February 25, 2002 Expert to Discuss Rare "Eureka" Manuscript

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-0950

Dr. William Noel, Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, Walters Art Museum, will discuss the textual and scientific significance of the newly readable palimpsest texts of Archimedes. The lecture and presentation with slides, "Eureka? The Archimedes Palimpsest" will be held at the Library of Congress at noon on Tuesday, May 14, in the Wilson Room, which houses Woodrow Wilson's working library, Room LJ-113 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E.

Sponsored jointly by the Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division, the talk is free and open to the public.

The palimpsest, that is, a parchment on which text has been partially erased and replaced with other text, was sold at auction at Christie's New York on October 29, 1998, for $2 million to an anonymous American collector who has worked with Dr. Noel and others to preserve and exhibit the texts and to make them available to scholars. The scientific treatises now available include the only known copy of Archimedes' On Floating Bodies in the original Greek. Previously this work survived only in a medieval Latin translation. The newly available manuscript reveals the earlier Greek version and fills in some gaps in the Latin version.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations contact the Disability Employment Office at (202) 707-7544 voice or ADA@loc.gov.


PR 02-021
ISSN 0731-3527