LJS 28 – Agnese, Battista, 16th cent – [Portolan atlas]
See the whole text here: http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/medren/4845262

Visit to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of PennsylvaniaMonday, 5 May 2014 (Cinco de Mayo!), at 11 AM
Enjoy a one-day (approx.. 11am – 5:30pm) trip to the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania, for a tour of the rare materials housed here.  We will be hosted by Lynne Farrington and John Pollack, curators for the Lea Library, for a one to two hour private exhibition of some of the oldest and finest, forms of writing in the medieval and early modern periods.Highlights:

  • Holy Roman Imperial Diploma of Otto III (ca. 1000 CE)
  • Hebrew astronomical anthology from 14th century Catalonia
  • Greek and Arabic scientific texts
  • Early musical manuscripts
  • Early printings of Dante and Chaucer (15th and 16th century)

As you will be visiting an archive, there are certain rules that librarians require that you follow and respect, as part of their work is preservation of fragile materials.

  • You will be asked to place your bag into a room (including purses and handbags)
  • Please no pens (pencils might be allowed)
  • Keep your hands clean and relatively dry
  • Do not handle any materials without EXPRESSED permission of the curator
  • If you do handle any material, please do so carefully.  Turn pages carefully by the very edge of the folio or page, avoiding the written or printed areas


Plan on being on campus by 8:30 AM , and leaving Philadelphia, 30th St. Station, at 3:19 (arriving at Egg Harbor Station at 4:30 PM)

Train Departs 9:13 AM Egg Harbor City

Train Arrives 10:27 AM Philadelphia 30th St. Station

Going back to Egg Harbor City, these are the three trains leaving 30th St. Phila back to Egg Harbor City.  **THE ONLY PICK-UP WILL BE AT 4:30 PM FROM EGG HARBOR CITY TRAIN STATION** You will be responsible for your transportation to and from the train station if you decide to take the later trains.

03:19 PM
Atlantic City Line #4631
04:29 PM 70 minutes
04:47 PM
Atlantic City Line #4633
06:00 PM 73 minutes
05:46 PM
Atlantic City Line #4635
06:56 PM 70 minutes


Partial List of Items (Including shelf marks and short description)

MS. Oversize 8

Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, Diploma, 1000 CE

Document certifying imperial protection and rights under Roman law


MS. Codex 724

Bible, northern France, ca. 1275-1299

Some prologues, bas-de-page illuminations


LJS 57

Hebrew astronomical anthology, Catalonia, 1361

Illustrations of constellations; Hebrew translation of Ptolemy’s Almagest


LJS 62

Herbal in the tradition of Dioscorides, eastern Mediterranean, 15th c.

Greek text, extensively illustrated


MS. Codex 1233

Notated breviary, Cologne, ca. 1450

German musical notation, marks of heavy use, additions over 3 centuries


MS. Codex 1066

Genealogical chronicle roll of kings to Edward IV, England, 1461


LJS 435

Abū al-Qāsim Khalaf ibn ‘Abbās al-Zahrāwī, d. 1013?

Maqālah fī al-‘amal bi-al-yad (Treatise on surgery), A.H. 869 (1464)

Iraqi copy of the work of the Andalusian surgeon, illustrations of surgical instruments


MS. Codex 1056

Book of hours, use of Rouen, ca. 1475

Large illuminations with small secondary scenes, “owner portrait,” Latin and French texts


LJS 28

Battista Agnese, Portolan atlas, Venice, ca. 1535-1538

Navigation maps


LJS 63

Ragamala, Deccan, A.H. 1214 (1799)

Musical theory, heavily illustrated


Folio Inc D-35

Dante Alighieri, Commedia, Venice:  Quarengiis, 1497


RBC Folio PR1850 1561

The woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, London:  Kygston/Wight, 1561

On Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, Stockton Literature majors (and Sigma Tau Delta members) Sarah Baginsky and Mark-Allan Donaldson presented their research on digital medieval manuscripts at the Delaware Valley Medieval Association at Rutgers University in Camden.  Entitled “Literary Studies in the Valley,” this meeting of the DVMA featured papers by faculty and graduate students from Temple University, University of Delaware, Princeton University, and Stockton College, as well as featuring a series of “lightning talks” on Chaucer studies by graduate students from Rutgers-Camden and from two of our own undergraduates, Sarah and Mark-Allan.

Sarah presented her research on the 15th century scribe, John Shirley, who copied many important literary works by the medieval writers Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower, and John Lydgate.  She examined two digital facsimiles of manuscripts attributed to Shirley, both contained in the British Library (MS Additional 16165 and MS Harley 7333).  She argued that Shirley should be considered both a professional and amateur scribe, based on the comparison between the two manuscripts, one of which looks like a personal commonplace book, with the Harley manuscript being a more professional book.

Mark-Allan’s paper dealt with a similar topic, dealing specifically with the Harley 7333 manuscript and the question of whether there were multiple scribes at work in this text.  Mark-Allan showed the differences between scribal hands and fonts, and raises the question of whether the same scribe wrote in these two styles, or whether other scribes were at work.  He looked at specific sections throughout the manuscript to examine the letter forms, the spacing of words, the ruling of the page, and other paleographical details to show the differences and similarities within the single manuscript.  He concluded by suggesting that digitized manuscripts could lead to a re-examination of scribal attributions and shed further light on scribal practice in the later Middle Ages.

