Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quadrant & Window (July 11, 2009)

In the stairwell heading up to the second floor, at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.

This is a relatively small building on Broad Street, between Balliol College and the Sheldonian Theatre; built in 1683, it was the first 'purpose-built' museum building in the world. Inside, it's packed with a diverse and stunning collection of scientific and mathematical instruments (artificial leeches, anyone?) and relevant historical texts and 'relics' (such as a blackboard with Einstein's writing left scrawled across it).

The bright, high-ceilinged room on the top floor contains case after case of globes and astronomical devices, including some truly gorgeous and very, very detailed astrolabes and portable star-maps (more pictures to be posted later). In this picture you can see the mural quadrant to the left, which provides another example of time-space technology from the not-so-distant human past.

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