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Welcome Letter


Infinite Secrets homepage

Dear Librarian,

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:

  • 4-page tip sheet with library programming and display ideas
  • 4-page bibliography of resources for Archimedes and related topics
  • 6 pages of Archimedes handouts with hands-on activities
  • 4 color display sheets

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
NOVA Executive Producer


Program Information

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:
www.pbs.org/nova/archimedes/


Credits

The Infinite Secrets Library Resource Kit is produced by the Educational Outreach department of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

Director of Educational Outreach
Karen Barss

Manager of Educational Print
Sonja Latimore

Editorial Project Director
Karen Hartley

Associate Editor
Erica Thrall

Writer
Margy Kuntz

Designers
Elles Gianocostas
Peter Lyons

Photo Researcher
Debby Paddock

Illustrator
Hannah Bonner

Print Production
Lenore Lanier Gibson

Advisory Board
Frances L. Ashburn
North Carolina Center for the Book
State Library of North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina

Catherine M. Clancy
Boston Public Library
Honan-Allston Library Branch
Boston, Massachusetts

Kathleen T. Horning
Cooperative Children's Book Center
University of Wisconsin
School of Education
Madison, Wisconsin

Nina Lindsay
Oakland Public Library
Oakland, California

Sue McCleaf Nespeca
Kid Lit Plus Consulting
Youngstown, Ohio

Deb Robertson
Public Programs Office
American Library Association
Chicago, Illinois

Lisa Sheffield
Transylvania County Library
Brevard, North Carolina

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.

Park Foundation, Sprint, and Microsoft logos

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.

NSF logo

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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Infinite Secrets
Library Resource Kit














Infinite Secrets Web Site Content
Contemplating Infinity

Contemplating Infinity
Philosophically, the concept remains a mind-bender.

Working with Infinity

Working with Infinity
Mathematicians have become increasingly comfortable with the concept.

Great Surviving Manuscripts

Great Surviving Manuscripts
Ancient documents offer a tantalizing glimpse of lost cultures.

The Archimedes Palimpsest

The Archimedes Palimpsest
Follow the 1,000-year-long journey of the Archimedes manuscript.

Approximating Pi

Approximating Pi
See Archimedes' geometrical approach to estimating pi.



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