July 22 – September 30, 2013
Department of Special Collections
976 Memorial Library
728 State Street
The long, warm days of summer afford a good opportunity to display works on the sun from Special Collections and University Archives. Illustrations of the sun, defined in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (Edinburgh, 1771) as “an immense globe of fire,” abound among our holdings of early astronomy books; and sun-baked metaphors illuminate many a work of fiction or memory. The sun's rays are seen to measure the day, as they once measured the extent of empire, and titles in our collection record both. On a campus graced with a dairy barn, we are reminded to make hay while the sun shines; and scientists and engineers here have long studied the sun's power. You can, I'm sure, imagine the challenge of keeping an exhibit on such a subject within bounds: we invite you to see the results — on exhibit in Special Collections from the latter days of July through the first weeks of fall semester.
Shown above: detail from a lively diagram depicting a pre-Copernican, geocentric theory of eclipses. From [Sacrobosco,] Annotationi sopra la sferette, a 16th-century manuscript in Special Collections, call number MS 83. More images from this manuscript are available in a small online exhibit “Sacrobosco and his Commentators,” related to campus teaching in history of science.