widenerlibrary:

A selection of illustrations from Icones Farlowianae, a beautiful oversize book by William Gilson Farlow ‘66. Farlow was an eminent botanist of the later 19th and early 20th centuries. One of our (five!) botany libraries is named after him.

53 Notes

lindahall:

Thomas Wright - Scientist of the Day

Thomas Wright, an English teacher and astronomer, was born on Sep. 22, 1711. Wright was a curious duck, largely self-taught, of a mystical bent, and not by any stretch brilliant, yet capable of penetrating insights about the heavens that completely escaped his more illustrious contemporaries. He is most famous for being the first to argue that the Milky Way, that cloudy band of innumerable stars that runs entirely around the sky, is a key to determining the structure of our Galaxy. Wright did not take the next step, which was to deduce that the Galaxy must be a large thin disk of stars—that conclusion was reached by Immanuel Kant, with Wright as a guide. But Wright was the first to understand that the Milky Way is the vital clue that allows us to determine the nature of stellar systems.

Wright’s work on the Milky Way was included in a beautiful book, An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe (1750). In addition to a striking mezzotint that depicts stars (including our sun) with planetary systems (first image above), Wright also depicted the known planets and moons of the solar system in 1750 (second image above), and gave us a diagram of the solar system that demonstrates how much bigger the solar system had become, with the inclusion of the elliptical orbits of comets (third image above).

An Original Theory of the Universe was on display in our 2010 exhibition, Thinking Outside the Sphere.

Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

50 Notes

'Blackbird' by Ben Ottewell.

My friendly blackbird disappeared for around three weeks and I was beginning to think that he was gone forever when a blackbird fluttered down to my feet last Friday. It behaved as my usual one did, hopping around my feet for his meal worms but was so different! It had virtually no feathers on its head! At first I thought that it was a young one but the rest of his plumage was perfect so he couldn’t be a juvenile. Either he’d been fighting for territory or for a female or had found another food source that involved sticking his head in a small space and getting the feathers on his head clipped! Glad to see him back though.

2 Notes

starrydiadems:


A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: It’s loveliness increases; it will neverPass into nothingness; but still will keepA bower quiet for us, and a sleepFull of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Manuscript of Endymion by John Keats (1818).

starrydiadems:

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever: 
It’s loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Manuscript of Endymion by John Keats (1818).

(via thisivyhouse)

195 Notes

Swamp Rose. Illustration from ‘Addisonia’ (Volume 8) by Mary Eaton. Published 1923 by The New York Botanical Garden.
archive.org

Swamp Rose. Illustration from ‘Addisonia’ (Volume 8) by Mary Eaton. Published 1923 by The New York Botanical Garden.

archive.org

51 Notes

'Fair Columbines that drew the car of Venus from her distant star.' Illustration from 'Flora's Feast' (1889) by Walter Crane ( 1845–1915 ).
Image and text Courtesy MFA Boston.

'Fair Columbines that drew the car of Venus from her distant star.' Illustration from 'Flora's Feast' (1889) by Walter Crane ( 1845–1915 ).

Image and text Courtesy MFA Boston.

72 Notes

'Sunflower' from the series 'Art Windows' (1903) by  Raphael Kirchner, 1876–1917. Colour lithograph published by  M. M. Paris 
Image and text courtesy MFA Boston.

'Sunflower' from the series 'Art Windows' (1903) by  Raphael Kirchner, 1876–1917. Colour lithograph published by  M. M. Paris 

Image and text courtesy MFA Boston.

24 Notes

'But one of them, the youngest remained behind' (1892). Illustration by Arthur Joseph Gaskin.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
wQE10df2DK5PCg at Google Cultural Institute via Wikimedia

'But one of them, the youngest remained behind' (1892). Illustration by Arthur Joseph Gaskin.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

wQE10df2DK5PCg at Google Cultural Institute via Wikimedia

51 Notes

'Bibi Ferzana.' Watercolour, gold and ink. Mughal empire, circa 1675.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art  XwEp5ClgIdvnlg at Google Cultural Institute via Wikimedia.

'Bibi Ferzana.' Watercolour, gold and ink. Mughal empire, circa 1675.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art  XwEp5ClgIdvnlg at Google Cultural Institute via Wikimedia.

22 Notes

Honeysuckle (Generous and devoted affection). Kensitas flowers (circa 1932-1938).
Image and text courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

Honeysuckle (Generous and devoted affection). Kensitas flowers (circa 1932-1938).

Image and text courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.

3 Notes