The Penn Libraries is proud to announce the opening of “‘Siamese Sampler’: 19th Century Manuscripts of Scripture, Poetry, and Decree” in the Snyder-Granader Alcove on the sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. This exhibit highlights a sampling of the rich variety of Thai Manuscripts held at the Penn Libraries and will run from August 8th-October 7th 2016.
Although the exhibit does include what is considered to be one of the most exquisite specimens of an illuminated Thai manuscript—the Abhidhamma Chet Kamphi (Ms. Coll. 990, Item 5), Curator Susanne Ryuyin Kerekes, 2015-2016 Schoenberg Insthai_300titute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) Graduate Fellow and PhD candidate in Religious Studies at Penn, wanted to focus her exhibit on the beauty of historical importance rather than
The SIMS Graduate Fellowship was established to encourage emerging scholars to engage with the rich manuscript resources at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, including the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection. Working closely with SIMS staff members, the fellows have the opportunity to develop a project and gain experience working in a collaborative, digital humanities environment. Kerekes credits the welcoming, expert staff at SIMS with helping her discover the true merits of this fellowship— its unintended by-products. Not only was Kerekes able to research rare, never-before translated Thai manuscripts, but she was given the independence to sharpen her skills as a scholar by embarking on her first foray into curating and organizing an exhibition and conference. “It is with the utmost gratitude and respect that I acknowledge all the opportunities this fellowship afforded me,” Kerekes explains, “I should only be so fortunate in the future to be able to work with encouraging and positive mentors like those of the SIMS family.”
As mentioned before, an accompanying conference and reception will be held Tuesday, September 6th, from 2:00-7:00pm with Penn professor Dr. Justin McDaniel serving as keynote speaker. For more information and to register for the conference, please visit: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/siamese_sampler.html.