PUL & MARBAS present: What does the square root of two have to do with medieval European page design?
On March 1, Princeton University Library and MARBAS launched an exciting new series of events exploring Princeton’s vast holdings of rare books, manuscripts, and archives. Twice monthly, Princeton experts offer a hands-on presentation on their objects of research held in Firestone Library’s Special Collections.


What have you got there, Yunxiao Xiao?

Yunxiao Xiao is a graduate student in the Department of East Asian Studies. In her dissertation "Scribes, Scholars, and Their Practices: The Making of Textual Knowledge in Early China,” she studies books, scholars, and the epistemological practices in early and medieval China. She is a specialist on early Chinese bamboo manuscripts and in this interview she introduces us to a mathematical table she has been working on, the Suanbiao 算表 manuscript. 

In the classroom: The Archeology of Arabic Manuscripts

In the Fall semester 2021, Professor Marina Rustow offered a graduate seminar on Arabic manuscripts—a first for instructor and students alike. The course met in Princeton University Library’s Special Collections and offered a hands-on approach to codicology, the study of manuscripts as physical objects. Students were able to handle manuscripts, decipher their contents and try their hands at reconstructing the biographies of specific manuscripts.

What have you got there, Michael Cook?

Many of Professor Michael Cook’s students have likely already made acquaintance with his exquisite coin collection. In this brief interview, he describes four of his coins, shares how they can be used to understand the past, and how he has used them for his teaching. At the very end, he discusses which questions he has not yet been able to answer.