This year’s highly anticipated A.S.W. Rosenbach Lectures in Bibliography (hosted by the Penn Libraries in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania Press) will illuminate the history of science with the three-part lecture series, “Fossils, Apes, Humans: A Chapter in the History of Science, Revisited,” presented by renowned historian Dr. Carlo Ginzburg.

Ginzburg has been Professore ordinario di Storia delle culture europee, insegna at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa since 2006. He is also Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among his many publications are the books Threads and Traces: True, False, Fictive (2006); The Night Battles: Witchcraft & Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries (2002), and The Cheese and the Worms: the Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller (1980). 

A series three years in the making, Ginzburg’s lectures will be an account of two centuries of intellectual history focused on the twin concepts of “antiquarianism” and “connoisseurship” that will engage the work of Petrus Camper, Francois-Xavier de Burtin, and George Cuvier. In his final lecture, Ginzburg will attempt to answer the question, “Was it possible to articulate the idea of the descent of humans from big apes before Darwin?” David McKnight, Director of Penn Libraries’ Rare and Book and Manuscript Library and event organizer, feels that this year’s Rosenbachs will be a “once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear one of the most brilliant and controversial historians of the post-Modern age.” 

The lectures are free, open to the public, and will be held in the Class of '78 Orrery Pavilion, KIslak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts 6th Floor Van Pelt - Dietrich Library Center on the evenings of on the evenings of Sept. 24, 25 and 27, 2018, beginning at 5:30pm. 

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Monday Sept. 24th, 5:30 pm
Paleontology and Connoisseurship 

Tuesday Sept. 25th, 5:30 pm
Gods, Humans, Apes: Art History and Evolution 

Thursday Sept. 27th 5:30 pm
Medals and Shells: On Morphology and History, Once Again 

To RSVP for the lectures, please visit this web address:

About the Rosenbach Lectures
The Rosenbach Fellowship in Bibliography, established by the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, honors a gift for that purpose from A.S.W. Rosenbach, one of America's greatest book dealers and collectors. Its intention is to further scholarship and scholarly publication in bibliography and book history, broadly understood. Rosenbach Fellows typically present a series of three lectures over a period of one to two weeks while in residence at the University of Pennsylvania. Because of a continuing commitment to the series by the University of Pennsylvania Press, many of these lectures have been published as book-length studies.

The Rosenbach Lectures are the longest continuing series of bibliographical lectureships in the United States. The series began in 1931, with Christopher Morley as the first Rosenbach Fellow. Over the years, lecture topics have included fifteenth-century printing, the relationships between print and manuscript, papermaking, book illustration, American reading and publishing, and reading in the digital age. Among recent lecturers are Paul Needham, Ann Blair, William Zachs, Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, and Mary J. Carruthers.