacramental handbooks, and many works of devotional literature. Among these items is the oldest of the department's few Greek manuscripts--a leaf from an eleventh-century liturgical book, containing part of the Byzantine Easter service. A book of hours, use of Rouen and dating from 1475, was acquired in 2007 through the Schoenberg/Brizdle Manuscripts Initiative: it was illuminated for a local woman and includes fifteen arched miniatures and twenty-four calendar miniatures.

Theology and doctrine are represented by many manuscripts containing theological treatises, collections of sermons, and other doctrinal works.

Ecclesiatical administration is documented by many works discussing church procedure, canon law, statutes of religious orders, and the like. These include a thirteenth-century copy of the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (acquired in 2007 through the Schoenberg/Brizdle Manuscripts Initiative) and a thirteenth-century manuscript containing two formularies of the Roman curia, one of which was published by Henry Charles Lea in 1892.

Philosophy and school texts are well represented among the Department's medieval manuscripts. These holdings include commentaries on the Sententiae of Peter Lombard; a fourteenth-century copy of William of Ockham's work on logic; works on Latin grammar and composition; and several works on astronomy, including a fourteenth-century copy of a Latin translation of the work of Geber. The oldest of the library's many Latin Aristotle texts and commentaries also date from this period.

Literature, particularly medieval European literature, provides the content of many of the codex manuscripts. There are works of poetry and of prose, both in Latin and in vernacular languages, especially French. Among these is a chansonnier, dating from approximately 1400 and containing over three hundred poems by Guillaume de Machaut, Eustache Deschamps, and others.

Classical literature is represented by only a few manuscripts of this period. One notable example is a fourteenth-century copy of Seneca's Tragedies with a commentary by Nicholas Trivet.

Government and commercial documents form a great part of the Department's medieval manuscript holdings. Some are official decrees and include the Library's oldest Latin manuscript, a document issued by Emperor Otto III in the year 1000. Most of these documents, however--both in Latin and in vernacular languages--consist of notarial records, property surveys, legal documents, accounts, and other financial records.


Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

Renaissance and Early Modern Manuscripts

Over 1,800 codices and archival collections dating from the fifteenth through the middle of the eighteenth centuries comprise the library's Renaissance and early modern manuscript holdings. Most are European in origin, particularly from Italy, France, and Germany; several items are from the Middle East, North Africa, and the newly-colonized Americas.

European political and economic history--Manuscripts

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds several hundred manuscript items that illuminate the political, economic, legal, and social history of Europe in general and Italy in particular during this period. They consist of diplomatic correspondence, statutes of Italian city-states, charters, historical accounts, legal documents, tax records, and commercial records. These items derive from throughout western Europe; the vast majority, however, are of Italian origin and are written in Italian.

Papers of an official nature include many letters and bound collections of correspondence. Among the most interesting are three volumes of letters from Cosimo III de' Medici (1642-1723), Grand Duke of Tuscany, to Marchese Montauti, envoy to the imperial court. There is also a letter dated 1446 from Charles VII, King of France, to his councilors and treasurers; and a collection of more than 250 letters dating from 1670 to 1681 that were sent to Michele Antonio Vibo, governor of Carpentras, by various officials at Avignon. In addition, the department has statutes of several different cities, mostly in Italy, such as Castino, Viglano d'Asti, Soncino, and Castello, from the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries.

Of particular importance is the Medici-Gondi Archive. It comprises approximately 240 manuscript items and collections within the Lea Library and documents the commercial activities of the Medici and Gondi families of Florence. A few other families, such as the Amadori, are also represented. This archive contains accounts, ledgers, correspondence, and other records, mostly of a financial and commercial nature. Most items date from the sixteenth century, though many are from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and even a few from the nineteenth. In addition, there is a separate archive of approximately twenty items and collections pertaining to the commercial activities of the Concini family.

Literary Manuscripts

Many of the codex manuscripts contain works of ancient, medieval, and early modern literature, both in Latin and in western European languages. The holdings include not only texts in their original language but also a number of translations.

