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Conversing with the Starry Messenger

March 25, 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The program

Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius (Venice 1610) is one of the most thrilling and important scientific texts ever written. Galileo’s work describing the moon and his observations of the satellites around Jupiter had a profound impact on astronomy and modern science. The Linda Hall Library copy, arguably one of the most important copies in existence, is still revealing its secrets after 400 years. Join Nick Wilding, Professor of History at Georgia State University, and Jason W. Dean, Vice President for Special Collections at the Linda Hall Library, in a conversation about astronomy, printing and publication, and the tools book historians and librarians use to make new discoveries. Nick and Jason will also discuss recent discoveries about the early ownership of Linda Hall’s Sidereus Nuncius that provide insight into the production of the book and into Galileo’s world.

Click here to view the Library’s copy of Sidereus Nuncius


The speakers

Nick Wilding is Professor of History at Georgia State University, where he teaches early modern history, the history of science, and the history of the book. He is the author of Galileo’s Idol: Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge (Chicago University Press, 2014), Faussaire de Lune: Autopsie d’une Imposture, Galilée et ses contrefacteurs (Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 2015) and a dozen research articles. He has held fellowships at Stanford, Cambridge, Columbia, the American Academy in Rome, the New York Academy of Medicine, the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, Rare Book School. He currently serves on the Council of the Bibliographical Society of America. He received his BA in English from Oxford University, his MA in Renaissance Studies from the University of Warwick, and his PhD in history from the European University Institute, Italy.


Jason W. Dean is Vice President for Special Collections at the Linda Hall Library. Prior to coming to the Library, Jason was Director of Special Collections & Archives at Southwestern University. He has previously held positions at the University of Arkansas and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. He earned an undergraduate degree in history from Hardin-Simmons University and his MS in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University. Jason has also completed coursework at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Grolier Club, and a past Institute of Library and Museum Services-Rare Book School fellow.


Accessing the program

This free, livestream program will take place via Zoom. Registration is currently open and will remain open until the event has ended. After you register you will receive an email with a link to join the session. To help us better serve our audiences, we have included some demographic questions in the registration form. Your response to these questions is voluntary but appreciated.  Thank you!

Click here to register


The Linda Hall Library encourages people of all backgrounds and abilities to participate in our public programs.  Closed captioning is provided.  If you require additional reasonable accommodations in order to participate, please contact events@lindahall.org or call 816.926.8753 at least 24 hours in advance of the event.

Once you register for this event, you will receive email communications from the Linda Hall Library and the Linda Hall Library Foundation. You may choose to opt out of these communications at any time. Your contact information will not be sold or provided to any third parties.

Further reading at the Linda Hall Library


This program is funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its content is solely the responsibility of the Linda Hall Library.


March 25
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Linda Hall Library
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Questions? Contact Eric Ward at 816.926.8753 for more information about these events.

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