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Eureka! Sheridan Libraries Open Exhibition of Rare Books Related to Science and Discovery

901 S. Bond St., Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231

October 20, 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Shields

The Sheridan Libraries at The Johns Hopkins University announce the opening of Eureka!: Rare Books in the History of Scientific Discovery at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore. Spanning more than 2,500 years of scientific breakthroughs and including books that date from the late 15th century to the mid 20th century, Eureka! contains highlights from the Dr. Elliott and Eileen Hinkes Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science.

The collection, totaling more than 300 items, provides a kind of roadmap of seminal moments in the history of science and was assembled over two decades by Dr. Elliott Hinkes, an alumnus of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Hinkes, who died in 2009, maintained a private practice specializing in medical oncology and hematology in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years and was an associate clinical professor at UCLA.

Since the Sheridan Libraries’ acquisition last fall of the Hinkes Collection, scientists and bibliophiles alike have been eagerly anticipating the chance for a closer look at these magnificent materials.

“The historical sweep and ambition of the Hinkes Collection are staggering, from telescopic visions of the heavens from the ancient world, to the most seminal subatomic reflections upon the fundamental nature of matter and energy in the modern era,” said Earle Havens, William Kurrelmeyer Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Sheridan Libraries. Havens, along with graduate students Simon Thode and Hanna Roman, curated the exhibition and produced an accompanying catalogue, which was recently released by The Ascensius Press.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

*A unique second edition of Copernicus’ treatise on the heliocentric theory of the galaxy, completely unbound, and unsewn, as issued from the printer in 1566 (no other such copies are recorded)

*A first edition of Galileo’s illustrated treatise on the discovery of sunspots (1613)

*A first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s monumental treatise on gravitation, the Principia (1687)

*The first printed description of Uranus, the first planet to be discovered since classical antiquity (1781)

*The first appearance in print of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, in a rare paper printed by the Linnaean Society (1858)

* 27 rare offprints and first editions of the works of Albert Einstein, including the first printed formulation of E=mc2

*Original copies of the three 1953 articles by Watson and Crick outlining the nature of DNA

“We are extremely grateful to the Hinkes family for their gift,” said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums. “This collection connects the ideas and wisdom of the past in a very real way to the work being done every day in labs and classrooms at Johns Hopkins University. This exhibit is a fitting tribute to the personal and intellectual generosity of Dr. Hinkes, and we are pleased to be able to honor him in this way.”

An opening reception will be held Sunday October 23, featuring remarks by Dr. Matt Mountain, Director of the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Eureka! is open to the public from October 24, 2011 through February 29, 2012 at the George Peabody Library, 17 E. Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD 21202. The George Peabody Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 – 5, Saturdays 9 – 3, and Sundays 12 – 5. Admission is free.

See a short video about the collection and Eureka! exhibit here: http://youtu.be/EnNcEbYos2Q


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