Sarah and Mark-Allan’s presentations were very positively received.  Andrew Cole (Princeton), a Chaucer specialist, commented on these papers as being “lovely,” and that they raised new and interesting questions about John Shirley.  Prof. Cole asked Mark-Allan a question about codicology and the quiring of Harley 7333, which Mark-Allan graciously fielded and provided a thoughtful response.  Aaron Hostetter (Rutgers-Camden) told me personally that it was difficult to ask questions because they “really knew their stuff.”

Sarah and Mark-Allan were able to attend this conference thanks to support from Stockton College’s Student Travel Funding from the Provost’s Office.  Their research and the response from the audience show how talented our undergraduates are.  We’re really proud of Sarah and Mark-Allan for their hard work and excellent presentations!


Delaware Valley Medieval Association

Saturday, February 15, 2014

“Literary Studies in the Valley”


10-10:30 AM: Coffee and Refreshments

10:30-10:45 AM: Introductions and Announcements

Aaron Hostetter, Assistant Professor of English, Rutgers University-Camden

Dale Kinney, Professor of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College, President of the DVMA

10:45-12 PM: Session I:

*Winner of the DVMA Paper Prize*

Brie Parkin, University of Delaware, “’Clothed by God in fanciful costume’: White Clothes, Tears, and Livery in the Book of Margery Kempe

Adam Miyashiro, Assistant Professor of Literature, Stockton College: “Alexander between Empires”

Cord Whitaker, Assistant Professor of English, Temple University: “Black, White, and In Between: Medieval Race, the Spirit, and Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale

12-1 PM: Lunch

1-2:45 PM: Session II:

Carissa Harris, Assistant Professor of English, Temple University: “‘All medons be ware, be rewe’: Sexual Education in the Middle English Pastourelle”

Andrew Cole, Professor of English, Princeton University: “Chaucer’s Occasions”

2:45-3:00 PM: Break

3:00-4:00 PM: Lightning Talks on Chaucerian Manuscripts from Advanced Undergraduates and Graduate students

  • Richard Milligan (Rutgers-Camden)
  • Cristina Chillem (Rutgers-Camden)
  • Nikolai Fomich (Rutgers-Camden)
  • Sarah Baginsky (Stockton College)
  • Mark-Allan Donaldson (Stockton College)

On Friday, May 3, 2013, on the last day of class for the History of the English Language course (LITT 3301), we spent the afternoon at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Books Room, hosted by Katharine Chandler, Curator of Rare Books at the Free Library.  Since our course considered the long history of writing in conjunction with the development of the English language from its earliest times to modernity, students in LITT 3301 were able to see such things as cuneiform tablets from ancient Mesopotamia (ca. 3000-1500 BCE); a papyrus “Book of the Dead” from ancient Egypt; various medieval manuscripts (1200-1500), including Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain (12th century), a 15th century English Brut chronicle, and illuminated Books of Hours from Flanders, France, and Italy; early printed texts, incunabula (books printed before 1500), including the large Liber Chronicarum of Hartmann Schedel, featuring the 4th printed world map (printed in 1493); Georgian and Victorian books, early American books (1700-1900); and viewed the Elkins room, a 19th century library installed in the Rare Books room.

This visit is unique for undergraduates, as they were able to see rare books that are generally reserved for doctoral students and senior researchers.  They also asked questions about library careers from our host Katharine Chandler, and interacted with the librarian with excellent questions about the materials they were viewing.  Since they had learned about the types of writing materials and instruments in our class, they were prepared for first-hand encounters of the varieties of texts, including Middle English texts that we had read in class.

From LITT major Dana Oberkofler:

“One of the best parts of our trip to the Rare Books Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, in my opinion, was being able to see the different type of writing medium that we have discussed all semester. In class we began learning about Cuneiform tablets, and moved on to manuscripts and incunabula, all of which we were able to see in person. It’s one thing to learn about something and see it on a computer screen, and it is just ten times more amazing to see it in person. Possibly my favorite thing that we were able to see Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain, because I have read the text for a class before, and seeing the manuscript in person was incredible.“


(Stockton LITT students in the Elkins Room of the Free Library of Philadelphia – Kimberly Kruse, Elizabeth Phillips, Dana Oberkofler, and Phillip Bennett)

(Stockton LITT students in the Elkins Room of the Free Library of Philadelphia – Kimberly Kruse, Elizabeth Phillips, Dana Oberkofler, and Phillip Bennett)

(Stockton LITT students, with manuscripts, in the Manuscript room of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  From L to R: Kristen Callaghan, Elizabeth Phillips, Joseph Sullivan, Mark-Allan Donaldson, Dillan Venter, Dana Oberkofler, Kimberly Kruse, Phillip Bennett, Charles Barber)

(Stockton LITT students, with manuscripts, in the Manuscript room of the Free Library of Philadelphia. From L to R: Kristen Callaghan, Elizabeth Phillips, Joseph Sullivan, Mark-Allan Donaldson, Dillan Venter, Dana Oberkofler, Kimberly Kruse, Phillip Bennett, Charles Barber)