The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum in Chicago is a public building and a research institution. It aims to educate schoolchildren about astronomy in an exciting environment, whilst also maintaining significant holdings of texts and artefacts of interest to more scholarly visitors. The website provides a virtual tour of the planetarium, along with the usual transport and access information. It offers a substantial education section for teachers of school students. A section on shows and exhibits gives details of current presentations, which again are generally aimed at a younger audience. The historical collections section is more academic. It contains a database of the museum's holdings, which include: almost 2,000 historic instruments; about 550 individual maps, prints, and book plates featuring astronomical illustrations; over 2,000 books, including some incunabula. There are illustrated introductions to some of the more significant types of scientific instrument, such as astrolabes, orreries, armillary spheres, and telescopes. The site also contains Webster's database of signatures of instrument makers.
This is the dynamic and colourful website of The American Museum of Natural History, New York. The museum's collections, exhibitions, research centres, education programmes, and some of the 32 million specimens and artifacts in the field of scientific research and education, are available through this resource. Whilst mini-sites cover current exhibitions, more permanent displays and departments of the museum are introduced through dedicated pages.
The description of a hall or collection or subject offers links to some of the artifacts. For example: from the Culture Halls users can view short descriptions of: Indians of the Northwest Coast, Eastern Woodlands, and the Plains; African Peoples; Asian Peoples; Mexico and Central America; South American Peoples; and Pacific Peoples. Teachers' guides (mainly school-level) are available for each, providing PDF articles, evidence and analysis on subjects that range through the fields of anthropology (archaeology briefly features), history of astronomy, biology, earth sciences and paleontology, for example. There are Web pages for most collections such as North American Ethnography, where you can browse more than 50,000 artifacts online. The education resources section was nominated in the competition for Best Museum Web Site Supporting Educational Use in 'Museums and the Web 2004 : Best of the Web'.
The Antique Telescope Society (ATS) aims to bring together those interested in antique telescopes, the history of optics, and the preservation and use of telescopic instruments. Its membership consists largely of collectors with practical or scholarly interest in the subject. The ATS publishes a journal, organizes conventions, maintains the website, and moderates an email discussion group. They aim to provide educational services as well as assisting with the preservation and restoration of artefacts. The website features images and descriptions of antique telescopes, along with links to many member sites that go into greater detail about specific models or observatories. A biographical section introduces many of the key craftsmen and manufacturers who produced telescopes. Links are provided to other related sites. Abstracts of the Society's journal may be searched online, or the contents of specific issues listed. There is a page of tips for cleaning optical surfaces, and a mailing list. Full membership details are provided. Historians looking specifically at telescope design, or at the history of astronomical technology more generally, should find this site of interest.
This is the website of the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists’ AHRC-funded project to catalogue the archives of eleven leading British mathematical and physical scientists. The AHRC grant has enabled each scientist’s papers to be catalogued at their respective repositories, and this website links to the various resulting online catalogues. The project has made available material relating not just to the work of the eleven scientists in their fields (ranging from atomic physics to radio astronomy), but also to aid the historical study of scientists’ wider contributions to society from war roles to the advancement of women in science. These topics are explored further in the ‘Connexions’ sections, which point the user to relevant material.
An ideal introduction to the astrolabe, this site provides a clear, detailed account of the astronomical instrument's history and the principles behind its operation, with several large colour photographs. There is a small collection of annotated links to other sites in the same field, and a good brief critical bibliography. The site is maintained by Janus, a commercial company producing replicas of historical astronomical instruments: their "personal astrolabe" is advertised for sale here, but the commercial content is limited and does not prejudice the remainder of the site. Also available, downloadable at no charge, is a computer simulation known as the "electric astrolabe".
This website, maintained on behalf of the historical commission of the International Astronomical Union at Bonn University, is a massive database of documents regarding every aspect of the study of the history of astronomy. These include archives, publications, people, meetings and research institutions. The documents are usefully grouped under the sub-headings of History of Science, History of Astronomy and History in General. As well as containing over four hundred internal files, the site also offers unsorted links, in twelve sections, to about eight thousand external sites. A search facility is available; the site is occasionally updated and the presentation is simple but effective.
