Koenraad van Cleempoel studied art history at the Catholic University of Louvain and the Completense University of Madrid. He obtained his doctoral degree from the Warburg Institute (London) and afterwards worked as the Sackler Research Fellow at the National Maritime Museum (Greenwich) where he catalogued the astrolabes described in this volume. He was research assistant of the Institute for the History of Science at the Wolfgang Goethe Universitat in Frankfurt am Main. He now lives in Antwerpen where he is a member of staff of the Higher Institute of Architectural Sciences, Henry van de Velde. In 2001 he was awarded the tri-annual price 'Frans Jonkheere' for his Ph.D. thesis on the 'Aspects of the Production of Scientific Instruments from the Louvain School, 1530 to 1600'. Since then he is also an appointed member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts in Brussels.