The manuscripts include a representative selection of the more popular classical and late antique Roman authors: Vergil, Cicero, Sallust, Claudian, Boethius, as well as many others. Many of these texts are found in miscellanies containing several different works. Only ancient literature in Latin is represented; the Department holds no Greek literary manuscripts. Of particular note is a fifteenth-century manuscripts containing the Satires of Persius together with an unknown commentary. Many translations of Greek and Roman authors, particularly into French and Italian, can be found. Among them is a French rendering of the Aeneid, a German version of Cicero's speeches, a Latin translation of one of Lucian's works, and an Italian version of the so-called letters of Phalaris.

Literature written in western European national languages became more important during this period and can be found in over one hundred of the department's manuscripts. There are works of poetry and prose, most in French and Italian but also in German, Spanish, and English. Of particular interest are a fourteenth-century anthology of early poetry by Guillaume de Machaut, Eustache Deschamps, and others ; a fifteenth-century copy of Andrea da Barberino's Italian romance Guerino Meschino, the text of which differs in some respects from that of the printed version; and a fifteenth-century copy of the medieval French romance Le roman de la rose. With regard to Golden-Age Spanish drama, the department owns two of the four holograph manuscripts of Lope de Vega in North America. There are also two manuscripts of Calderon de la Barca, and many other works of Spanish drama and poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Philosophy--Manuscripts

Over one hundred of the library's manuscripts of this period relate to philosophy, mainly scholastic and Aristotelian. Latin copies of and commentaries on the philosophical works of Aristotle predominate. The most frequently-represented works are the Nicomachean Ethics, Physics, De Anima, and the logical works. Many items appear to be transcriptions of class lecture notes and take the form of quaestiones or disputationes concerning specific topics. These manuscripts, numbering over seventy, complement a large collection of printed Aristotelian texts and commentaries.

Religion and the Roman Catholic Church--Manuscripts

Topics include liturgy and devotional life, including hymnals, books of hours, and loose leaves from graduals, psalters, and other service books; theology and doctrine; and ecclesiastical administration. There are many collections of papal bulls and edicts, as well as documents discussing the constitutions and privileges of various religious orders. Several items relating to the Reformation can also be found, mainly in German and English. Of particular interest is an early fifteenth-century English manuscript containing Wyclifite homilies.

A particular strength is the library's holdings relating to the Inquisition. Most of these manuscript items form part of the Henry Charles Lea Library, a collection of manuscript and print material largely devoted to documenting the activities and procedures of the Inquisition, particularly in Spain and the Spanish dependencies. The majority date from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and consist of records concerning specific cases, transcripts of trials, and official documents discussing organization and procedure. Some concern accusations of occult activities such as witchcraft. This collection originated as the private working research library of the Philadelphia scholar Henry Charles Lea (1825-1909), author of books on the Inquisition and the Catholic Church.

Scientific Manuscripts

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library holds a variety of codex manuscripts and archival documents relating to several branches of scientific study and to the occult. The Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection contains more than sixty manuscript items, as well as a variety of miscellaneous manuscripts, and many printed works concerned with the history of chemistry and alchemy. Most of the manuscripts date from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and consist of monograph treatises and lecture notes transcribed by students, including lectures by Joseph Black (1728-1799) and James Woodhouse (1770-1809). There are also some family papers and personal effects of Joseph Priestley, who discovered oxygen. This collection was begun by Edgar Fahs Smith (1854-1928), professor of chemistry and provost at the University of Pennsylvania. Smith was concerned with the development of science, particularly chemistry, and the scientific way of looking at the world. Because he was interested in methods of scientific investigation that proved not to be successful as well as those that did, Smith collected many works concerned with alchemy as well as modern scientific chemistry.

There are approximately twenty-five manuscripts dealing with astronomical and mathematical topics. Of particular note is one dating ca. 1500 which contains Latin translations of four ancient Greek cosmologies, including Plato's Timaeus and the De incorruptione mundi of Philo Judaeus.

In addition, among the Inquisition-related materials comprising the Henry Charles Lea Library are a number of items relating to accusations of witchcraft and occult activities.

Native languages of the Americas--Manuscripts

One small but important group of items is the Daniel Garrison Brinton Collection, containing approximately 175 manuscript and sixty printed items documenting the native languages of Mexico and Central America. Some are philological works and a few preserve native traditions, but many concern Christian, mainly Roman Catholic, doctrine and scripture, written in the native languages by European Christian missionaries; these materials were collected because they provide early documentation for indigenous languages. This collection was originally assembled by the philologist Carl Hermann Berendt (1817-1878) who conducted extensive fieldwork in Mexico and Central America. It also contains many of Berendt's notebooks and transcriptions. Daniel Garrison Brinton (1837-1899) cataloged it in 1884. Though there are a few original manuscript items dating as early as the sixteenth century, most of the manuscripts are nineteenth-century copies made by Berendt of older items he found in Mexico and Central America.

