History of Science Collections
Starting points for exploring how the History of Science Collections may support your research:
The History of Science Collections, founded in 1949 with an initial gift from Everette Lee DeGolyer, is a premier research collection. Its holdings include nearly 100,000 print volumes across diverse disciplinary subject areas, along with current publications in the field. The Collections supports multidisciplinary research in every chronological period, geographic region, and subject area of science, technology, and medicine. Among the oldest items are a cuneiform brick (ca. 1300 BCE), a small number of medieval and early modern manuscripts, and the Collections' oldest printed book: Hrabanus Maurus, Opus de universo (1467). Astronomy, physics, natural history, geology, technology, and science and religion are traditional areas of strength for the print holdings. Areas of recent concentration include women in science, Islamicate science, star maps, and science and technology in Asia. Holdings of the allied Western History Collections are of interest to scholars investigating the history of environmental science; science and Native American culture; or geology and natural history in the American West. Archives support research in the history of geology, meteorology, technology, and physics, among other topics. Digital collaborations include the Darwin Online project of Cambridge University; the Galileo//Thek@ digital library of the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy; and Edition Open Sources with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. A travel fellowship program, endowed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports short-term use of the Collections by visiting scholars. The Collections works closely with the Department of the History of Science and with the Western History Collections.
- Over 100,000 volumes comprising the printed record of science from the 15th century to the present time
- early printed books from 15th through 17th centuries, including over 50 incunabula, many first or notable editions of ancient and medieval authors, and key texts reflecting developments in astronomy, cosmology, natural philosophy, medicine and natural history throughout the Renaissance and the period of the Scientific Revolution
- scientific journals from the 17th century through the 19th century, including the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and the publications of many other smaller scientific societies