Hatcher North

History of Astronomy

Special Collections Library
Hatcher Graduate Library
913 S. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-9377 (p)

A collection of materials on astronomy dating from the second century through the 'golden age' of celestial cartography

If you simply want to read a historical astronomy text, you may be able to find it online, digitized and translated into English. But to fully experience the physical splendor of the documents, you’ll need to make a visit to the library.

Peggy Daub, curator of the history of astronomy collection, says, “We are one of the few institutions in the world to have all the important early works in astronomy covered, including hundreds of pre-1800 publications.”

The Galileo Manuscript, written 1609-1610, is among the great treasures of the University of Michigan Library. One of the top ten items requested from Special Collections, it is also the most frequently reprinted, appearing in textbooks and on the web, including on the NASA website. The document, written in his own hand, describes and illustrates Galileo’s discovery of the four moons of Jupiter.

Daub says, “The Galileo manuscript is a rare and valuable holding and it gets students excited about the subject. I’m often invited to speak to beginning astronomy students, and the manuscript is part of the talk. Physics classes use it, too, and when Michigan Math and Science Scholars visit, it’s part of our show-and-tell.”

While the greatest strength of the history of astronomy collection is the depth and breadth of its material, the Galileo manuscript is one among its many sparkling gems.

The library owns all of the “big four” star atlases that came out of Europe’s golden age of celestial cartography: the Atlas Coelestis of John Flamsteed, the Uranometria of Johann Bayer (1603), the Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia of Johannes Hevelius (1690) and the Uranographia of Johann Elert Bode (1801) — two of which were fairly recent aquisitions made possible with the support of library endowments.

To look back even further, you can examine an Egyptian papyrus containing an astrological treatise, written in Greek around the second century C.E., that predicts the movement of Mars.

Daub points out that the astronomy collection has significant overlap with the History of Mathematics collection. For example, the library owns a rare first edition by Copernicus (1543) that puts forth his theory that the earth moves around the sun, a theory he supported with mathematics since it couldn’t be proven by observation.

The mathematics collection also includes more than 100 editions of The Elements of Euclid, spanning five centuries and many languages. An edition by Oliver Byrne published in 1847 is one of the first examples of the use of color to elucidate mathematical concepts.

Page maintained by Pablo Alvarez
Last modified: 06/27/2014

Exhibit Preview: Nelson Mandela and the South African Struggle

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela photographed by David Turnley

For Madiba with Love: Photographs of Nelson Mandela and the South African Struggle: 1985 - 2013

This exhibit sponsored by the College of Engineering, Center for African Studies, Residential College, Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, and Office of the Provost.

Event Information

January 6th, 2014 through January 14th, 2014
Gallery, Room 100
Location Information
Event Type

Used Book Sale 2014

brightly colored design books on bookshelves
Book image courtesy of See-ming Lee

The University Library is selling several thousand gently used books, including duplicate or superseded titles and other books not needed for the collection. Other miscellaneous items may also be available, such as CDs, DVDs, and maps.

There's something for everyone at low, low prices.

Event Information

Date & Time
December 15, 2014 - 10:00am to 10:00pm
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)
Location Information
Event Type
Open House

Acoustic Songwriting Showcase

photo of an acoustic guitar
Morris W-25, by Shunichi kouroki via Flickr, CC-BY

Student songwriters perform new music, written this semester as part of the course Acoustic Songwriting for Beginners. Each student has written between seven and ten songs, many of which have been workshopped with the class. In this final showcase concert, students will each perform some of their original songs.

Event Information

Date & Time
November 17, 2014 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery (Room 100)
Location Information
Event Type
Musical Program

Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive

Special Collections Library
Hatcher Graduate Library
913 S. University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
(734) 764-9377 (p)

A collection of American culinary history: cookbooks and other materials from the 16th through the 20th century

We are not just what we eat, but how we eat — not to mention when, where and with whom. Cookbooks, menus, advertisements, manuals of table etiquette and the like may not be written to preserve the history of everyday life, but that’s exactly what they do.

And this is what makes the library’s Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive so valuable. Containing more than 15,000 items, it paints a rich and unique portrait of American life over the centuries.

