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Grant number: PW-51687-14

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Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum (Chicago, IL 60605-2403)
Jodi Lacy (Project Director, 07/22/2013 - 09/02/2015); Lauren Boegen (Project Director, 09/02/2015 - present)
Celestial Cartography Digitization Project

The digitization of 5,300 celestial maps and star charts, works on paper, scientific instruments, and prints from the 15th to 20th centuries, documenting humanity's visual depictions of the cosmos.

The Adler Planetarium seeks NEH support to digitize and make accessible all celestial cartography in the Adler collections. Dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, the Adler's celestial cartography focuses on European astronomy, but also includes significant examples from China and the Islamic world. The intellectual content of the Adler's celestial cartography reaches well beyond the history of astronomy. Researchers use the collection to study subjects related to the history of religion, navigation, technology, art, and printing. From antiquity to the present day, maps of the heavens are tools for understanding human life on Earth. As a result of the celestial cartography digitization project, fragile collections materials will be preserved and available for use in Adler programming. Digitizing celestial cartography and making it freely accessible will open new interdisciplinary research possibilities in art, history, and science.

Project fields: Arts, Other; History of Science; Interdisciplinary Studies, General
Program: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Division: Preservation and Access
Total amounts: $109,164 (approved); $109,164 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2014 – 4/30/2016

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