The Astronomical Instruments of Tycho Brahe is a website about the great Danish astronomer, whose instruments helped measure astronomical phenomena to a previously unattainable degree of accuracy. It includes a short biography of Brahe, a bibliography, and a list of links. The most significant feature of the resource, however, is the online version of his Astronomiae Instauratae Mecanica of 1598. The digitised pages of the original Latin publication, with its full colour illustrations, may be viewed online at various magnification levels. The text is also generally (although not universally) made available in Danish and/or English translations. Brahe describes thirty separate instruments in total. The site's introductory pages explain the slightly peculiar system of measurements he uses to describe his inventions. The site is part of the Royal Library of Denmark website.
Astronomy in Japan is intended primarily to introduce English speakers to the history and culture of Japanese astronomy. The articles contained in the site are written so as to be enjoyable to read whilst maintaining scholarly standards. There are a large number of pages devoted to aspects of Japanese starlore and astronomical history. These are frequently illustrated and include bibliographies. They cover subjects ranging from the Japanese New Year to the diary entries of a 17th-century Kochi resident who observed and drew pictures of a comet. The constellations, and the mythological associations of Japanese astronomy, are also discussed and illustrated. A section of the website is devoted to influential astronomers and important achievements. Links are provided to other websites, and a FAQ section provides responses to common reader enquiries.
The site focuses on information about celestial navigation, the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets. The site includes information on the history of celestial navigation; navigational astronomy; the theory and practice of celestial navigation; navigational instruments; and links to sites of further interest.
The Center for History of Physics is a division of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The centre has a mission to preserve and make known the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, optics, etc. The site includes links to the AIP History of Physics Newsletter which reports on work in the history of physics (and allied fields such as astronomy and geophysics), archival materials, bibliographies, photographs, etc; selected bibliographical listing of publications; exhibits and online source materials for history of physics and allied fields; links to other sites; history of physics syllabi (including reading lists); and the Center's Niels Bohr Library Archives (including library catalogue) .
The Center for History of Physics is run by the American Institute of Physics whose aim is to preserve the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, and optics. The site includes information on the Center's oral history and educational programmes and several well documented and interesting online exhibitions. There is also an International Catalog of Sources (ICOS), compiled by the Center to collect information on publications and research collections of historical interest in physics ; astronomy ; acoustics ; optics ; geophysics ; and medical physics. The ICOS covers the period from 1890 to the present, although it also includes notable collections from earlier in the nineteenth century. The database can be searched through an online catalogue. Another collection entitled Physics History Finding Aids offers full-text descriptions of finding aids at 15 different academic and research institutions. These can also be searched on the site. The site further provides the catalogues and information on the Center's library, the Niels Bohr Library in College Park, Maryland and its image archive, the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. This section of the Niels Bohr Library possesses some 25,000 historical photographs -- several thousand of which can be browsed online. This site would prove invaluable for general interest, teaching or research. Despite its size, it is easy to navigate and clearly organised.
This web page hosts an online essay introducing the history of astronomy in Denmark. Beginning in the Middle Ages and progressing to the present day, the site covers astronomers such as Tycho Brahe and Ole Rømer, and concludes with the astronomical observatory of Copenhagen University. The text contains hyperlinks to more detailed accounts of important people, places, and concepts. The site also introduces readers to the important astronomical sites in Copenhagen and provides links to calendar programmes and star calculator. Features of the site include some virtual three-dimensional models of Tycho Brahe and Ole Rømer's instruments, and an interactive periodic table that provides chemical data such as boiling point and atomic weight, along with the name of each element's discoverer and date of discovery.
This site contains a digitised version of Christiaan Huygens' 'Systema Saturnium', his pioneering work about the planet Saturn, its rings and moons. The 1659 edition is used. It is printed in Latin and the site does not provide a translation or a text file version, only images of each original page. The site does however allow users to skip directly to particular pages or illustrations. An introduction to Huygens and his work is provided. It explains the significance of his discoveries and places the book in its historical context, examining the (mixed) reaction to its Copernican ideas. Developments in astronomical observations of Saturn since Huygens are briefly summarised. Bibliographical information is given, along with a short list of sources.
