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Penn Libraries News

Current and back content of Penn Press journal Manuscript Studies to become fully Open Access

Effective in 2024, the new arrangement will allow readers and authors to access journal content free of charge.

Four issues of the journal Manuscript Studies; the journal on the top has an illustration of three cats

Effective in 2024, and made possible by the generous support of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, all current and back content of the journal Manuscript Studies will become fully Open Access (OA) under the Diamond OA model, which allows readers and authors to access journal content free of charge.

Manuscript Studies joins the University of Pennsylvania Press’s growing Open Access journals program which also includes the Journal of Disaster Studies, Observational Studies, and Pasados: Recovering History, Imagining Latinidad. Content for Penn Press’s Open Access journals is available on Project MUSE.

Since its first issue in 2016, Manuscript Studies has embraced the full complexity of global manuscript studies in the digital age. It has been conceived with four main goals: to bridge the gaps between material and digital manuscript research; to break down the walls which often separate print and digital publication and serve as barriers between academics, professionals in the cultural heritage field, and citizen scholars; to serve as a forum for scholarship encompassing many pre-modern manuscripts cultures—not just those of Europe; and to showcase methods and techniques of analysis in manuscript studies that can be applied across different subject areas. The journal is edited by Nicholas Herman, the Lawrence J. Schoenberg Curator at the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies and Medieval Studies Librarian at the Penn Libraries; Lynn Ransom, Curator of SIMS Programs, Schoenberg Database Manager, and founding member of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies; and Amey Hutchins, Penn Libraries’ Manuscripts Cataloger and Reviews Editor.

“Free and open access has been central to the vision of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies since its founding,” says Sean Quimby, Associate University Librarian & Director of the Jay I. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. “This new agreement, an expansion of our longstanding partnership with Penn Press, strengthens and supports a robust exchange of knowledge among a global community of manuscript scholars and students.”

SIMS is home to the Lawrence J. Schoenberg collection of manuscripts, donated to the Penn Libraries by Schoenberg in 2011, and the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts, a free, open-access resource that enables researchers to trace the provenance of manuscripts from their origins to present times. In addition to publishing the journal Manuscript Studies, SIMS engages scholars from around the world through the annual Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, held in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Print volumes of the journal will remain available for purchase.

For questions and more information about the Penn Press journals program, please contact Jocelyn Dawson, Director of Journals, at


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About Penn Press

True to its Philadelphia roots, Penn Press is well-known for its distinguished list of publications in American history and culture, including innovative work on the transnational currents that surrounded and shaped the republic from the colonial period through the present, as well as prize-winning publications in urban studies. The Press is equally renowned for its publications in European history, literature, and culture from late antiquity through the early modern period. Penn Press’s social science publications tackle contemporary political issues of concern to a broad readership of citizens and scholars, notably including a long-standing commitment to publishing path-breaking work in international human rights. Penn Press also publishes outstanding works in archaeology, economic history, business, and Jewish Studies in partnership with local institutions.


About SIMS

The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies (SIMS), located within the Penn Libraries’ Jay I. Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts, is a research center for manuscript studies in the digital age. Guided by the vision of its founder, Lawrence J. Schoenberg, the mission of SIMS is to bring manuscript culture, modern technology and people together to expand access to pre-modern manuscripts and advance the understanding of global intellectual heritage. This mission is fulfilled by developing new tools, facilitating research, and offering a range of public programming including lectures, workshops, and symposia.