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Galileo's Personal Library Recreated - On Exhibition

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Author Topic: Galileo's Personal Library Recreated - On Exhibition  (Read 57 times)
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« on: December 23, 2008, 07:57:53 am »

                                                         Galileo's library recreated

                                         Volumes that formed his personal collection on show

- Florence,
December 23, 2008

- The books that shaped one of the greatest scientific minds in Western history are the focus of a new exhibition
in this Tuscan city.

The National Library of Florence is showcasing 70 volumes that were once part of the personal collection of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).

''The material on display was selected from the Galileo collection stored in our library,'' explained library director Antonia Idea Fontana. ''They were the source of his research and bear witness to his successes but also show the polemics, the legal arguments and the trials linked to his work''.

The renowned Tuscan astronomer, scientist and mathematician had eclectic taste in reading material, the exhibition shows.

His collection not only included scientific treatises but also copies of Dante's Divine Comedy, the romantic epic poem Orlando Furioso and works by Petrarch. In addition, the show features a number of Galileo's scientific sketches, as well as original ideas and notes he jotted down while reading the various volumes.

''While this is not the first time these books have been displayed, the idea of reconstructing Galileo's personal library is completely new,'' added Fontana. The exhibition is part of a series of events this year commemorating 400 years since Galileo produced his first telescope, revolutionising conceptions of the universe and sparking religious uproar.

He created the device in 1608, initially producing a lens able to magnify objects threefold and soon after 32-fold.

This put him in a nearly unique position, as he was one of the few people at the time with a lens powerful enough to observe the sky.

His discovery of three of Jupiter's moons and his observation of Venus's phases helped him conclude that the sun was at the centre of the universe, rather than the Earth, as was commonly believed at the time.

Church opposition to Galileo's sun-centred model flared up immediately in 1612 and would dog Galileo for the rest of his life.

An exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science in Florence until the end of December explores this discovery, showing the only two surviving telescopes created by Galileo, as well as dozens of original documents and instruments.

The exhibition on Galileo's personal book collection can be visited at the National Library of Florence until February 28.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 08:03:01 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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