Eclipse Expeditions: Insights into Science and Empire through Manuscript Collections

Library of Congress Science Historian Shares Insights on WC Eclipse

Westminster College is hosting a discussion on the historical significance of solar eclipse expeditions as part of their total solar eclipse watch party. The event will be held at the Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall in the Hoyt Science Center on Monday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m.

Josh Levy, a historian of science and technology in the Library of Congress’ manuscript division, will be presenting “From Pemmican to Palembang: Eclipse Expedition Collections at the Library of Congress.” He will explore manuscripts from three eclipses: 1860 in northern Saskatchewan, 1889 in coastal Angola, and 1926 in Sumatra.

Each expedition, routed through circuits of empire, provided valuable insights into the relationship between science and empire, as well as the human encounters that shape scientific knowledge. Levy’s background includes a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.

The lecture is open to everyone free of charge. Attendees are welcome to join the reception following the event for light refreshments. This event is sponsored by the Department of History at Westminster College in collaboration with the Office of Professional Development and Community Engagement.

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