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Library of Congress historian offers lecture on eclipse expeditions

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Posted on Monday, March 25, 2024

As part of Westminster College’s total solar eclipse watch party, guest lecturer and historian Dr. Josh Levy will discuss three distinct eclipse expeditions at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the Dietz Sullivan Lecture Hall in the Hoyt Science Center.

Levy, historian of science and technology in the Library of Congress’ manuscript division, will present “From Pemmican to Palembang: Eclipse Expedition Collections at the Library of Congress.” He will focus on the 1860 eclipse as seen from northern Saskatchewan, the 1889 eclipse in coastal Angola and the 1926 eclipse in Sumatra, all of which are detailed in the library’s manuscript collections.

“Routed through circuits of empire, each expedition was revealing in its own way; not only of the longstanding relationship between science and empire, but of the messy human encounters that help produce scientific knowledge,” Levy said.

Levy holds a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.

The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception with light refreshments will follow.

This event is sponsored by Westminster College’s Department of History in collaboration with the Office of Professional Development and Community Engagement. Questions about the event can be directed to Dr. David Horst Lehman, assistant professor of history, at or 724-946-6152.