The Norman Transcript

University

April 5, 2013

OU acquires rare Roman astronomy manuscript

NORMAN — A rare manuscript written by a leading astronomer in Rome at the height of Galileo’s astronomical discoveries recently was acquired by the University of Oklahoma’s History of Science Collections.

The newly acquired manuscript, “Tractatus de sphaera,” by Oratio Grassi records Grassi’s lectures in mathematics and astronomy. The Grassi manuscript is one of three works by Grassi to enhance OU’s Galileo collection this year. In two just-acquired printed books, Grassi discussed three comets that appeared in the sky in 1618.

“The Grassi manuscript is an important addition to the OU History of Science Collection, which is already recognized as among the small number of great collections in science in the world,” said OU President David L. Boren.

The Grassi manuscript is one of only a few astronomical manuscripts from the leading Jesuit university preceding the publication and subsequent condemnation of Galileo’s Dialogo (1632). OU holds Galileo’s own copy of the Dialogo, containing his handwritten comments in the margins.

“By any measure, this Grassi manuscript is a significant acquisition for the University of Oklahoma and an important addition to the prestigious Galileo works held by our History of Science Collections,” said Rick Luce, dean of University Libraries. “The penmanship is beautiful,” said Luce, noting that some of the pages have detailed illustrations, all hand-drawn.

The Grassi manuscript discusses Gaileo’s discoveries, including imperfections on the surface of the Sun and Moon and the satellites of Jupiter. These discoveries were first published by Galileo in Sidereus nuncius, printed in Venice in 1610. The OU copy of Sidereus nuncius displays Galileo’s signature on the title page.

“The OU Galileo collection is remarkable,” Luce said. “While many major libraries hold one or two first editions of Galileo, OU holds the entire set of 12 first editions. Neither the Library of Congress nor the British Library can say the same. Moreover, four of OU’s first editions, including the Sidereus nuncius and the Dialogo, contain Galileo’s handwriting. The Grassi manuscript and the two other Grassi books are unique additions to an already world-class Galileo collection.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
University
  • OU officials confirm student died in car wreck

    University of Oklahoma officials confirmed Tuesday that recent car wreck victim Taylor Witcher was an OU student in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Witcher died after a three-car collision around 12:35 a.m. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Union Market 9 Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU physicist receives $1M grant

    A University of Oklahoma physicist has received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to develop a quantum enhanced plasmonic sensor. The emerging field of physics known as quantum plasmonics will enable technology for sensing ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU awarded Mellon Grant

    The University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $572,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the development of a digital library of Latin texts of all eras. The Digital Latin Library — a Linked Open Data resource — represents a ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Solar cars 7 Solar cars use Norman area during pit stop

    Flat, low to the ground with reflective panels and bright colors, these moving vehicles look more like cartoon spaceships than solar race cars. But these funny looking cars represent exactly what the American Solar Challenge (ASC) ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital storytelling workshop to help tornado victims

    Looking for ways to make use of the University of Oklahoma Writing Center’s services in the community, the center has developed the digital storytelling workshop “Survivors in Motion” to help last year’s tornadoes survivors....

    July 16, 2014

  • Free concert to feature Corey Smith

    Corey Smith, born and raised in Jefferson, Ga., will heat up the summer scene with a free concert at 8 p.m. on July 18 at the University of Oklahoma....

    July 11, 2014

  • OU showcases family treasures exhibit

    An exhibit consisting of 12 panels with the best practices on how to care for items — including textiles and recordings such as cassettes and family videos — is on display through July 10 in Beaird Lounge on the second floor of Oklahoma ...

    July 9, 2014

  • Sam Noble Museum awarded reaccreditation

    The American Alliance of Museums in Washington D.C. awarded the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History reaccreditation in 2014 for the fourth consecutive time. Accreditation offers a wide variety of benefits, including increased ...

    July 5, 2014

  • Emotional Brain set as July’s Neuro Night Forum topic

    Improving neurological health through education, research and access to care will be the topic of July’s Neuro Night forum at 6 p.m. July 15 at the Fountains at Canterbury, 1404 N.W. 122nd St. A light dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m....

    July 2, 2014