Jim Phillips ’73 had spent the past 40 years systematically collecting the world’s most important and significant maps and atlases pertaining to the moon – and now an exhibition called From the Moon: Mapping & Exploration was being held right down the road at his alma mater. It seemed like the perfect fit. Mark Sloan, director of the College’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and co-curator of the exhibition, couldn’t have agreed more – and so Phillips’ rare volumes came to be part of the display in the Addlestone Library’s Special Collections last November–March. It wasn’t long, however, before Phillips– a member of the Geologic Lunar Research Group and a self-proclaimed amateur astronomer – had decided to extend his offer beyond the exhibition. “A friend told me, ‘You don’t really own these; you’re just the caretaker,’” Phillips says of his collection. “Your job is to take care of them and then pass them along.” Thus, he permanently donated his collection to the College. Boasting volumes that date as far back as the 17th century, the collection is now safely preserved. And, even more comforting to Phillips: Students, scholars and members of the public now have the opportunity to view and consult works of some of the most celebrated astronomers and scientists. It was, Phillips likes to think, a match made in heaven.

Photo by Reese Moore