If you like astronomy’s history then the University of Louisville (UofL) in Louisville, Kentucky, was a good place to be this past November 5th. On that day the Kentucky Academy of Science was holding its 102nd annual meeting. To go along with that meeting, the Archives and Special Collections of UofL exhibited a selection of books from its William Marshall Bullitt collection of rare works in mathematics and astronomy (which happens to be featured in a recent V.O. video). Prof. Delinda Buie of UofL and I were on hand to talk to KAS attendees. Almost all the attendees were scientists who work in Kentucky. Many of them were seeing these historic works of science for the first time, and were absolutely enjoying themselves.
Below is a small collection of photographs that I took during the exhibit. Enjoy. You can’t have too much of this stuff.
A copy of one of Albert Einstein’s works, signed by Einstein.
Prof. Buie discussing Copernicus with KAS attendees. Inside the case, to the left, is an original copy of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus. In the foreground is an original copy of Isaac Newton’s Principia, with notes written in it by Newton himself. See below.
A closer photo of the Bullitt Collection’s copy of De Revolutionibus—open, of course, to the iconic diagram of the heliocentric system. This book was printed in 1543, so it is nearly 500 years old, yet it looks “like new.” So, readers of The Catholic Astronomer, can you read the Latin? Many of the books in the exhibit are written in Latin, which was the international language of science for a long time.
A display case full of interesting science books.
An original copy of Daniel Bernoulli’s Hydrodynamica (it is in Latin). If you are thinking “Bernoulli’s Principle”, you are right!
An original copy of Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems—Copernican and Ptolemaic (written in Italian, not in Latin).
Physicist and KAS attendee Chad Howard (of my own Jefferson Community & Technical College in Louisville) snapping a picture of Hydrodynamica.