Bletchley Park was home to the Second World War codebreaking initiative which famously defeated the German Enigma machine, employing Alan Turing’s innovation of the Bombe, a predecessor of the early electromechanical computers. It now operates as a visitor attraction, and this official site is relatively commercial: there is, however, some historical information including a loose narrative chronology of events in the period September 1941-March 1942 (author unspecified) and an account of early Polish successes in breaking Enigma, often overlooked, plus photographs and a Java simulation of an Enigma machine (also available at the website of its author, Russell Schwager). The material is popular in tone and would be suitable for presenting to school-age or first-level undergraduates as background or a basis for project work; there is little of potential use to researchers, however, with the possible exception of a paper, written by Bletchley Park mathematician Frank Carter, entitled "Mathematics in Action". This discusses some of the principles behind the breaking of the Lorenz cipher: the full-text is available in PDF format. The site also provides conference details, briefly annotated links, and general information about visiting the site. The layout is rather busy and a little confusing: most of the useful material is to be found in the sections "Enigma" and "History".
This is the website of a major five-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research project, begun in October 2008. The project will examine the visual manifestations of the ways in which "...astronomy was transformed in the early-modern period through the invention of new instruments and techniques of observation, the introduction of new world systems and the integration of mathematical astronomy with natural philosophy". At May 2009 the website has details of the project team, and an extensive bibliography which has been usefully divided into themed sub-sections.
This is the home page of Göttinger Digitalisierungs-Zentrum (GDZ), the Centre for Retrospective Digitization in Göttingen, Germany. The site describes the founding of the Centre in 1997; its connection with the State and University Library of Lower Saxony; its methods of image capture and digitization; file conversion services; and GDZ events. But the highlight of the site is its impressive set of online document collections, most of which hail from the 18th to the 20th centuries. Researchers may browse the collections under the following headings: Autobiographica; DigiWunschbuch; North American Literature; Mathematical Literature; Travel Literature; History of the Humanities and the Sciences; Sibirica (Siberia); Zoologica; Varia; and Maps. This resource allows visitors to search for sources in simple and complex terms using search engines. Navigation can be a little confusing, but it improves once the documents are directly accessed. A zoom function aids closer examination of the documents themselves. Occasionally the images have problems loading; the majority however, load successfully and offer an invaluable and outstanding resource for historians and scholars in German, Russian and American Studies, as well as those working in the History of Mathematics and the Sciences. The site also provides a PDF download option to download sections of books, whole books may be transfered or saved on CD-ROM, but these must be ordered via the library for a stated price. The resource also offers an in-depth, detailed list of related digitization projects at other institutions emphasising the progress that has been made in Germany in the online posting of valuable historical documents and resources.
Todd Hammond's (Truman State University) impressive Mathematics and the Liberal Arts site, is a substantial list of annotated resources focused on the relationship between the mathematical sciences and their impact and interaction with other non-scientific disciplines. Directed towards advanced students and teachers on the history and philosophy of science, the bibliographic citations listed here are organized by geography, but can be restricted into increasingly specific categories by selecting the appropriate link at the head of the page such as nation, epoch, mathematical subset, and even individual philosophers and/or mathematicians. While the annotations are extremely helpful in locating good resources on the history of mathematics, navigation of the site is not as accommodating as one would hope. The citations are not stored in a larger database but pre-set into different web pages and no search utility has been provided which would allow users to quickly locate references. To find information on a specific topic one must move through the geographical links at the top of the page. Users should also note that the link above leads to the section on European mathematics, for the specific starting page to this resource, if it exists, has proved to be elusive. If you are struggling to locate a reference and comfortable navigating by using the file directory, it can be found at the following address: http://math.truman.edu/~thammond/history/.
This is the website of the Open University’s archive, based at its Walton Hall, Milton Keynes campus. The archive includes materials relating both to the history of the University and to research, with particular strengths in the fields of: modern political history; distance education; women’s history; history of management; history of mathematics; systems behaviour. The key collections are described in some detail, together with arrangements for accessing them. Material is documented online through individual collection catalogues or through the library catalogue.
