Adopt a Book this Giving Tuesday!

This Giving Tuesday, consider making a gift to support the conservation of rare books in our collections. Our new Adopt a Book program gives donors the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of specific items from the collection that interest them. Adopting a book is a great way to honor a loved one or commemorate an occasion while supporting the preservation of rare materials for generations to come. To learn more about the program or to make a donation, please visit our Adopt a Book page.

Primo volume dell’vso et fabbrica dell’astrolabio, et de planisferio by Ignazio Danti, 1578

Ignazio Danti (1536-1586) was an Italian priest, astronomer, mathematician, and cosmographer. Born to a wealthy family in Perugia, Italy, he grew up surrounded by artists and scholars. His father and grandfather were both architects and engineers, and his older brother Vincenzo Danti became a famous sculptor.

Raised in an environment that fostered his love of science and mathematics, Danti went on to make significant contributions to those fields. At the age of 18, he entered the Dominican Order and began studying philosophy and theology, but also continued learning about mathematics, astronomy, and cartography.

Illustration from Primo volume dell’vso et fabbrica dell’astrolabio, et de planisferio

In 1562, he moved from Perugia to a monastery in Florence and began to work on many scientific and cosmographic projects. He painted maps and globes, created architectural plans for various buildings, and published over a dozen scientific treatises. These include Trattato del’uso e della fabbrica dell’astrolabio which was the first Italian work on the astrolabe, an early scientific instrument that enabled astronomers to calculate the position of the Sun and prominent stars with respect to both the horizon and the meridian.

Front cover of Primo volume dell’vso et fabbrica dell’astrolabio, et de planisferio, showing losses and water damage.

The Archives and Special Collections Center holds a rare copy of Primo volume dell’vso et fabbrica dell’astrolabio, an expansion of Danti’s first work on the astrolabe. This important work is an early example of instruction in the use of scientific instruments in Italian, and it provided an important resource for Italian astronomers. This copy is in need of conservation treatment to clean and repair its leaves, replace its badly damaged cover, and reinforce its binding. You can help support the conservation of this important work! Any donation toward preservation of this rare volume would be gratefully accepted. To donate, please visit our Adopt a Book page.

Author: Brianna LoSardo

Records Manager