This Special Issue of Medieval Encounters is based on the papers of the conference on “Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures” held at the Warburg Institute, University of London, on 24–25 April 2014, under the aegis of a three-year research project on “Astrolabes in Jewish Culture.” This project was supported by the British Arts and Humanities Research Council (
The editors would like to express their gratitude to the Warburg Institute, their staff and fellows, and to the British Museum and the Oxford Museum of the History of Science and their staff, for supporting this research project and this conference in different ways. We would particularly like to thank Stephen Johnston for his part in preparing the conference and for the unstinted help and advice that he has always given us. We would like to extend our gratitude to Ryan Szpiech, the editor of Medieval Encounters, for accepting the proceedings of this conference into this journal. Last but not least we also thank all the participants in the conference “Astrolabes in Medieval Cultures” for sharing their knowledge and their enthusiasm for this intelligent, beautiful, and emblematic object and making this scholarly event a very special occasion.