The Museum of the History of Science houses the world's largest and most important collection of astrolabes. With ancient origins and a two thousand year history, the astrolabe illuminates astronomy, time-telling, astrology and religion across cultures, time and place. The Museum's collection ranges from India and the Middle East to Europe, with many unique and significant examples.
This website has two sections:
- Exhibition - an introduction based on the Museum's exhibition 'The Astrolabe, East and West'.
- Catalogue - a uniquely comprehensive account of all the astrolabes in the Museum collection: browsable, searchable and fully illustrated.
This online resource is part of the project 'A Universal Geometry: the Astrolabe East and West'. The project was supported by the Designation Challenge Fund of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
The astrolabes also feature online in the Museum's more general collections database. The collections database may occasionally have additional and more up-to-date information, as it is in continuous development. The Astrolabes Catalogue available here has fuller systematic descriptions and better handling of non-Latin scripts than the collections database but was completed in 2005. Researchers are recommended to try the different search options available in both resources.