History of Islamic Science Museum

History of Islamic Science Museum


The History of Islamic Science Museum is housed in a former school building dating from the early 19th century which is situated in the garden of the Şahinbey Municipality. It presents the inventions and contributions to science of Muslim scholars through interactive displays.


A prominent feature of the 3-storey museum building is the numerous and high windows on all the floors. This architectural style posed a significant problem regarding the layout concept for the museum. Since the Muslim discoverers and inventors lived very modestly, and generally carried out their studies in workshops with limited resources, it was planned to create the feeling of a workshop in the school building.


Based on this idea of a historical workshop, the wood used for the benches and other display components was distressed by means of various processes, and thus through the combination of theoretical knowledge and the experience of skillful craftsmen, the difficult work was accomplished.


The next stage was deciding on the material to be used for the work benches and other display pieces. Inevitably, wood was chosen for the display material, and the real problem was how to incorporate the wood into the building and age it so it looked as though it had been there for a few centuries. Since there is no particular means of doing this, it was naturally decided to use old material, and to this end, railroad ties from Türkiye and other countries, discarded from 1950 to the present, were found and examined in the workshop. However, to neutralize the penetrating smell which these had developed during their long exposure to the elements, it was necessary to cut up the wood and rest it for a long period. To overcome this problem, an ideal aging fluid was created, using no solvent or paint, but completely natural oils and special mixtures. However, this fluid gives a different appearance to each type of wood, so it was important to choose the best wood to achieve the ideal aged effect. Studies showed the most suitable wood was oak, and at last, this painstaking job was achieved through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and skilled hands.


The most sensitive issue was the researching and manufacture of the items to be displayed in the museum. Accordingly, following investigations by history of science experts and the team of curators, it was decided that the History of Islamic Science Museum would exhibit replicas of around 100 tools from various fields from astronomy to medicine, and from geography to physics. Chosen from among hundreds which can count as milestones in the history of Islamic science, after many stages, these tools finally reached the museum where they are to be displayed. Because each scientific branch used different types of equipment, it was necessary to work with tens of different professional groups during the making of similar tools. Because most of the tools exhibited in the History of Science Museum are not used in the modern world, each one made has value as a model of its kind.