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Karen Patricia Heath (Rothermere American Institute), Sarah Griffin (formerly Oxford Internet Institute), Neil Bowles (Department of Physics), Jon Wade and Isobel Walker (Department of Earth Sciences) and Stuart Ackland (Maps curator at the Bodleian), share the treasures they assembled for an exhibition inspired by the Apollo 11 Moon landings.

Banner from 'We look to the moon'

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first crewed mission to land on the Moon. To celebrate this seminal moment in modern history, we came together, across the disciplines of science and the humanities, to create ‘We Look to the Moon’ at the Bodleian Library.

The exhibition that we co-curated utilises the extraordinary holdings and curatorial expertise of the Bodleian Library to explore how humanity has engaged with and understood the Moon throughout history and across cultures. Spanning art, history and science, the display — extended via interactive and online content — explores the Moon’s influence on human culture and the significance of lunar research being undertaken in Oxford today.

In 1969, a small band of explorers took an immense risk to touch down on, and explore, our nearest celestial neighbour, whilst the rest of the world held their collective breath. This was one of very few historical events that was a shared human experience, made possible by pioneering telecommunications technology beaming images directly into people’s living rooms.

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