In 1998, an anonymous collector bid $2 million at a Christie's auction in New York. His prize? An ancient, moldy, fire-damaged manuscript that had been written on twice, once in about A.D. 1000 and then again in about A.D. 1200. Its value lay in what it hid—never-before-seen mathematical ideas from a genius named Archimedes.
Tune into your local PBS station on September 30, 2003, for NOVA's "Infinite Secrets" to learn about the man who was famous for crying "Eureka!" in the bathtub, whose calculations gave us pi, and whose mathematical thinking set the stage for modern math and calculus. Follow the trail of a manuscript that survived the destruction of Syracuse, life in a monastery, and thousands of years in obscurity to emerge on Christie's auction block five years ago. NOVA takes you on the journey with the scientists, translators, and conservators who expose the manuscript's concealed treasures with the aid of ultraviolet light and digital imaging.
With generous support from the National Science Foundation, we've produced a library resource kit to accompany this program. We hope you'll use this kit to create displays, conduct science activities, and plan community events. The kit, which has been reviewed by a national board of public librarians, has been designed for libraries of all sizes and visitors of all ages. It includes:
We hope you can use these resources to enhance your library programs. We would love to hear how this kit works for you; please send your comments to NOVA_librarykits at wgbh dot org. Your feedback will help ensure that future projects like this one are interesting and useful to all librarians.
Paula S. Apsell
The NOVA special, "Infinite Secrets," airs on PBS September 30, 2003, at 8:00 p.m. (Check local listings as dates and times may vary.) You may tape the program and make it available for educational use for up to one year after the broadcast date. For more information about Archimedes, visit the NOVA Web site at:
The Infinite Secrets Library Resource Kit is produced by the Educational Outreach department of the WGBH Educational Foundation.
Director of Educational Outreach
Manager of Educational Print
Editorial Project Director
Catherine M. Clancy
Kathleen T. Horning
Sue McCleaf Nespeca
Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
Major funding for "Infinite Secrets" provided by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
NOVA is closed captioned and described by the Media Access Group at WGBH for viewers who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired.
© 2003 WGBH Educational Foundation
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