The Cosmographia of Petrus Apianus was one of the most popular books of its kind in sixteenth-century Europe. The book acted as a layman's introduction to such subjects as astronomy, geography, cartography, surveying, navigation, and mathematical instruments. The authors of the website describe cosmography and the intellectual context into which the Cosmographia was published. They also look at the technological aspects of the work, and the situation regarding the scientific instruments of its time. There is a bibliography and a list of editions of the Cosmographia. The text itself is not included with the site. Despite this obvious absence, the site does provide a good introductory essay on the history of science and the history of publishing in sixteenth century Europe.
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.
The Dibner Library is the Smithsonian Institution Library for the history of science and technology. It holds a number of special collections of manuscripts and rare books dating from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries. It has grown from Bern Dibner's original collection of works about Leonardo da Vinci to now include over 35,000 rare books covering such fields as engineering, transportation, chemistry, mathematics, physics, electricity, and astronomy, and 2,000 manuscript sources. The website describes the history of the library and its collections, along with access details and its services for scholars and the general public. A section on new acquisitions provides an annual report, and a PDF newsletter gives details on other projects and developments. Lectures and digital editions of primary works are accessible from the site. The library also offers research grants for students and an annotated list of links to other online resources. The library's holdings are included on the international OCLC database and on the Smithsonian Libraries own catalogue, SIRIS. There is a list of further reading for those interested in learning more about the library.
The Galileo Project is an online resource documenting the life and times of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Much of the site has been constructed by students at the Department of History from Rice University. The site is divided into the following sections: introductory material; Galileo's villa (with individual pages for each of the rooms); resources, of which the most extensive is a database of scientists from the 16th and 17th centuries); maps and timeline and, finally, specific topics created by Rice students. There is also a more recent, and fairly substantial, section on the letters of Maria Celeste, Galileo's daughter, to her father. English translation of all 124 letters sent from 1623 to 1633 is available online, together with a number of essays. This site is well-presented and straightforward to use. It would apperar not to have been updated since 1995 however, so additional resources should be sought for information on recent research.
'Geoffrey Chaucer: a treatise on the astrolabe' is a web page hosting an electronic text of Geoffrey Chaucer's unfinished Treatise, written around 1391 and believed to be the earliest extant 'technical manual' in English. The text is in HTML format and is adapted from F. N. Robinson's 1933 edition of Chaucer's poetical works. It is presented in its original unmodernised Middle English. There is little commentary, but the opportunity to access the original text would be of use to students of Chaucer's works.
This site from the University of Bonn, maintained on behalf of the History of Astronomy Interest Group, contains subscription details of HASTRO-L: the History of Astronomy Discussion Group. This group discusses, via email, matters arising from research into the astronomy of all cultures and time periods, whether that research be socio-historical, philosophical, archeological or mathematical. The group currently contains over five hundred members from forty countries. Although the home page has not been recently updated, the list archive is updated monthly and is current.
Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO) is responsible for producing annual volumes of astronomical almanacs in the United Kingdom including the Nautical Almanac - a reference work for navigation at sea using a sextant. It is published jointly with the US Naval Observatory. Prices and ordering information is provided. They also produce astronomical data suitable for a wide range of users, including mariners, which can be obtained from the Astronomy Information Service of the National Maritime Museum. Some data is available on-line - `Daylight/Moonlight Diagrams', and 'Observers Calender', (supplied as compressed Postscript files and as Adobe Acrobat files). HMNAO is part of the Space Science and Technology Department at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and operates under the auspices of the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils.
The Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is an organisation dedicated to advancing research into the history of astronomy. Its remit includes the history of astronomy as traditionally understood, archaeoastronomy, and 'the application of historical records to modern astrophysical problems'. Its membership consists of scholars studying the history of science and astronomers with an interest in the history of their field. The HAD website provides information about the division, including current officers, its constitution, and forthcoming meetings. An archive of the division's newsletter is available on the site, as is information about the Leroy E. Doggett Prize for historical astronomy, which is awarded on a biannual basis. There is a section on the history of the division, and an index of obituaries of former AAS members. The site also includes a lightly-annotated bibliography of recent publications relating to the history of astronomy. Some parts of the site are in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format.
