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, ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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, ...
  • 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. ...
  • 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. ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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, 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 ...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • De natvr‘ divinis characterismis, zodiac illustration 

    Gemma, Cornelius, 1535-1579 (1575)
    Widely read illustrated work on prodigies and other marvels of nature, including observations and illustrations of monsters, comets, and mineralogical specimens. 

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