Historic gift

The Penn Libraries have received a major collection of 280 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, valued at more than $20 million, from long-time benefactors and Library Board members Lawrence J. Schoenberg, a Penn alumnus, and Barbara Brizdle Schoenberg. To promote the use of this and other manuscript collections at Penn, the Libraries will create the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies.

“Through their extraordinary philanthropy and vision, Larry and Barbara have helped build the foundation for a strong medieval studies program at Penn,” says Penn President Amy Gutmann. “This new gift of an unparalleled collection of medieval and Renaissance artifacts builds on that foundation. For generations to come, the collection and Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies will have a profound impact on the study of human knowledge and creative invention.”

The Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection reflects the passions of its collector—art, science, mathematics and technology. It is comprised of early manuscripts in Eastern and Western languages that illuminate the scope of pre-modern knowledge of the physical world in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions.

Originally published on May 5, 2011