Colonial and early Federal Pennsylvania--Manuscripts

The library holds several manuscripts from the Colonial and early Federal period in Pennsylvania. Among them are the commonplace book of Francis Daniel Pastorius (1651-1719), founder of Germantown (now a part of Philadelphia); commercial records, such as the Vanuxem family (Philadelphia and Bristol, Pennsylvania merchants); and lecture notes taken by students of Dr. Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) and of other medical lecturers at Penn.

Islamic and other non-Western manuscripts

The library holds several manuscripts on Islamic topics, including copies of the Koran. They date from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries and are mostly in Arabic; some are in Persian. There are also a few manuscripts in Ethiopic containing Christian scriptural and liturgical texts.


Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

Modern--American Studies
Regarding modern manuscripts, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library is strongest in the field of American Studies. Regarding American Studies, it is strongest in the fields of twentieth-century literature and the arts in the greater Philadelphia area. Several important collections, however, can be found relating to American political and social history, as well as the history of science, technology, and industry from the Revolutionary War through the twentieth century.

The following categories represent selected lists of manuscript collections held by the library.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to art and architecture

John Haviland Papers: daybooks, 1820-1837, of the architect of the Eastern State Penitentiary and other buildings in the eastern United States.

Gilchrist Family Papers: correspondence, diaries, photographs, poems, etc., 1823-1941, concerning this British family of writers and artists.

Joseph and Elizabeth Robins Pennell Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and original works of art, 1893-1936, of these illustrators, printmakers, and writers of art criticism and travel books.

Paul Philippe Cret Papers: correspondence and working files, 1876-1963, of this Beaux Arts architect and Penn professor of architecture.

Wanda Gág Papers: correspondence, diaries, and drawings, 1920-1946, of this American artist and children's book creator.

Carl Zigrosser Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, and research notes, 1891-1971, regarding Zigrosser's personal and professional life as founder and director of the Weyhe Gallery in New York and as the first Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Art Alliance Records: correspondence, exhibition and events files, minutes, and other records, 1906-1990 (bulk 1915-1980), regarding this center and marketplace for the fine and performing arts.

Institute of Contemporary Art Records: administrative files, exhibition files, catalogs, etc., 1963-1990, for the Penn-affiliated museum.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to American letters and publishing

Walt Whitman Collection: correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and research materials, 1855-1951 (bulk 1880-1891), concerning the life and writings of Whitman.

Curtis Publishing Company Records: correspondence, financial records, and marketing reports, 1887-1960 (bulk 1911-1945) of the firm established by Cyrus Curtis, which published weekly periodicals, such as Ladies' Home Journal, Country Gentleman, and Saturday Evening Post.

Agnes Repplier Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and photographs, 1870-1960, regarding Repplier's activities as essayist and biographer and her circle of professional and personal associates.

Horace Liveright Papers: correspondence files, 1918-1934 (bulk 1927-1930), kept by Liveright concerning the Boni & Liveright and Horace Liveright, Inc. publishing houses.

Theodore Dreiser Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and photographs, 1890-1965 (bulk 1897-1955), regarding Dreiser's personal life and his careers as journalist, novelist, essayist, and political activist. Also available: Dreiser Web Source.

Ezra Pound Collections: letters, 1907-1959, to Mary Moore Cross, with whom Pound had a romance as a young man, and research materials compiled by Carl Gatter.

Van Wyck Brooks Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and diaries, 1898-1963, concerning the life and career of the essayist.

Burton Rascoe Papers: correspondence, dairies, notebooks, and typescripts, 1914-1957, concerning Rascoe's work as editor, literary critic, and fiction writer.

Waldo Frank Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and diaries, 1900-1966, regarding the novelist's literary output, as well as his travels and interest in Central and South America.

Margaret Naumburg Papers: correspondence, writings, research and patient files, and patient artwork, 1930-1983, of the founder of Art Therapy in the United States.