“On one level, the collection is about what people cooked and ate — but that’s just a doorway to explore how people saw themselves and their neighbors,” says collection curator JJ Jacobson.

Through the culinary archive one can explore changing attitudes towards diet and health, homemaking, commercial dining and the industrialization of food production. It also reveals historical ideas about race, class, and gender.

“This is the kind of history that’s not concerned so much with empires, kings and battles, but with where the wheat comes from, how the bread is made, how ethnic groups adopte each others recipes, and what their cultures tell women and men they should be like,” Jacobson adds.

And food continues to be an important part of our culture — contemporary discussions about organic produce, fast food, Atkins and other diet fads, concentrated feed lots, vending machines in schools and the merits of vegetarianism all stem from historical contexts chronicled in the archive.

The collection is shaped by the donation of a rich assemblage of cookbooks, menus, and other material collected over many years by Jan Longone, an adjunct curator in the U-M Special Collections Library, and her husband Dan.

Not so long ago, even the concept of American culinary history was met with skepticism.

“[Critics] said America had no cuisine or culinary history to speak of; all we ate were hamburgers,” Jan Longone wrote of attitudes at an Oxford University food symposium in the 1980s. Yet today the archive is recognized as a premier collection for the study of American culture as it relates to food and home life.

Writing in the Boston Globe, renowned chef James Beard called an exhibit of works from the collection “an unequaled feat of culinary scholarship.”

“Not all the cookbooks are good cookbooks, but they are all interesting and the authors, mainly women, were an amazing group who did a great deal to influence American history,” Beard wrote in the 1984 column.

And the collection has only continued to grow and evolve since then. Formerly held at U-M’s William L. Clements Library, it was transferred to the U-M Library in 2013 where its potential for teaching and scholarship can be fully realized.

Page maintained by JJ Jacobson
Last modified: 06/30/2014

Copyright Camp 2013: Who owns research data, and who cares?

Copyright Camp 2013 image

Join the University of Michigan Library for a community conversation that explores how copyright impacts our professional lives.

Note: This event is free, but for planning purposes we encourage you to register.

Event Information

Date & Time
June 20, 2013 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Hatcher Gallery
Event Type

Document Delivery Services

Hours this week:

Monday08:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Tuesday08:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Wednesday08:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Thursday08:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Friday08:00 AM - 5:30 PM

Free Services: For All Students, Staff and Faculty

For books and other materials that are available for check out from a campus library, the Library offers a number of delivery services. 

  • Mirlyn Get This
    Have books and other materials held at the Circulation Desk in a library most convenient for you. Do this by:
    • Logging into Mirlyn, the library catalog of the University of Michigan, with your uniqname and password.
    • Locate the desired item.
    • Select the Get This button in the "holdings" section to request delivery of an available item to the library of your choice.
    • Chose a pick up library location in the Hold for me at a library box.

    You will receive an email message when the item is ready for pick up. (See our video for additional help.)

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
    When the UM Library does not own a copy of a book or other material, borrow it from another library.
  • UBorrow
    UBorrow is another service of interlibrary loan (ILL) for the borrowing of physical items that allows you to:
    • Search 14 combined library catalogs
    • Get real time info on item availability
    • Request items (usually delivered within a week)
    • Keep most books for 12 weeks


Free Services: For Graduate Students, Staff and Faculty

(Available to Undergraduate Students for a small fee)

  • 7FAST- MLibrary Document Delivery
    Have books and articles (PDFs) delivered quickly to you, including from the Kresge Business Administration Library and the Law Library. (2-4 day turnaround)


Page maintained by Karen Reiman-Sendi
Last modified: 04/23/2014

Publish Not Perish: Faculty Advice for New Academic Authors

Stack of books

Are you an undergraduate, graduate student, or faculty member interested in learning more about academic publishing? Please join us for a distinguished panel of faculty members from across the disciplines who will discuss the academic publishing experience for aspiring authors from a variety of viewpoints.

Event Information

Date & Time
March 14, 2013 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Gallery, 100 Hatcher Graduate Library
Location Information
Event Type
Panel Discussion

Graduate Library Information and Reference

Hours this week:

Sunday1:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Monday09:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Tuesday09:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Wednesday09:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Thursday09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday09:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Page maintained by Ken Varnum
Last modified: 03/30/2015


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