Maximum Marginalia

August 16, 2019

One of my favorite parts of working in a Special Collections library is finding books featuring marginalia—the notes and drawings that readers leave in the margins of books they’re reading.  I’ve come across pristine handwriting and illegible scribbles, thoughtful commentary and brief notes, and drawings that ran the gamut from cute to comical to crude.

But I’ve never seen as much marginalia as what I found in our copy of Gaius Julius Hyginus’ De Astronomica, which was printed in Lyon by Joannes Franciscus de Gabiano in 1608.  The book was printed in Latin, and features some Latin marginalia, but primarily features notes written in Ancient Greek.  Most of the notes were written by the same hand, but the colors of ink change throughout, and it’s possible some marginalia was written by a second or third hand.  There’s writing found on almost every page of the book, and for a 20 page span, the entire margin of each page is filled with notes.

Stop by the DeGolyer to take a closer look at De Astronomica (PA6445.H8 1608) and if you read Ancient Greek, we’ve got a transcription project for you!

Email Christina Jensen at to learn more.

NASA’s Part Supplier

July 16, 2019

When the Apollo 11 spaceflight departed the Kennedy Space Center on July 16, 1969, it was carrying three astronauts, mankind’s aspirations to finally land on the Moon, and sophisticated equipment that made it all possible. Prior to the historic spaceflight, NASA contracted several companies to build the Saturn V launch vehicle, the Apollo spacecraft that landed on the Moon on July 20, and the Apollo ground control center in Houston. The Dallas based Texas Instruments was one of the subcontractors that supplied parts for all three components of the Apollo 11 mission.


TI World reported in its August 1969 issue that “in a televised transmission on the return trip to Earth, Astronaut Mike Collins cited the flawless

performance of the equipment in Apollo 11,” while holding one of the switches on the control panel of the command module -the capsule that brought the astronauts back to Earth. The switch, TI World proudly pointed out, had been produced by TI’s Control Products division in Attleboro, MA, one of a total of approximately 800 switches required by the space mission. Hundreds of TI’s small signal transistors, silicon and germanium power transistors, computer diodes,, miniature thermostats worked without a hitch to ensure the success of the spaceflight and Moon landing. While it didn’t actually go to the Moon or even outside of Dallas, the data signal conditioner in the image is an example of an integrated circuit similar to the luckier ones that were selected for space travel.


In 1969, Texas Instruments was not a novice in the space exploration field. A leader in the semiconductor industry due to its innovations in the integrated circuit and integrated circuit and solid state technology,  Texas Instruments established a Space System branch that supplied equipment to space exploration programs such as the Mariner Mars and Venus probe missions, the Ranger 7 photo mission to the Moon, as well as the subsequent Apollo, Mariner, Voyager, and Discovery missions that all enhanced space travel and exploration. Since low weight was essential in spacecraft, TI was capable to produce and deliver small devices, all due to the company’s pioneer innovations in the transistor and integrated circuit technologies.

IRIS (Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer) measured atmospheric constituents and temperature profiles of planets. Measurement accuracy was achieved in the TI labs via the IRIS bench checkout equipment.






Data and image recording devices built using TI components are essential in the recording and transmission of information taken by the space probes Voyager 1 and  Voyager 2, which were launched in 1977, and have since traveled beyond the known planets and into the interstellar space. The Hubble Space Telescope pictured here uses TI built imaging chips.

Texas Instruments Records document the company’s advancements in the semiconductor industry that led to significant developments in the transistor technology and the invention of the integrated circuit.

By Ada Negraru


Independence Day at the Archives

July 3, 2019

Whether you’re barbecuing, watching the fireworks, or sticking close to the AC this Thursday, we hope you have a great day off celebrating the Fourth of July.

The DeGolyer will be closed in observance of the holiday, but while we’re away, take a look at some historical Independence Day parades, preserved in our collection.


The 1903 parade in Lewisville, Texas.

The 1876 parade in Dallas

The 1910 (or 1911) 4th of July parade in Gonzales, Texas.View of street with storefront sign and sign on side of wagon for Nagel, Froehner & Nuhn, with slogan “We are pulling for your trade”.

A 4th of July parade in Dallas, sometime between 1870 and 1889



If you’re interested in seeing more from the collections featured above, contact Christina Jensen at

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