Thélème at Penn returns

Hosted by Bailiwick of Ivyeinrust - Philadelphia, PA

Event date: March 9th, 2024

Event Last Modified: November 25th, 2022

Health Acknowledgement

Although the SCA complies with all applicable laws to ensure the health and safety of our event participants, we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to infectious diseases during in-person events. By participating in the in-person events of the SCA, you acknowledge and accept the potential risks. You agree to take any additional steps to protect your own health and safety and those under your control as you believe to be necessary.

Event details

Fay ce que vouldras

In Gargantua, Rabelais describes the Abbaye of Thélème as an utopical place of free learning.  For one day, the Rare Books Library of the University of Pennsylvania will welcome the free learners of the SCA.  As previously please come and talk about your research, your failed attempts, your successes and get feedback on those and ideas for future projects.

We exact space available is still under discussion but we expect a repeat of rooms with lecture-style presentations (question-and-answer session at the end) in parallel with a poster session.

There will be three tracks for the oral presentations:
- the book as object (covering all aspect of book making and materials involved)
- SCA musical research
- heraldic research

The poster session will be any topic you have researched on and want to share with all.

More details will be available once we receive confirmation of how many rooms will be available for us

For more information see:

Breakout area and lounge space are available for conversation and further exploration of topics that caught your interest during one presentation or another.  Also feel free to bring your favorite reference books to show others.

Because we will be presenting our research with all the modern tools of the presenter's art, this demo is in modern dress.  The interested general public is encouraged to attend. 

Site Opens: 10:30 AM
Site Closes: 5 PM

Event Location

Kislak Center for special collections, rare books and manuscripts at Van Pelt Library, University of Pennsylvania
3420 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104
Google Map


The main entrance to the library faces the inside of the 3400 block below Walnut Street.  From the intersection of 34th & Walnut, there's a path that leads southwest into campus.  As soon as the path opens up into a green space, you'll look toward the right and you'll see a sculpture of a broken button ( ) that is in front of the stairs into up to the library's main entrance.

Once you go through the glass doors, you'll present a photo ID to the security guards

Driving Directions: 
From WEST via 76 East - exit at 30th Street Station, at the light turn right, curve around the train station to the left.  At the third light, you'll want to be in the right lane to go straight across Market Street.  Turn right onto Walnut Street - after 33rd, start looking for a parking spot or follow directions to the parking lot of your choice ( recommended)

From EAST via Benjamin Franklin Bridge to 676 West.  Exit at 30th Street Station and follow directions above. 

Public Transit Directions:
If coming by Train - 30th Street Station is equally close to the library as the University City station that usually requires switching SEPTA trains and getting off at 33rd & South (OTOH, it's right by the University Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, if you'd like to include that in your visit) From 30th Street Station it's three-quarters of a mile to walk to the library.  Or you can leave the building and head to the entrance to the subway at 30th & Market.  Take the subway-surface trolleys (11, 13, 34, or 36 - but NOT the 10) west to the 36th street & Sansom Avenue stop.  Then walk south (toward the bookstore, Cosi, and Urban Outfitters), cross Walnut Street, keep walking south into campus, until you cross a wide path off to your left.  Follow that path until you see the broken button sculpture and the library behind it.

If coming by Greyhound or Peter Pan bus, ask directions to the 11th street entrance to the Market-Frankfort Line ( ).  Get off at 34th street.  Head south to Walnut street, and then follow the walking directions in the driving directions.

Within the city - Aside from being convenient to the MFL and trolleys, the library is also easily reached by the 21 and 42 buses, both of which stop at 34th & Walnut.

Campus map - including parking and local restaurants
More on parking at Penn -

Registration Fees

The event is free. 

There is no feast.
We do not plan to serve food but the University of Pennsylvania is surrounded by eating places (restaurants, food court, food trucks…).

Make Checks Payable to: SCA Inc - Bailiwick on iVyeinrust

Contact Information

Event Steward:

Brunissende Dragonette (mka Mathilde Poussin)


Tel:  215-474-7684 (Leave a message.  No call after 10 pm)

Send Reservations to: