Machinae Calculatoriae – Instruments supporting calculations - exhibition

The aim of the exhibition is to present to the wide audience the historical instruments used to perform arithmetic calculations throughout times. The story of the exhibition will go around several types of instruments: the abacus, Napier bones and their variations and modifications, logarithmic slide rulers, adders and more advanced mechanical arithmometers. The oldest constructions or their replicas, as well as unique constructions or their replicas from the collections of the Jagiellonian University Museum, other museums and private collections (including professor Maciej M. Sysło’s one) will be presented at the exhibition. Objects such as prints, graphics and paintings depicting arithmetic machines will enrich the exhibition as well. Interactive models of the machines will enable the visitors to conduct calculations themselves and learn about their functional principles. Posters containing information about the evolution of arithmetic instruments will also be prepared for the exhibition.

Calculating instruments (from the left): de Colmar's arithmometer, Napier's bones, mechanism of Brunsvig's machine.

In our society the stereotypes that mathematics is incomprehensible and too difficult are still present today. This exhibition is adressed specifically to young visitors to show them that mathematics and accompanying calculations are the foundation of a society built on the knowledge. Mathematics has many practical applications and should not be negatively associated. We are taking steps to bring it closer to younger generations, in which these negative stereotypes are not yet rooted. Basing on devices used to facilitate calculations the exhibition will be focused on the practical aspect of mathematics. The exhibition will be open free of charge at the Jagiellonian University Museum, as an element of events such as the International Science Center and Science Museum Day and National Heritage Day.

Gallery of calculating instruments.