Galileo’s World

Exhibit GuideThis page is the landing page for the Galileo’s World Exhibit Guide, designed for educators, classes, and individual study. It provides an overview of the Galileo’s World exhibit in one compact and easy to scan format. It interlinks all 20 galleries of the Galileo’s World exhibition for 7 different locations, covering about 350 rare books. Items are in sequence to tell a story. The Guide contains links to videos and other resources not found on the Exhibit Website. Captions are sometimes twice as long as at the Exhibit Website.

All of the 350 rare books on display were originals; none were facsimiles. All are held by OU; none were on loan from other institutions. Images from all are released by OU into the Public Domain.  For more on the History of Science Collections and other OU special collections, see the OU Libraries website.


Watch: Galileo’s World theater video (2 mins). Script:

The story of Galileo reveals the creativity and interconnectedness of human achievement.  His works reflect a lifetime of engagement in science, art, literature, music, religion, philosophy, politics and culture.  Galileo’s creative achievements live on today and shape our world in significant ways. The interconnectedness of science and culture which characterized Galileo’s world and which connects Galileo’s world to our own day remains the common heritage of humanity which we explore in a year-long exhibition celebrating the University of Oklahoma’s 125th anniversary. The idea of the Galileo’s World exhibition is connections.  Galileo connects the past and the future, from Greek mathematics to the Space Age. Galileo’s World connects the natural sciences to modern research and cultural endeavors. The exhibition features rare books, instrument replicas, digital resources and student projects in 20 uniquely-themed galleries in 7 locations across OU’s three campuses.  Open August 2015 with a full year of exhibits, events and programs with internationally renowned scholars, Galileo’s World encourages visitors to explore the common themes of the sciences and humanities from the “Scientific Revolution” to modern innovation.

Galileo’s World juxtaposes the entire circle of subject areas from the world of Galileo with the disciplines and academic programs of the world of OU today. How are they connected? What special ingredients from the culture of Galileo’s world made creativity and innovation possible? How do connections between disciplines stimulate or constrain innovation?  Where do sparks of creativity come from?  How might understanding the connections between disciplines in the world of Galileo lead us to reconsider our own assumptions about the ways the disciplines are connected in our world?

Galleries at a Glance

Click any gallery below for a list of objects displayed (author/title/date), placed in exhibition sequence:

Curators: Kerry Magruder, Brent Purkaple, James Burnes, David Davis