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The Stars Align at OU for Galileo’s World



 

As the University Of Oklahoma celebrates its 125th anniversary this fall, the stars truly will align when a first-of-its-kind historical exhibition comes to seven locations across the university’s three campuses.


OU Libraries is sponsoring Galileo’s World, which has pooled all 12 first-edition manuscripts the noted Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher and mathematician published during his lifetime. Four of those editions contain Galileo’s own handwriting.

The exhibition will feature 300 rare books, instrument replicas, digital resources and student projects in 20 themed exhibits. Kerry Magruder, curator of the university’s History of Science collections, notes this will be the first time all 12 Galileo manuscripts will be on display at any one time in world history.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for the public to come,” Magruder says. “Every Oklahoman has the right to take pride that a little bit of Tuscany has been planted in our soil.”

The works will be on display in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In addition to Bizzell Memorial Library, Norman sites include the Sam Noble Museum, the National Weather Center, Headington Hall student residence center and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
 

A 1632 copy of Galileo’s “Dialogo,” containing notes in his own handwriting.


The Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library on the OU Health Sciences campus in Oklahoma City also will host exhibits, as will the Schusterman Library at OU-Tulsa.

Planning began in 2012, and different portions of Bizzell have undergone renovation since to coincide with the exhibition and anniversary … including a one-tenth scale model of the Tower of Pisa being installed by the College of Engineering.

The exhibition officially opened Aug. 1, but Magruder expects most to get their first look during the open house set for Sept. 5 from noon to 5 p.m. The event intentionally coincides with Oklahoma’s first home football game against Akron, which kicks off at 6 p.m.

OU’s History of Science Collection dates back to 1949, when oilman and alumnus Everette Lee Degolyer loaned 129 rare history of science volumes to the university.

The collection now approaches 100,000 volumes, which are stored in climate-controlled vaults in the library.
 

This will be the first time all 12 Galileo manuscripts will be on display at any one time in world history.


“It’s a special collection known to researchers around the world,” says Magruder, noting an endowed fellowship exists allowing scholars to travel to Norman to study the works. “Every student at the university can take a course (on the subject). Every semester, students are working with rare books at our reading room just as they might work with a state-of-the-art microscope.

“This part of the experience we have always given our students. What we have not done is make it available to the public, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Galileo was a titan in his field. Albert Einstein called him the father of modern science.

Noted skeptic Stephen Hawking ceded Galileo probably had more responsibility for the birth of modern science that anyone else in history.

A $500,000 endowment from the university’s athletic department made possible the acquisition of three of Galileo’s works.
 

Pages from astronomer Peter Apian’s “Cosmographia,” 1545


“How many Big 12 athletic programs are donating rare books to the library?” Magruder says. “I think this is an illustration of the remarkable vision (Athletic Director) Joe Castiglione and the athletic department has for the university experience.”

Galileo’s World Project Coordinator Chelsea Julian highly recommends those planning a visit to check galileo.ou.edu first.

“It’s been set up to be very accessible,” Julian says. “You don’t have to be very knowledgeable about science in general to get a lot out of it.”

For those who can’t attend, Julian said each work is currently being digitized and put on display online. Links to lesson plans also will be available.

“That, in itself, is another presentation of the library moving just beyond a book,” Julian says. “We are a service for the community.” 


 

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Calendar

December 2018

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1 Nature Place
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Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
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View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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Cost: Free

Where:
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600 Museum Way
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Telephone: 479.418.5700
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More information

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Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
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View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
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Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
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Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
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Where:
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1 Nature Place
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Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
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Cost: Free

Where:
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399 NW 10th St
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Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
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Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
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More information

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Where:
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Cost: $5 to $25

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Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
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View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

More information

Don’t miss this timely exhibition charting the development of contemporary Indigenous art from the US and Canada. Presenting over 80 artworks including paintings, photography, video,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
600 Museum Way
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View map »


Telephone: 479.418.5700
Website »

More information

A pop-up shop village & Christmas tree lot in Midtown, OKC for the Holiday season. Shops rotate weekly!

Cost: Free

Where:
Holiday Pop-Up Shops
399 NW 10th St
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.514.5205
Contact Name: Cleo Rajon
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is proud to host an exhibition by members of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association (TCAA).   The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association...

Cost: 12.50

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni Shrum
Website »

More information

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Cost: $5 - $15

Where:
OKC Improv
1757 N.W. 16th St.
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View map »


Sponsor: OKC Improv
Telephone: 405.456.9858
Contact Name: Kate McLain-Snipes
Website »

More information

With the original Die Hard quickly becoming one of the most popular Christmas films around, we knew that everybody around town would be showing it. So we figured you know what's better than Die...

Cost: $7.50 - $9.50

Where:
Rodeo Cinema
2221 Exchange Ave
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View map »


Sponsor: VHSANDCHILL
Telephone: 405.503.0050
Contact Name: Sean Peel
Website »

More information

Presented By OKC Ballet, with the OKC Philharmonic Tchaikovsky’s familiar score and Artistic Director Robert Mills’ delightful staging of The Nutcracker will fill your heart...

Where:
Civic Center Music Hall-Thelma Gaylord Theater
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View map »


Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Website »

More information

A Comedy by Michael Hollinger No menu necessary at the world's greatest restaurant, the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris. Why? "Because we have everything," headwaiter...

Cost: $5 to $25

Where:
Carpenter Square Theatre
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View map »


Sponsor: Carpenter Square Theatre
Telephone: 405.232.6500
Contact Name: Rhonda M. Clark
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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