Get the latest
Recent Posts

Today, Rare Books. Tomorrow, the Moon!

“Treading the soil of the moon, palpating its pebbles, tasting the panic and splendor of the event, feeling in the pit of one’s stomach the separation from terra… these form the most romantic sensation an explorer has ever known…”
Vladimir Nabokov, The New York Times, July 21, 1969

Jan Sadeler (1550-1600)
Antwerp: ca. 1580-1589
NE674 S33 L8 1580z

A representation of the moon personified as a woman archer in a chariot pulled by two women archers atop a canopy of clouds with various lands and cities depicted beneath. Zodiac sign of Cancer in oval at top center. Copper engraving from a series, “Effects of the Planets and Signs of the Zodiac,” after drawings by Maarten de Vos (1532-1603). Jan Sadeler was a Flemish engraver whose father was also a specialist engraving designs on steel weapons and cutlery. Born in Brussels, Jan Sadeler was the second of three sons. Sadeler worked as an apprentice for his father but moved to Antwerp in 1568, where he made his living illustrating books for Christophe Plantin (1514-1553). Plantin, a French printer, had moved to Antwerp, where he established one of the great publishing houses of Europe. Sadeler was admitted to the artists’ Guild of St. Luke in 1572. The family, including Sadeler’s two brothers, became prominent publishers. The religious and political turmoil of the day forced them to emigrate constantly, moving from Cologne, to Frankfurt to Munich to Venice to Prague. Sadeler died in Venice. The next generation continued the work of their fathers and a third generation created engravings for map books.

“Man was destined to land on the moon sooner or later. The challenge has been there ever since men first looked at the moon, and it was inevitable that he would accept the challenge. The symbolism of the flight…seemed to transcend modern times…it is my hope that people will keep this whole event in their minds and see beyond minor details and technical achievements to a deeper meaning behind it all: challenge, a quest, the human need to do these things and the need to recognize that we are all one mankind, under God.” — Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.

Kurzgefasste Beschreibung des Mondes: ein Auszug aus…
Johann Heinric Mädler(1794-1874)
Berlin: S. Schropp, 1839
First edition

Johann Mädler was a German astronomer who, with Wilhelm Beer, published the most complete contemporary map of the Moon – the four-volume Mappa Selenographica (1834–36), the first lunar map to be divided into quadrants. This work is an abstract of the text only of the larger work.

“I am curious to find out just how long those footprints will linger on the surface of the moon. It was a very good surface for footprints.” — Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr.

Tables de la lune construites d’apres la principe newtonien de la gravitation universelle
Peter Andreas Hansen (1793-1874)
Londres: 1857
First edition
QB399 H2

Peter Andreas Hansen was a Danish astronomer and director of the Seebert Observatory at Gotha. This work contained the first accurate tables of lunar motion. It was published at the expense of the British government, which also paid Hansen for his work. The tables were a direct result of his investigations of lunar theory published in his Fundamenta nova investigationis of 1838. The tables were quickly adopted by the “Nautical Almanac” and other ephemerides.

“I felt a successful lunar landing might inspire men around the world to believe that impossible goals really are possible, that there really is hope for solutions to humanity’s problems.” — Neil Armstrong

The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a…
James Nasmyth (1808-1890)
London: J. Murray, 1874
First edition
QB581 N2

James Nasmyth was a Scottish engineer. He was in his self-imposed early retired, after having earned a fortune with his steam hammer patent, when he created these drawings of the lunar surface, using plaster models (still preserved in the Science Museum of London) which he then photographed. He used his self-made 20-inch telescope (also at the SML) to observe his beloved moon. His book, The Moon, contained new ideas about lunar geology and a central theory that lunar craters are volcanoes, a theory that persisted until the Eagle landed, proving the already proved: that lunar craters are the leftover welts from cosmic bombardments.

“I thought about how nice it would be to get back to the planet Earth, and to see blue water for a change instead of this utterly sterile, vacuum world that I was going around and around. You know, there are planets and there are planets. I’ve only seen two of them, but there’s absolutely no comparison between them. The moon is a fascinating place and I’m sure that, geologically, it’s a little gem. But give me the earth anytime.” — Michael Collins

The Moon as Viewed by Lunar Orbiter
L.J. Kosofsky and Farouk El-Baz
Washington, D.C.: Scientific and Technical Information Division, Office of Technology Utilization, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1970
First edition
QB595 K63 1970

The Lunar Orbiter program was conceived, together with the Ranger and Surveyor programs, with the primary objective of providing information essential for a successful manned Apollo lunar landing. Initiated in early 1964, the Lunar Orbiter program included the design, development, and utilization of a complex automated spacecraft technology to support the acquisition of detailed photographs of the lunar surface from circumlunar orbit. Five spacecraft were launched at 3-month intervals between August 10, 1966, and August 1, 1967. The primary objective of the Lunar Orbiter program was to locate smooth, level areas on the Moon’s nearside and to confirm their suitability as manned landing sites for the Apollo program. Twenty potential landing sites, selected on the basis of Earth observations, were photographed during the site search missions of Lunar Orbiters I and II. Lunar Orbiter II rephotographed 12 of the most promising of these areas during its site-confirmation mission. Following analysis of these photographs, consideration was further reduced to the eight most promising areas. However, to make the final selection of the candidate Apollo landing sites, additional photographs of various types were required at all but three of these areas. These photographs, obtained during Mission V, provided sufficient data to permit the final site selection and mapping.

“Our goal, when we were assigned to this flight…seemed almost impossible. There were a lot of unknowns, unproved ideas, unproved hardware. There were many things about the lunar surface we did not know…There was just too much to learn — too many chances for problems.” — Neil Armstrong

“I am told that my heartbeat increased noticeably during the lunar descent, but I would really be disturbed with myself if it hadn’t.” — Neil Armstrong

Press Archive with original photographs pertaining to NASA’s Apollo Mission to the Moon
TL789.8 U6 A5 1969b

A collection of 94 original silver gelatin vintage press photographic prints, as well as several typescript texts and a printed brochure all addressing the Apollo missions and the personal lives of the astronauts involved. Most of the photographs are attached to extensive printed captions, and depict the Apollo program of the late 1960s, mostly from Apollo 9, 10, and 11. Also in this collection are promotional portraits of the astronauts, the Saturn V rocket on the launching pad, food being prepared for the voyages, pre-launch news conferences, blast-offs with onlooking crowds, the moon lander and module, space walks, the landing on the moon, earthrise over the moon, the landing module on the surface of the moon, footprints in the lunar dust, close-ups of moon rocks, Tranquility Base with the lunar module, the recovery of the returned capsule from the ocean, a triumphal ticker-tape parade in Manhattan, astronauts meeting with President Nixon, and more. The typescript texts include statements of purpose regarding the missions, advance press releases, statements by Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin, Jr. regarding the Apollo XI, and statements by John Young, Eugene Cernan, and Thomas Stafford regarding the Apollo X journey.

“I hope that one of the by-products of the space program will be to use our technology to preserve and protect our planet, to let the people know what a wonderful place they have — one they must stop befouling. We’re extremely lucky just to have the air to breathe and the ocean to cup in our hands and pour over heads. It is both a tragedy and a hideous crime to allow filth and pollution to contaminate the waters, so that pouring them over your head is no longer a pleasure.” — Michael Collins

No Comments

Post A Comment