The Internet Bibliographies of the History of Astronomy and Astronomical Instruments website has been compiled by an academic researcher seeking to help other scholars locate the best online resources in the field. It consists of annotated links to bibliographic websites and is divided into the following main pages: primary bibliographic sources; other bibliographic sources; astronomical library catalogues; online historical astronomical publications; and biographies, old books, and miscellaneous resources. Each section is subdivided for more precise browsing.
The Web Site Muzeum uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego (Jagiellonian University museum) provides information about the university's museum in Cracow, Poland. The site is in English and Polish, although the English site is less comprehensive. The Jagiellonian University is the second oldest in Central Europe, founded in 1364. The museum is situated within the Collegium Maius, the oldest university building in Poland. The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibitions. One section is dedicated to Nicolaus Copernicus, another houses the library, and there is an excellent collection of early scientific instruments. The textual guide to the museum is accompanied by links to images. The tables of contents of the annual published by the museum, Opuscula Musealia of all issues, since 1986, are posted on the site. A small video opens automatically in the main page, presenting the Collegium Maius with a rather distracting musical background. The most famous alumni of the university are listed on the front page. This is a good site for those interested in the material culture of Cracow, and those who are studying Polish Studies.
The Japanese Calendar is one of several informative and nicely presented online exhibitions from the National Diet Library of Japan, accessible in parallel English and Japanese versions. Using the Library's calendar collection, it traces the history of the Japanese calendar, focusing particularly on the Daishō-reki calendar used in the Edo period (1603-1867). The site is divided into two broad sections: calendar history; and unriddling the Daishō-reki calendar. The first explores the development of the Japanese calendar from its introduction from China via Korea in the late 6th-early 7th centuries to the adoption of the Western calendar in 1873. Thumbnail images of calendars from various periods can be enlarged and brief descriptions can be accessed via the 'data' icons. The section on the Daishō-reki calendar describes the Japanese lunisolar calendar, which varied from year to year and consisted of long and short months with intercalary months from time to time. As the calendar spread, pictures and sentences to indicate long and short months were introduced; the exhibition includes six of these illustrations as puzzles for the viewer to work out (with answers).
This Web resource is the early result of an ongoing project by the Group of History and Theory of Science at the University of Campinas, Brazil. The aim of the project is to compile a full bibliography of the published editions of Johannes de Sacrobosco's 'Tractatus de Sphaera'. One of the earliest scientific books to be published after the invention of the press, its first publication in 1472 came after wide circulation in manuscript. After appearing in print, the text went through over 200 editions before the 17th century, making it one of the 'most popular astronomical books of all time'. The website contains details of the bibliographic resources used in the research so far, links to online editions where available, and advice on the reliability of these sources and comments on their usefulness. A simple series of links leads to a listing of editions of the text, with further links by each one to a bibliographic analysis. This level of detail makes this an excellent resource for researchers at all levels in the history of science and related areas. It may also have material of interest to scholars working on the history of the book and publishing. This site is evidently the result of a painstaking and detailed ongoing project, whose methodology is simply and clearly explained. It is well-presented and straightforward to use.
The Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology holds a significant history of Science collection, some of which is available online. Based in Kansas, Missouri, the library has amassed rare books from the fifteenth century onwards. They have also acquired long runs of scientific and technical society journals dating from the seventeenth century. The site includes the Library's electronic catalogue as well as a document ordering service and a reference service. The online exhibitions are all interesting and quite extensive, introducing visitors to particular subject areas in some detail. They are well illustrated with drawings and pictures taken from the books upon which they are based. The site explains the legal restrictions on reproducing these images. Exhibitions include 'Centuries of Civil Engineering', which looks at significant historical examples of canals, bridges, viaducts, lighthouses, monuments, and water supply infrastructure. The second exhibition is called 'Voyages : Scientific Circumnavigations 1679-1859)'. There is an exhibition of early printed material on dinosaur discovery, called 'Paper Dinosaurs 1824-1969'. Another section, 'Out of this World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas', looks at the history of celestial atlases from the fifteenth to nineteenth century. Finally, there is the exhibition 'The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo'. These are all interesting presentations in their own right. This site should appeal to students of the history of science.
