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Tycho Brahe and Elias Morsing, Diarium astrologicum (Uraniborg, 1586)

Astronomical Journal

On the Island of Hven, Tycho Brahe built a Renaissance research center called Uraniborg, “City of the Stars.” The first book printed on Tycho’s printing press at Uraniborg displays his motto, “looking up, I look down.” That motto symbolized his aim of coordinating the study of astronomy, chemistry and medicine in an innovative and collaborative endeavor to discover the secrets of nature.

Tycho’s observations of comets and new stars, proving that changes occur in the heavens beyond the Moon, upended the Aristotelian cosmos, paving the way for Galileo’s fundamental astronomical discoveries and advances in physics. In a new world of discovery and innovation, how are we to coordinate the disciplines today? What is nature and how is nature known?

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

Source: History of Science Collections

Section: Renaissance of Discovery

Section Number: 1

Object Number: 1

Subject Area(s): Astronomy, Chemistry, Health Sciences, History of the Book

Time Period: 16th Century

Region(s): Europe, Denmark

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Exhibit Gallery OERs

Wondertooneel: Women and Museums

Wondertooneel Learning Leaflet

What were women doing in the museum? 

Levinus Vincent, a wealthy Dutch merchant with ties to the East Indies, created a spectacular 'Chamber of Wonders' natural history museum in Haarlem. Visiting dignitaries admired his museum, including Peter the Great and King Charles III of Spain. The detailed depictions of interior spaces include figures of women engaged in a variety of activities. Museums such as Vincent's offered women opportunities for participation in the natural sciences as donors, collectors, discoverers, visitors, patrons, lecturers and curators. This OER explores the significance of women in these early museums.


Maria Merian: World-Traveling Entomologist

Maria Merian Learning Leaflet

How do art and travel benefit natural history? 

Maria Merian (1647-1717), skilled in both art and natural history, studied the relationships between flowers and insects. She conducted field expeditions around the world, carried out research in gardens and museums, and produced detailed sketches and beautiful paintings, and even bred insects to aid in her entomological investigations.