An Odyssey in Print | Adventures in the Smihtsonian Libraries
Johannes Hevelius. Machinæ coelestis, 1673-79. Johannes Hevelius. Machinæ coelestis, 1673-79.

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Attempts to explain the unknown and often unseen can be considered journeys of the mind. Georg Wolfgang Franz Panzer. Faunae insectorum germanicae initia (Elements of the insect fauna of Germany). 1796-1813.Careful scientific observation, whether with lens or naked eye, has led to advances in fields as diverse as microscopy and space exploration.

Many zoological and botanical publications from the 1700s and 1800s - the "golden age" of natural history" - have never been surpassed for beauty and accuracy. Treatises on the movement of the planets challenged accepted dogma and led to progress in astronomy, meteorology, and astrophysics.

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