We’ve planned October’s Nerd Nite with the fine folks that organize another nerdy celebration: Archives Month Philly. What is that, you ask? Archives Month Philly is a chance to learn more about the rich history of Philadelphia, to toast the important work archives are doing, and to have a good time with interesting people. There are all kinds of archives-themed events going on in October to bring greater awareness to the collections in Philadelphia, but, um, obviously Nerd Nite’s will be the best.
So what do we have planned?
Lisa Berry Drago will present “You’ve Got Some Gall: Early Modern Inks and Pigments”
So, you’re a monk in the fourteenth century, and you want to copy a few pages of your favorite hymnal. No problem! First, you catch a goat. Then you skin a goat. Then you find some gall nuts on an oak tree, and some good red wine… okay, you get the idea. Writing and book-making were highly specialized arts requiring patience and expertise. This Nerd Nite, you’ll learn about the process of making manuscripts, and even get to try your hand at writing with real iron-gall ink and feather quills.
About Lisa: Elisabeth Berry Drago is a PhD candidate in art history at the University of Delaware, specializing in the 17th-century Netherlands. Her dissertation centers on the painter Thomas Wijck (1616–1677), whose pictures of alchemists in the laboratory offer new perspectives on early modern science and artistry. She received her MA in art history from Temple University in 2010 and holds a BA in fine arts from SUNY, Fredonia. In her free time she enjoys volunteering with the Fleisher Art Memorial and the Free Library of Philadelphia, teaching youth workshops in painting and drawing, comics, and picture-book illustration.
Tara O’Brien will discuss the history of cursive writing. Maybe we can get her take on the importance of teaching penmanship in Philly public schools?
And Matt Herbison will talk about “She-Doctors and Shameless Non-Blushers: Women Physicians in the US”
Philly has always been a big medical school town, including the Female Medical College of PA, the first med school for women in the world, founded in 1850 by Quakers (naturally). Women working outside their accepted sphere of home and family and getting elbows-deep into unwomanly medical situations was far from universally accepted – in fact, over 160 years later, the gender imbalance for doctors is still significant. To do up Archives Month the way it deserves, we’ll get our own hands dirty with this turbulent history and uncover juicy original documents that reveal the struggles these women faced when they deigned to enter the men’s world of science and medicine.
About Matt: Matt is an archivist at the Drexel Med School, working with researchers and students to dig into the history of women in medicine and the history of homeopathy in the US. His hobbies are snacks and transit. He is unwilling to converse about a broad range of topics.
And what else? Music by local singer-songwriter Lainey Quinn!
When: Wednesday, October 7
What time: Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm
How much: $5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night
Where: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125
Be there and be square!
Nerd Nite Philly