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Maggie Gallup Kopp, Curator
Kristi Young, Curator
Robert Maxwell, Adjunct Curator

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Archive: "astronomy" Tag

Historic solar eclipses

Here in Provo, Utah, people are gearing up for the solar eclipse which will be visible in our area on August 21. To add to the festivities, we’ve pulled out a few books (both scientific and literary) about eclipses of past centuries. This small pamphlet was published by astronomer Johann Erich Müller in Greifswald, Germany, …

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New acquisitions: astronomy around the world

Special Collections has a small but significant collection of rare Japanese books and manuscripts, and we periodically add to it. One of our most recent acquisitions is a 1796 treatise on Western science, “Oranda tensetsu,” or Dutch Astronomy Explained.  It is one of several books published by Japanese printmaker Shiba Kōkan which discuss European science …

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New acquisition in the History of Astronomy

One of the newest acquisitions in the History of Science collection is the first edition of French mathematician Oronce Finé’s Protomathesis (Paris, 1532), a compendium of astronomical and geographical knowledge. This book is important as a detailed summation of the field of astronomy in the decade before Nicolaus Copernicus published his heliocentric theory of the …

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Banned Books Week

The American Library Association’s 2015 Banned Books Week takes place Sep. 28-Oct. 2, celebrating the freedom to seek information and express views, even unpopular ones. The History of Science Collection contains plenty of examples of works which were unpopular and unaccepted at some point in time. Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the revolutions …

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More Marginalia!

As promised, a few more interesting examples of marginalia from Special Collections history of printing collection. A reader has drawn smiling suns casting shadows on a castle in the astronomy textbook Sphaera Mundi, printed by Henri Estienne in 1511. Inscriptions and doodles from multiple generations of owners of a 1608 copy of Pliny’s Natural History …

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A very rare comet pamphlet

Special Collections’ newest addition to the History of Science collection is a comet pamphlet by Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius. The Epistola ad amicum de cometa, anno 1677 (in English: Letter to a Friend on the Comet of 1677) is Hevelius’s rarest publication – only one other copy exists in North American libraries. Hevelius (pictured here …

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Women in Early Modern Science

In conjunction with the Special Collections exhibit “The Art of Nature: Natural History in the 17th Century,” a new small exhibit entitled “Partners in Science” is now in display in the Special Collections reference room. This exhibit was curated by Special Collections intern Rebecca Strein. Stop by and learn about women’s involvement in the sciences …

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Giovanni Cassini

September marks the 300th anniversary of the death of Giovanni (Jean) Cassini, the Italian astronomer. Cassini discovered four of Saturn’s moons and was a co-discoverer of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. He spent the first 20 years of his career at an observatory outside Bologna, Italy, and later became the director of the main astronomical institute …

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Waxing poetic about comets

The History of Printing Collection is especially rich in its holdings of Renaissance-era pamphlets and treatises about comets. The library has recently acquired two German pamphlets dating from 1665, one printed in Ulm and the other in Dresden. The Ulm pamphlet records observations made in October 1664 by astronomer Christoph Schorer, and the Dresden pamphlet, …

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Renaissance astronomy in the news

Renaissance astronomy is in the news again, this time because a group of Czech and Danish scientists are testing the remains of Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who died in 1601.  Brahe’s astronomical observations provided the foundation for the work of Johannes Kepler and other astronomers, but he is also remembered for the rumors which swirled …

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