A sampling of images from the History of Science Book Collection. The History of Science collection includes important volumes of physics, mathematics, and astronomy tracing the early history of science. The collection includes four rare astronomy books: Nicolaus Copernicus' masterpiece, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (1566), which marks the dawn of modern science; Alessandro Piccolomini's La Sfera del Mondo (1579), considered the first handbook for stargazers; Cornelius Gemma's De Naturae Divinis Characterismis (1575) relating to the nova of 1572 and a comet in 1556; and Johannes Kepler's Tabulae Rudolpinae (1675), the first English text of Kepler's tables based on the laws of planetary motion. Giovanni Riccioli's Almagestum novum astronomiam (1651) was added as Fondren Library's millionth volume in 1979.

Recent Submissions

  • De le Stelle Fisse Star Map 

    Piccolomini, Alessandro, 1508-1578 (1579)
    Piccolomini produced the first star atlas for the general reader.  This early edition marks an important develop in the form in which celestial knowledge was conveyed. The work introduced the system of stellar nomenclature, which with the modification subsequently made by Bayer, remains in use today. Stars are identified by lower case letters for a ...
  • Hevelii selenographia, finis 

    Hevelius, Johannes, 1611-1687 (1647)
    Selenographia contains detailed descriptions with illustrations of the surface of the moon. Hevelius included 40 engravings representing the Moon in different phases. The engraved frontispiece by Jeremias Falck depicts portraits of Alhazen and Galileo. One of the engravings is of Hevelius with one of his telescopes. Many of the names given to lunar ...
  • De le Stelle Fisse, title page 

    Piccolomini, Alessandro, 1508-1578 (1579)
    Piccolomini produced the first star atlas for the general reader.  This early edition marks an important develop in the form in which celestial knowledge was conveyed. The work introduced the system of stellar nomenclature, which with the modification subsequently made by Bayer, remains in use today. Stars are identified by lower case letters for a ...
  • Almagestum Novum, frontispiece 

    Riccioli, Giovanni Battista, 1598-1671 (1651)
    Almagstum novum was one of the earliest published books on astronomy. Riccioli  gave names to craters and mountains on the moon. Most of the names are still in use. A competent astronomer and Jesuit priest, Riccoli published his massive New Almagest, a work that treated the efforts of both Copernicus and Kepler but which sought to show that the earth ...
  • Almagestum Novum, fig. 6, p. 204 

    Riccioli, Giovanni Battista, 1598-1671 (1651)
    Almagstum novum was one of the earliest published books on astronomy. Riccioli  gave names to craters and mountains on the moon. Most of the names are still in use. A competent astronomer and Jesuit priest, Riccoli published his massive New Almagest, a work that treated the efforts of both Copernicus and Kepler but which sought to show that the earth ...
  • Almagestum Novum, figs. 7-10, Liber quartus de Luna, p. 204 

    Riccioli, Giovanni Battista, 1598-1671 (1651)
    Almagstum novum was one of the earliest published books on astronomy. Riccioli  gave names to craters and mountains on the moon. Most of the names are still in use. A competent astronomer and Jesuit priest, Riccoli published his massive New Almagest, a work that treated the efforts of both Copernicus and Kepler but which sought to show that the earth ...
  • Almagestum Novum, title page 

    Riccioli, Giovanni Battista, 1598-1671 (1651)
    Almagstum novum was one of the earliest published books on astronomy. Riccioli  gave names to craters and mountains on the moon. Most of the names are still in use. A competent astronomer and Jesuit priest, Riccoli published his massive New Almagest, a work that treated the efforts of both Copernicus and Kepler but which sought to show that the earth ...
  • Almagestum Novum, De Spæra mundi in communi, p. 1 

    Riccioli, Giovanni Battista, 1598-1671 (1651)
    Almagstum novum was one of the earliest published books on astronomy. Riccioli  gave names to craters and mountains on the moon. Most of the names are still in use. A competent astronomer and Jesuit priest, Riccoli published his massive New Almagest, a work that treated the efforts of both Copernicus and Kepler but which sought to show that the earth ...
  • Principia mathematica, title page 

    Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727 (1687)
    Principia is known as one of the greatest work in the history of science. Newton's lectures at Cambridge were the nucleus of the Principia, but it is a remarkable fact that the book itself was written in 17 or 18 months. The cost of printing the first edition was borne by Newton's friend Edmund Halley, as neither Newton nor the Royal society had the ...
  • De mundi et sphaerae ac utriusque partium declaratione : cum planetis et variis signis historiatis; sphere bundi 

    Hyginus (1517)
    The Poeticon Astronomicon is the first printed representation of the constellations, signs of the zodiac, and the planets. The authorship of the book is attributed to Hyginus, who may have been a Latin didactic poet living sometime before 207 A.D. The order of the constellations follow that of Ptolemy’s Almagest indicating that Hyginus may have written ...
  • Principia mathematica, comet 

    Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727 (1687)
    Principia is known as one of the greatest work in the history of science. Newton's lectures at Cambridge were the nucleus of the Principia, but it is a remarkable fact that the book itself was written in 17 or 18 months. The cost of printing the first edition was borne by Newton's friend Edmund Halley, as neither Newton nor the Royal society had the ...
  • La sfera del mondo di M. Alessandro Piccolomini, title page 

    Piccolomini, Alessandro, 1508-1578 (1579)
    Piccolomini produced the first star atlas for the general reader.  This early edition marks an important develop in the form in which celestial knowledge was conveyed. The work introduced the system of stellar nomenclature, which with the modification subsequently made by Bayer, remains in use today. Stars are identified by lower case letters for a ...
  • De mundi et sphaerae ac utriusque partium declaratione : cum planetis et variis signis historiatis. 

    Hyginus (1517)
    The Poeticon Astronomicon is the first printed representation of the constellations, signs of the zodiac, and the planets. The authorship of the book is attributed to Hyginus, who may have been a Latin didactic poet living sometime before 207 A.D. The order of the constellations follow that of Ptolemy’s Almagest indicating that Hyginus may have written ...
  • La sfera del mondo di M. Alessandro Piccolomini, secondo p. 37 

    Piccolomini, Alessandro, 1508-1578 (1579)
    Piccolomini produced the first star atlas for the general reader.  This early edition marks an important develop in the form in which celestial knowledge was conveyed. The work introduced the system of stellar nomenclature, which with the modification subsequently made by Bayer, remains in use today. Stars are identified by lower case letters for a ...
  • M. Manilii Astronomicon, sese odio habentia 

    Manilius, Marcus (1679)
    Astronomica is an unfinished poem on astronomy and astrology probably written between the years AD 14 and 27. Manilius is among the last of the Roman didactic poets.
  • Johannis Heckeri Motuum caelestium ephemerides, configurationes 

    Hecker, Johann, 1625-1675 (1662)
    An "ephemerides" (from Latin ephemeris meaning "diary")gives the positions of naturally occurring astronomical objects in the sky at a given time. As in Kepler'sRudolphine Tables, positions are given as printed tables given at regular intervals of date and time.
  • M. Manilii Astronomicon, pre-title page illustration 

    Manilius, Marcus (1679)
    Astronomica is an unfinished poem on astronomy and astrology probably written between the years AD 14 and 27. Manilius is among the last of the Roman didactic poets.
  • M. Manilii Astronomicon, title page 

    Manilius, Marcus (1679)
    Astronomica is an unfinished poem on astronomy and astrology probably written between the years AD 14 and 27. Manilius is among the last of the Roman didactic poets.
  • Johannis Heckeri Motuum caelestium ephemerides, deliquirum lunarium 

    Hecker, Johann, 1625-1675 (1662)
    An "ephemerides" (from Latin ephemeris meaning "diary")gives the positions of naturally occurring astronomical objects in the sky at a given time. As in Kepler'sRudolphine Tables, positions are given as printed tables given at regular intervals of date and time.
  • Tabulae Rudolphinae. English, tabula saturni 

    Kepler, Johannes, 1571-1630 (1675)
    The first tables based on Kepler's new laws of planetary motion.

View more