Edgar Lee Masters/John Cowper Powys Correspondence: letters and poems, 1916-1946, sent to Powys by Masters. The collection contains 163 letters and 110 poems, predominantly typescript originals.

Lewis Mumford Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and notes, 1905-1987, relating to the life and work of Mumford (1895-1990), writer and critic of cities, technology, and American culture. Also available: Lewis Mumford: A Bibliography edited by Elmer S. Newman and revised by Robert Wojtowicz.

James T. Farrell Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, etc., 1925-1979, concerning Farrell's career as fiction writer and essayist.

George Seldes Papers: correspondence and working files, 1940-1971, of Seldes' career as investigative journalist, crusading press critic, and founder of In Fact.

Howard Fast Papers: manuscripts, typescripts, and some correspondence, 1936-1990, relating to Fast's fiction and non-fiction writings.

Harry Mathews Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, galleys, notes, diaries, etc., ca. 1950s-1990s, concerning Mathews' literary career.

American Poetry Review Records: editorial files, 1971-1998, maintained on each contributor to the journal, including correspondence between the authors, translaters, and editors of APR, manuscripts submitted for publication, galleys corrected by the authors and editors, and editors' votes and comments on submitted manuscripts. Other series include a small section of administrative correspondence, financial records from 1972-1980, photographs of the writers whose work has been published in APR, and an incomplete run of the periodical.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to music history

John Rowe Parker Correspondence: letters, 1802-1840, by and to Parker, proprietor of the Franklin Music Warehouse in Boston and editor of the first critical musical journal in America, the Euterpeiad.

Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia Records: scores, programs, minutes, and correspondence, 1820-1980s, of the oldest music society in continuous existence in the United States.

Alma Mahler and Franz Werfel Papers: correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, diaries, photographs, and memorabilia, ca. 1880-1960, of Alma Mahler (1879-1964)--wife of composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and writer Franz Werfel--and Franz Werfel (1890-1945), German Expressionist poet, playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. The photographs from the collection are available on the web.

Marian Anderson Papers, ca. 1900-1993: correspondence, writings, programs, clippings, awards, and memorabilia concerning the musical and philanthropic career of contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993). Related collections include the music (manuscript and printed) that she performed, sound recordings, and photographs. Available on-line are both facsimiles and an index to the more than 4,000 unique photographic images contained in the collection. The virtual exhibition "Marian Anderson: A Life in Song" is also available on-line.

Leopold Stokowski Collection: marked conducting scores and orchestral parts, Stokowski's manuscript orchestral transcriptions and arrangements, recordings, photographs, letters, programs, and memorabilia, as well as the research files of the conductor's principal biographer, Oliver Daniel, 1909-1977, related to Stokowski's musical career. The virtual exhibition "Leopold Stokowski: Making Music Matter" is available on-line.

Eugene Ormandy Collection: correspondence, photographs, memorabilia, sound recordings, conducting scores, and oral histories, 1905-1993, primarily related to Ormandy's tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The virtual exhibition "Eugene Ormandy: A Centennial Celebration" is available on-line.

Ray Evans Papers: letters, clippings, photographs, awards, and other memorabilia related to the career of lyricist Ray Evans, whose partner was Jay Livingston.

Allen J. Winigrad Photographs of Performing Artists, 1971-1989: 562 Cibachrome photographs taken by Allen J. Winigrad of musical artists and dancers in rehearsal in Philadelphia and in Saratoga Springs, New York.

American Musicological Society Records: correspondence, manuscripts, administrative files, and publications, 1934-ongoing, of this association devoted to the advancement of scholarly research in the field of music.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to modern political and social history

Benjamin Franklin Papers: correspondence and documents, 1758-1783, relating to Franklin's stay in France during the American Revolution and the negotiations between France and the Continental Congress.

Joseph George Rosengarten Collection: contemporary letters and diaries, research correspondence and notes, and other manuscripts compiled by Rosengarten on the German soldier in the American Revolution.

Thomas Forster Correspondence: letters, documents, accounts, 1793-1837, of Colonel Forster (1762-1836), who led a volunteer regiment during the Whiskey Insurrection and was the first surveyor of the City of Erie, where he served as Collector of the Port from 1799 to 1836.

Samuel D. Ingham Papers: letters and documents, 1750-1865, regarding Ingham (1779-1860), who served as a Member of the House of Representatives and as Andrew Jackson's first Secretary of the Treasury.

