The Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is pleased to display highlights from Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy. Over the past half-century, Mr. Ariail built a collection that encompasses more than 5,200 rare books and star atlases, scientific journals, rare offprints and manuscripts now housed in the Irvin Department. The Robert B. Ariail Collection of Historical Astronomy compliments Mr. Ariail’s collection of historic telescopes and astronomical instruments, now at the State Museum.
Works on display will include: Alessandro Piccolomini’s “Sfera del mondo e Delle stelle fisse” (1540), the first printed star atlas; Johann Bayer’s “Uranometria,” (1603), the first atlas to cover the entire celestial sphere; a manuscript treatise by William Stukeley; Claude Siméon Passemant’s book, “Construction d’un telescope de réflexion de seize pouces de longueur” (1738), which explains the details of Passemant’s reflecting telescope and many other works that illustrate the progress of astronomy.
The books, manuscripts, and documents will be on display in the Irvin Department Gallery at the University of South Carolina’s Hollings Library. The gallery will be open to the public August 17, 18, 19, & 21, from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.