Manuscripts of Huygens at Hofwijck
During the exhibition ‘Christiaan gazes!’ at Huygens' Hofwijck from 7 April to 30 October 2016, some original manuscripts of Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) will be on display, from the special collections of Leiden University Libraries.
Christiaan Huygens was one of the leading figures in the world
of seventeenth-century science. After first being taught by
private teachers in the arts and sciences, he enrolled on 12 May
1645 at Leiden University, where he studied law and mathematics.
Huygens's first scientific publications were in the field of
mathematics, and it quickly established his name as one of
the leading mathematicians of his time. Huygens also applied
himself to the grinding of lenses, and proved his abilities in the
field of astronomy after his discovery of a satellite around Saturn.
He also invented the pendulum clock in 1656. In September 1665,
Huygens was invited as a member of the Académie Royale des
Sciences in Paris, where he was employed until 11 September 1681.
From 1687 he lived at Hofwijck in The Hague where he died on
8 July 1695.
In Leiden University Library the Codices Hugeniani are kept,
containing Christiaan Huygens’s scientific archive. This archive
contains bound manuscripts (workbooks) and loose papers in
the field of astronomy, mechanics, physics, mathematics and
music, as well as correspondence and several annotated editions.
The workbooks often contain Huygens’s first sketches and drafts
of papers and inventions. Particularly noteworthy are the sketches
of Huygens’s observations of Saturn and its famous ring and the
designs of various scientific instruments such as telescopes, which
Huygens used for his research.
Manuscripten én instrumenten
The exhibition ‘Christiaan gazes!’ is a collaboration between
Huygens’ Hofwijck and Museum Boerhaave in Leiden. Telescopes
and microscopes from Museum Boerhaave are temporarily displayed
at Huygens' Hofwijck, and are combined with original manuscripts from the special collections of Leiden University Library.