Charles traveled to Europe to take photographs for the exhibition. He took pictures at Jagiellonian University and Frombork Cathedral in Poland, where Copernicus lived and worked most of his life. Charles also photographed the Uppsala University Library in Sweden, the location where the astronomer’s books, treatises, and manuscripts were stolen during the Thirty Years’ War. During Charles’s trip, he collected Polish Christmas objects for the exhibition, including festive bread and a six-foot tinfoil cathedral to festoon IBM’s storefront windows during the holidays. Additionally, Harvard professors Owen Gingerich and I. Bernard Cohen served as consultants on this project.
The exhibition—filled with text, diagrams, artifacts, and images—was comprised of six sections: Copernicus at school; Medieval curriculum; astronomy and the theologian; ancient cosmologies; celestial physicists—Kepler, Galileo, and Newton; and the age of exploration. Copernicus opened in 1972 at the IBM Corporate Exhibit Center in New York, and later traveled to other institutions nationwide.