Brackenridge Introduction: Lily Natter

Hi everyone! I’m Lily Natter and I’m a rising senior. My major is English Nonfiction Writing (basically Journalism), and my minor is Latin. My research is focused on a 1572 Federico Commandino Latin edition of Euclid’s Elements that Pitt acquired for the Archives and Special Collections. Most simply, this edition is a geometry textbook with some extra commentary by Commandino, and it was the most popular Latin edition of its time.

In this specific manuscript, there are Latin annotations made by a man named Johannis Gabrielis. There is not very much known about him, but the focus of my research is to transcribe and translate these annotations. These annotations have never been translated before, which makes them a very exciting challenge for me. I started this project last semester through the Archival Scholars Research Award (ASRA) with the help of my advisors, Dr Jason Rampelt and Dr Paolo Palmieri. The possibility for undergraduate research kind of came out of nowhere for me. I was originally admitted into Pitt as a bioengineering major, which I did for three semesters until I figured out that it was not for me. After that, I was struggling to decide what to do next. I was interested in writing, but I was also still interested in math and science, and at the same time I was starting to consider going to graduate school for Library Science. I was all over the place.

My Latin minor has been a constant throughout my college experience, and one of my Latin professors, Dr Ellen Lee, mentioned ASRA in class. I took it as an opportunity to work within and learn about the archives, which I previously didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to do before I went to graduate school. Dr Lee set up a meeting for me with Dr Rampelt, who suggested a project on the Commandino edition based on my interests in Latin, math, and history. I really enjoyed my experience with ASRA, and I wanted to continue working on my research, so I applied to the Brackenridge Fellowship. Within this project, I’ll continue to translate the annotations, but I’m also going to be researching their context within history and creating a digital resource that contains all of my work on the manuscript. My research has really affirmed for me that I’d like to go to graduate school for Library Science so I can continue working in libraries and archives. I’m sure that my research will only strengthen my graduate school applications, and possibly give me a path to follow in my higher education. I’m also really looking forward to attending the scholarship workshops this summer to learn about those post-grad opportunities.

Outside of school, I work at the Carnegie Museum of Art as a gallery associate, I love music, and I love to read. I will read almost any type of fiction, but I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately, and I’ve been getting into nonfiction more because of my major. I also listen to all types of music, and I’ve been playing the viola since I was nine years old. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone this summer!

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