Through the "Portsmouth and Macclesfiedl Collections" website, Cambridge University Library makes available digital images of important material relating to the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton. These documents are taken from the Portsmouth and Macclesfield collections, which contain Newton's correspondence and notes, together with copy letters and scientific papers. They cover the period 1606 to 1742, and include material on: gravitation; the Principia Mathematica; calculus; comets; optics; and chemistry. They thus reflect the breadth and depth of Newton's scientific interests. Other correspondents are represented in the collections, such as: Christiaan Huygens; Henry Oldenburg; Edmund Halley; Samuel Fermat; Robert Hooke; and many others. These manuscripts illuminate the development of scientific method and understanding in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in the context of the work of members of the Royal Society and their European peers and correspondents. The documents often include diagrams drawn by the authors. Each document is digitised in full. The site can be searched by author, year, and language, or browsed using the drop-down menus provided in the search fields. Search results are presented as a list; each item links to a page showing thumbnails of the document images, each of which can be clicked to show a larger image. The document images are of high quality, but cannot be enlarged further and there is no zoom function. This is slightly unfortunate, as in many documents the script is small in size and can be hard to decipher. Each document is accompanied by brief bibliographic information. This web resource is aimed at researchers and research students and is presented with very little contextualising information, but the material itself is most rich and valuable.
The website Roman Numeral and Date Conversion, with Roman Numerals Calculator and Roman Numerals Test, has been constructed by Steven Gibbs, a freelance enthusiast based in Guernsey.The site provides online tools for the calculation of dates in the Gregorian calendar in Roman numeric form. The site not only provides help with converting year dates into Roman numerals, but also in translating dates from the Gregorian calendar into their equivalent Julian form. The dates are expressed either in full Latin text, or in the more abbreviated form used by the Romans. For each date entered, users will be offered five variant forms.The site also offers useful notes on the historical development of the calendar, and the transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. There are links to other web resources relating to calendars, and a short bibliography of works on the subject.There is also an online tool for the conversion of Arabic numbers into Roman numerals. Other features include a Roman calculator, which carries curiosity rather than practical value.The site will be a very useful resource for those needing help with conversion of Roman dates and numbers, and could prove especially useful as a classroom tool.
The "Scientific Revolution" website is part of web page of Dr. Robert A. Hatch and is made available by the University of Florida. It provides access to a range of resources for the study and teaching of the Scientific Revolution, covering developments from Copernicus to Isaac Newton over the period 1550 to 1700. At the time of review, some links on the site were incomplete or broken. Nevertheless, the site presents much useful information about the resources available for the study of the Scientific Revolution and the scientists and thinkers involved. The site is divided into the following sections: Introduction; Overview and Background; Outlines, Timelines and Tools; Biography and the Scientific Revolution; Intermediate Resources; Research - Primary Texts; and Research - Early English Books Online. It is aimed at undergraduate students and teachers. The content available at the time of cataloguing included: an introductory essay discussing the concept of periodisation in relation to the Scientific Revolution; bibliographic essays by Robert Hatch and Richard Westfall; an account of basic concepts of various world and cosmological systems, from the Aristotelian cosmos to Newton; timelines; bibliographies of secondary and important primary material; and a guide to online resources, in particular Early English Books Online and Gallica. Hatch's "History of Science Study Guide", which covers developments in astronomy and related scientific disciplines from pre-scientific times to Newton, is a very useful overview. The site also makes available Richard Westfall's browsable prosopographical list of over 600 individuals involved in the scientific community. This is a valuable tool and will be of use to students and researchers. The study guide and account of cosmological concepts will also be of considerable interest to those involved in the history of science in the early modern period. The bibliographical material will be of use to all students of the subject. There is no indication of updates and the site seems to be archived.
The website 'University of Bristol Special Collections' describes the special collections held by the University of Bristol Library. Covering a wide range of subjects the collections derive from a wide range of subject-specific personal and institutional libraries donated to the university. Particular strengths are in the history of architecture, non-conformist Christian movements, science and medicine as well as rare books, political pamphlets and social history. Other collections include various family archives, often related to the history of Bristol and the nationally important collection of material relating to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The site informs about catalogues and archives and gives guidance regarding library policy and practical things to know for users.
The website 'University of Waterloo Library Special Collections' is the homepage of the Archives and Rare Books in the Dana Porter Library at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1976, the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room in the Library holds early editions of 50,000 rare books. The department claims strengths in the fields of women's studies; local history; the history of mathematics (especially Euclid's Elements of Geometry); architecture; dance; fine printing; and urban planning. Special Collections contain the archives of the University of Waterloo. The Archives hold manuscripts and other materials on prominent local figures, families and businesses, which are detailed at length in an online alphabetical catalogue. These will prove useful for genealogists and for researchers working on Canadian and local history. There are also some 19th century British History primary sources. Descriptions of separate book and manuscript collections are similarly posted under a variety of themes, from the William Blake Collection, to the B. P. Nichol Library of Science Fiction, to the Rosa Breithaupt Clark Architectural Collection, to the Spanish, Latin-American and South American Dancing Collection. The Archives also possess over two million negatives of photographs, including the photo archive of the local newspaper, the Kitchener-Waterloo Record, from 1938 to the present, which can be seen in the digital collections section of the site.