Peter Apian’s Cosmographia,
originally published in 1524, was based on the writings of Ptolemy. It provided
instruction in astronomy, geography, cartography, navigation, instrument-making, weather and climate, and map projections. It is illustrated
with some of the earliest maps of the Americas and includes a number of
moveable parts, also known as volvelles or the “Apian Wheel.”
A volvelle is a paper instrument that dates to the 11th century and is made of rotating paper disks attached to the center. In the 16th century they were used to calculate time and distance and were used in many different subject areas such as astronomy and astrology.
At Special Collections you can find the 1553 and 1584 edition. The images above are from the 1584 edition. If you are interested in seeing images from the 1553 edition, take a look at this earlier post from last year.