Joseph Henry Papers: letters, ca. 1832-1855, to Henry (1797-1878), physicist and first secretary and director of the Smithsonian Institution.

Joshua Blackwood Howell Papers: letters, photographs, and other mateials, 1820-1888, relating to Howell (1806-1864), Brigadier General, USA, killed at Petersburg, Virginia, in the final campaigns of the Civil War.

Harriet Buss Papers: letters, 1850-1871, to her parents from various schools where Buss taught, including one in Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, during the Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln Collection compiled by Gordon A. Block: collection of Lincolniana, ca. 1840-1865.

Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisoners: agents' case reports and other documents, 1828-1883 (bulk 1860-1883).

John Scott Correspondence: letters, 1874, to Scott (1824-1896), lawyer, member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and U.S. senator (Republican) from 1869 to 1875.

Henry Charles Lea Papers: correspondence, writings, clippings, juvenilia, and memorabilia, ca. 1830-1935, concerning Lea's interests both in Medieval history (specifically the history of witchcraft and the Inquisition) and in civic affairs (mostly in and around Philadelphia) from the American Civil War to Republican Party politics to philanthropy.

John Foster Dulles Correspondence: correspondence, 1941-1964, with William R. Mathews (editor of the Arizona Daily Star).

Thomas Sovereign Gates, Jr. Papers: correspondence and documents, ca. 1930-1976, including service records and material on Gates' service as Secretary of the Navy and Defense and his assignment to China.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to science, technology, and industry

Samuel Wetherill Companies Records: business records, 1762-1899, of the store and White Lead Works founded by Samuel Wetherill in the late eighteenth century.

Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture: correspondence, reports, and documents, 1875-1982, relating to the history of the Society and its interests in the development of American agriculture.

Seybert Commission Records: correspondence and miscellaneous documents, 1884-1922 (bulk 1885-1887), concerning the Seybert Commission for Investigating Modern Spiritualism.

Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Collection: includes the personal papers of chemistry professor and Penn provost Smith (1854-1928), as well as more than 3,000 prints and engravings of eminent chemists.

Lewis Mumford Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and notes, 1905-1987, relating to the life and work of Mumford (1895-1990), writer and critic of cities, technology, and American culture. Also available: Lewis Mumford: A Bibliography edited by Elmer S. Newman and revised by Robert Wojtowicz.

John W. Mauchly Papers: correspondence, documents, and research materials, 1908-1980, relating to the life and work of Mauchly (1907-1980), inventor of the first electronic digital computer. See also: Mauchly exhibition on-line.

Lemuel R. Boulware Papers: correspondence and documents, 1917-1990, relating to Boulware's work in labor relations at General Electric, as well as his work with the War Production Board during World War II.

Selected list of manuscript collections relating to theater history

Robert Montgomery Bird Papers: correspondence, manuscripts, and secondary materials, 1822-1946 (bulk 1822-1854), by or concerning Bird (1806-1854), one of the foremost American playwrights and novelists of his time.

Edwin Forrest Collection: correspondence, financial records, and theatrical materials, 1815-1931, concerning the personal life, theatrical career, and estate of Forrest (1806-1872), the most successful American actor and producer in the nineteenth century.

H. H. Furness Memorial Library Manuscript Collection: correspondence, 1791-1985, generated or collected by the Horace Howard Furnesses (Sr. and Jr.) concerning Shakespearian scholarship. Both served as the Variorum editor of Shakespeare's works. The material not only includes letters from academic scholars but also playwrights and actors.

Ada Rehan Correspondence: letters, 1885 to 1912, to Rehan (1860-1916), Irish-born actress who made her stage debut in America in 1873. Correspondents include Augustin Daly and George Bernard Shaw, among many other notables in theater and literature.

Philip H. Ward Collection of Theatrical Images: predominantly photographs with lithographs and engravings, 1856-1910, collected by Philadelphia architect, Philip Ward. Sarah Bernhardt is particularly well-represented, along with all the famous British and American actors of the late nineteenth century.

Learned Collection of German Theater in Philadelphia: copies of plays and programs performed in German in Philadelphia, ca. 1865-1910.


Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

Modern--European Studies
Although the Rare Book & Manuscript Library does not actively collect manuscripts concerning modern Europe, the following list highlights some significant documents in this area. Jean-Baptiste Linguad Papers: letters, documents, memoirs, 1789-1800, concerning the history of the French Revolution in Limoges. Linguad was secretaire-greffier de l'Hotel-de-Ville de Limoges from 1777 to 1813.

Amersham Soup Society Records: documents, 1798-1801, concerning this British organization established to feed the starving.

Joseph Octave Delepierre Collection: letters and manuscripts, 1829-1870, of this Belgian author and antiquary, who was born in 1802 and died in 1879./

Morley Roberts Papers: letters, manuscripts, and research notes and materials, 1884-1942, regarding the writing career of Roberts (1857-1942), including his work on George Gissing.

May Sinclair Papers: letters, manuscripts, and research notes, 1886-1928, of this British novelist and founder of the Medico-Psychological Clinic. A facsimile of the workbook, holograph, and first edition of Sinclair's Life and Death of Harriett Frean, as well as an electronic version of the text, is available through the Library's Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image.

R. Norris Williams Collection on World War I: letters, documents, and memorabilia collected by Williams (national tennis champion, World War I veteran, survivor of the Titanic, and former director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania).

Jurgis Saulys Papers: correspondence and documents, 1900-1935, of noted Lithuanian civic leader, cosigner of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence in 1918, and diplomat.

Alma Mahler & Franz Werfel Papers: correspondence, manuscripts and typescripts, diaries, photographs, and memorabilia, ca. 1880-1960, of Alma Mahler (1879-1964)--wife of composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and writer Franz Werfel - and Franz Werfel (1890-1945), German Expressionist poet, playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. The photographs from the collection are available on the web.

Adolf Hitler-Berchtesgaden Papers: transcripts, 1942-1945, of Hitler's "Discussions of the Military Situation" conducted in Hitler's hometown of Berchtesgaden during World War II and recorded by local stenographers.


Introduction | Medieval Studies | Renaissance and Early Modern
Modern--American Studies | Modern--European Studies | South Asian Studies

South Asian Studies--Manuscripts
The Rare Book & Manuscript Library possesses a collection of more than 3,000 Indic-language manuscripts, the largest in the Western hemisphere. The material is almost all from India, but a few items are from Burma, Siam, Ceylon, and Tibet. The predominant language is Sanskrit, and the works are almost entirely connected with Hinduism (or Brahmanism). Written generally on paper (although a few are on palm leaf), the manuscripts date from the middle of the sixteenth century through the nineteenth century. A very few of the manuscripts had been acquired in chance fashion by the Library and the University Museum before 1930, but in that year Provost Penniman gave a sum of money to purchase Indic manuscripts and shortly afterwards obtained a donation from John Gribbel. Other money came from Charles W. Burr, the Faculty Research Fund, and the Colton Fund. While some manuscripts have been donated, the majority were purchased in India between 1930 and 1935 under the direction of W. Norman Brown.

One of the most important classes of material is that of medieval and current practice of domestic religious rites or sacraments. Also represented is medieval law, as well as many of the standard texts, such as the Rig Veda, some of the Brahmanas, parts of the epics and legendary history called Puranas, philosophical works, grammatical treatises, among others.

The overwhelming majority of the collection is included in H. I. Poleman's Census of Indic Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, which gives information concerning title, author, material, number and size of folios, number of lines of writing on a side, script, date, copyist, and the library number.

Manuscript collections relating to the history of India under British Rule

George, Lord Macartney Correspondence: letters of the Governor of Madras (1781-1785) and first British ambassador to China (1792-1794) relating mainly to Lord Macartney's connection with India.

Holden Furber Collection: contemporary handwritten documents and letters concerning, among others, Sir John MacPherson, Governor General, 1784-1786; Governor of Bombay Duncan, 1795-1802; Major F. R. MacDonald, 1791-1799; and General Stuart, Commander-in-Chief, 1796-1800.

George William Brown Papers: notes and writings regarding his research on missionary work in India in the nineteenth century.

Kanji Dwarkadas Papers: correspondence, 1919-1965, writings, and letters received from a variety of notables. Dwarkadas was prominent in the development of the labor movement in India and closely connected with Annie Besant and the Home Rule League that she founded.

Richard B. Gregg Collection: letters and documents pertaining to the civil disobedience campaign in India from 1930 to 1933.