In Gargantua, Rabelais describes the Abbaye of Thélème as an utopical place of free learning. For one day, the Rare Books Library of the University of Pennsylvania will welcome the free learners of the SCA. In the same spirit as the voyages of discovery previous event please come and talk about your research, your failed attempts, your successes and get feedback on those and ideas for future projects.

We have three classrooms available. One is dedicated to the book as object. Inspired by the context of the library, we would like to have a track fully dedicated to the making of the books (making parchment, paper, ink, preparing pigments, calligraphy, printing, bookbinding…). The two other rooms have at this point no specific theme.

The format of the day is as follows:

  • Lecture-style presentations with a question-and-answer session at the end
  • There is some space available for poster display.
  • Manuscript interaction room.
  • Breakout area and lounge space for conversation and further exploration of topics that caught your interest during one presentation or another.
  • Feel free to bring your favorite reference books to show others.

Because we will be presenting our research with all the modern tools of the presenter’s art, this demo is in modern dress. The interested general public is encouraged to attend.

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