A new temporary exhibition from the museum is now on display in the reception of the Old Library building entitled Space, Astronomy and the Moving Image. The exhibition includes representations of space and the planets both from our pre-cinema collections of optical media and examples of cinema and TV's obsession with the cosmos and is curated in collaboration with the International Astronomical Union's symposium on Space Weather hosted at the University by the Coillege of Engineeering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. You can find more deatils of their events here
The centrepiece of the exhibition is a set of astronomical magic lantern slides produced by W and S Jones of Holborn in around 1830 showing planets, astral phenomena and astrological star formations. Magic lanterns were higely popular as both an entertainment and educational medium from the 18th to early 20th centuries.
Also on display are a set of astronomical diagrams from the mid 19th century, designed as transparencies to be backlit and showing different aspects of the solar sysyem (see the featured image), alongside a book accompanying the Uriania's Mirror dioramic views from 1825.
In addition we have examples of ephemera from the museum on many of the great films and TV shows that explore the possibilities of space, from Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' to 'Doctor Who' and 'Star Trek'. Further material, such as our plethora of merchandise from 'Star Wars' can be seen in our permanaent galleries, which are open from 10-5 each day.
The exhibition will be here for the rest of the summer and is free and open every day. It was curated by senior museum volunteer Alice Clements with the assistance of work experience school student Rocco Morgan. Visitors interested in astronomy will also find a display on the same floor next to the Ronald Duncan Reading Room about the papers of Norman Lockyer, founder of the Lockyer observatory, which are held by the University's Heritage Collections department.
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