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Athanasius Kircher at Stanford

 

The World of Athanasius Kircher, S. J. (1602-80)


The seventeenth-century Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher created a museum of curiosities, antiquities and inventions in the Collegio Romano, and published over thirty books on virtually every imaginable domain of knowledge. Kircher has recently become the subject of renewed scholarly and popular interest. Among other things, his museum has been reconstructed in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, CA, and a major exhibit was held in Rome in Winter 2001.

A large collection of letters to Kircher, the Athanasius Kircher Correspondence Project, is hosted by the Stanford University Libraries and now available online via Luna Insight software. See also the Institute and Museum of the History of Science (Florence, Italy) Kircher Correspondence Project webpage for background and details of this project.

In 2001, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Kircher's birth, the Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections created an exhibit of the major collection of Athanasius Kircher editions it acquired in 1998. This exhibit was inaugurated by an international Kircher conference which brought together an group of scholars from many disciplines who explored the society and culture of Baroque Europe through the words and worlds of Athansius Kircher.

In conjunction with the exhibit and conference, the Stanford University Libraries published a richly illustrated, special volume about Kircher and his work, which is available from SULAIR in a new digital edition: The Great Art of Knowing: The Baroque Encyclopedia of Athanasius Kircher.

   
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