This bilingual (Spanish/English) website, created by researcher and teacher Martín Pozzi of Buenos Aires University, is devoted to the study of the first century AD Latin poet Marcus Manilius, whose best known work is the Astronomica, a 4500 line hexametric poem which combines astrology with Stoic philosophy. The site offers links to online editions of the text (Loeb and Intratext) as well as commentaries, articles, secondary literature and reviews. A useful and extensive bibliography of works on Manilius also provides a list of publications on ancient astrology and the zodiac. Much of the secondary material referenced in the bibliography is in English. There is an excellent range of links including ones on the wider history of astrology. There is also a discussion group to which readers can subscribe. This resource will benefit researchers and teachers in classics and related subjects, including the history of science and religion.
This website provides information and links to further Internet resources on maritime knowledge. Some documents from the early nineteenth century are transcribed such as 'Questions for young officers' and 'General principles of working a ship' (circa 1814). The original content includes, for example, Jottings on Celestial and Great Circle Navigation where the author provides an explanation of navigation in relation to the shape of the earth and celestial navigation, with explications of some of the terms used in celestial navigation. It also provides a list of references.
This Web resource is part of the Digital Mirror online collection of the National Library of Wales and offers access to the most ancient scientific manuscript in the Library's collections (Shelf number NLW MS 735C). The manuscript contains a number of Latin texts on astronomy in two sections which date from the first and second centuries AD and originate from the Limoges area of France. It also offers an overview, which may be read in English or Welsh, on what little background information is known and details of an article in the National Library of Wales Journal, by P. McGurk, for further reading. The digital edition of the text has been made accessible for those with a 56k web connection or slower, or those who have access to a broad band connection, via two separate links. The main page of the digitised version offers full details for referencing and access to each page by folio number. This is a valuable resource, offering high quality online access to a rare text, which is presented with sufficient information to enable detailed research and precise preparation for any visit to view the original.
Constructed by James McNelis (Wilmington College), the Medieval Science Page is a quick-reference online gateway to a host of topics related to scientific development, primarily between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. The gateway focuses predominantly on European discoveries and innovations, and includes links to sites dealing with such topics as alchemy, astronomy, botany, calendrics, cartography, mathematics, physics and scientific instruments. The site is best used as a general starting point for students interested in a specific scientific discipline during the Middle Ages, as it does not provide a comprehensive list of electronic resources currently available, nor resources focused on methodological or philosophical issues that affected scientific development. However, by following the many links, one should be able to move to increasingly specific resources off-site.
Moments of Discovery is a subsite of the Center for History Physics and administered by the American Institute of Physics. This is another in a series of online mini-exhibitions devoted to the history of science, this one to the discovery of fission, the detection of the first optical pulsar and superconductivity. The site has a well-developed online teachers' pack, with downloadable material, as well as teaching material that can be ordered. The subsite devoted to fission provides a straightforward history of the discovery of nuclear fission, illustrated with pictures of relevant scientists and supported by sound files recording interviews with them. The section on pulsars -- defined for site visitors as "a highly magnetised neutron star, with a radius of 10-15 km, having somewhat greater mass than the Sun" --includes a link to an interesting site with files of sounds emitted by different pulsars. There are also sound files of interviews with various scientists who discovered the phenomenon of optical pulsars. Over-reliance on the interview format dominates this section. This site, more than others in this series, is devoted in diction and content quite explicitly to teaching over and above interest from the general public or undergraduate students. In its exhortation, "Don't try to learn about pulsars from this exhibit. Try to learn about science itself, and the people who practice science. Pay attention to the procedures, not the particular facts." it suffers perhaps from some oversimplification to achieve its aim.
The University of Oxford's Museum for the History of Science has provided this online version of their exhibition ‘Moonscope’ held from 24 May to 16 September 2007. This exhibition featured the lunar drawings of the 18th century artist, John Russell, better known for his pastel portraits. Eleven of Russell‘s 180 mounted sketches dating from 1764-1805 that were featured in the exhibition are shown on the website. Also included is an essay by Professor Brian Catling, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, on the 21st century lunar paintings of Rebecca Hind, as well as a short film ‘Ebb and Flow’ by Tila Rodriguez-Past, featuring Rebecca Hind. The press pack for this exhibition is still available on the website.
This website, from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Bologna, sets out the Museo della Specola's extensive collection of historic scientific instruments. The information would be of use to history of science and astronomy researchers at all levels in locating primary source material. The site also includes: an introductory essay written for the printed catalogue by Gerard L'Estrange Turner of the University of London; detailed background information to the study of astronomy at Bologna; online analysis of the museum's catalogue; an extensive list of publications and a list of exhibitions where items from the museum's collections have been on display. One of the most useful features for undergraduate and early stage research will be the comprehensive listing of scientific instruments, with details of their use and purpose. These include: astrolabes; gnomons and sundials; mural instruments; armillary spheres; marine chronometers; and celestial and terrestrial globes. This site is straightforward to use and though some pages are available only in Italian, the major part can be accessed in English translation.
The website of the Prague Technical Museum offers a useful introduction to a key location in the Czech Republic for the study of the history of science and technology. The site has full details of the Museum's background and remit, as well as up to date information on current events, exhibitions and news. The site lists the collections in the Museum, which include Acoustics; Architecture and the Building Industry; Chemistry and Biotechnology; Consumer Industry; Food Industry; Foto-Cinematography; Industrial Design; Mechanical Engineering; and Transport. Each collection is introduced with an overview and links to details on key artefacts or figures featured. A glossary of terms mentioned in the collections pages is also included. The 'Activities' section of the website includes information about current scientific projects and publications, as well as updates on the restoration work undertaken since the flooding of the Museum in 2002. This site offers a vital preparation for any researcher planning to visit the Museum and useful basic information for early research on science and technology generally. The site is in Czech with an English translation available. Aside from a few syntax confusions, the standard of the translation is good.
The Natural History Museum in London houses the most important collection of fossils in the country. This has the links to lots of quality sites with information on natural history, zoos and botanical gardens around the world. Apart from news about museum activities and exhibits, the site now has a superb natural history portal. A range of online exhibits and features are available, including: details of galleries (including earth sciences), with floor plans and some videos; interactive online exhibits (including eclipses, UK geology Earthlab datasite; the cosmic football (meteorites)); educational materials for all ages; and details of the museum's research. The museum is concerned with research into the life sciences and earth sciences, and sections of the website deal with each. In total, over 70 million specimens are held in the museum's collections. The site includes a searchable database of images and information about the animal, plant, and mineral specimens catalogued by the museum. As one would imagine, not all holdings have yet been recorded for digital access. The museum's library catalogue is available online. About 800 pre-1989 holdings have been converted to electronic form. The library owns around 800,000 books including many early works on botany, a huge collection of watercolours, and many maps (especially geological maps). The site is attractively presented and contains sections of interest to all age groups.
The Foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the art of celestial navigation. They believe that navigation is an essential personal skill even in this age of electronics. A quarterly newsletter is published featuring articles on navigational methods, history of navigation and reviews of books on the subject. Frequently issues contain a lesson in the basics of navigation, designed for newcomers and a reader's forum allows for the exchange of ideas and recounting of experiences. Details on becoming a member are provided.
Nicholas Copernicus's 'De revolutionibus orbium coelestium' was the revolutionary work in which the astronomer proposed his theory of heliocentric cosmology. The treatise was not published until just before its author's death in 1543. It had existed in manuscript form, however, for some time before. The autograph digitised here is intermediate between a rough copy and a fair copy. It consists of over 200 leaves and is written in Latin with various tables and illustrations. Copernicus' handwriting is generally fairly clear and is unlikely to cause distress to palaeographers. In Internet Explorer, the digitised images might automatically be scaled down to fit the browser window, but holding the pointer over the bottom-right of the image will bring up an icon enabling the user to enlarge the page. The website also relates the history of the manuscript, and a linked table of contents in English and in Latin. The resource as a whole would benefit from more annotation on individual pages, but as a whole is an impressive digitisation project.
The Web Site Nicolai Copernici Musaeum Fromborcense is the home page of the Copernicus Museum in Frombork and is available in French, Polish, English, German and Russian. The site provides information on the museum, the life of Copernicus and on the city of Frombork. There is also information on permanent exhibitions, with a few illustrations of the exhibits and local stained glass. There is a detailed timeline of the great scientist's life and of the writing of De Revolutionibus, and a good collection of portraits, as well as a Jan Matejko painting from the nineteenth century. The museum also consists of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost, the Cathedral Hill, and the Planetarium and Observatory.
This is an online exhibition examining the legacy of the great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) through images. The exhibition was assembled by the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford to celebrate the restoration of Eduard Ender's 1855 painting of Brahe with Emperor Rudolph II in Prague. The online gallery introduces the painting, as well as offering a critical examination of whether the figure it portrays really is Tycho. The website includes a large number of other images of the Dane, from contemporary likenesses to eighteenth-century shop signs. Images of other early modern astronomers, and astronomical instruments, are also included. Special attention is given to Johannes Hevelius and John Flamsteed, and there is a section on how Tycho Brahe's influence stretched all the way to China thanks to the Jesuit missionary Ferdinand Verbiest.
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 Royal Observatory and the National Maritime Museum have teamed together to create this comprehensive subsite dedicated to the holdings and activities of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The information on the site is manifold. The history of the Royal Observatory and events related to the International Year of Astronomy 2009 are present on the main page. Sections on the site are: Planetarium Shows; Peter Harrison Planetarium; Meridian line; 28-inch telescope; Time ball; Camera obscura; Observing evenigs; Astronomy galleries; Time galleries; and For schools. Each section has subsequent chapters with background information; history; aspects of physics or astronomy explainedl or answers to various questions related to time or observation of the skies. Photographs on the site and on Flickr! and 360 degrees panoramas accompany the text. The online learning resources were stil under development at the time of review. This site introduces an exciting place to visit and offers a great deal of information to anyone interested in astronomy, physics and time reckoning.
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.
This site, from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, is a sizeable reference resource for students studying the history of astonomy from ancient times to the Sixteenth Century. The database is divided into three main sections: Instruments, Themes and Personalities, within which are numerous subdivisions, including Early Modern Books, Celestial Globes, Calendar Reform, Weather Prediction, Tycho Brahe and Kepler. Each individual entry contains a short essay together with a brief bibliography and, where appropriate, relevant images (which may be viewed full-page). The quality of presentation is excellent and an index and keyword search facility are also contained on the site.
The Steno Museum for the History of Science and Medicine website offers a useful introduction for researchers planning to visit the Museum. Based in Århus, Denmark, the museum houses exhibitions on the history of science, astronomy and medicine, with a planetarium and a medicinal herb garden based on a 16th century model. The website, which may be viewed in Danish, English or German, offers sufficient information on the different aspects of the museum to enable a thorough understanding of what is available. The museum's exhibitions have original objects, reconstructions and 'hands-on' features to give a view of the development of science, with a particular reference to the Renaissance, but also focusing on modern discovery. The 'Virtuseum', which has text in Danish only, takes a virtual tour of the Museum with high quality images from the collection. The site is well presented and provides detailed information on a large collection of primary source materials.
This website contains a digitised version of the 1602 edition of Tycho Brahe's 'Astronomiae Instauratae Mechanica'. The great Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) designed scientific instruments and built the best observatory of his age. The Mechanica, first printed in 1598, was intended as a showcase for his designs, and as a (successful) attempt to acquire patronage. The 1602 edition is largely the same as the 1598. The website provides a short introduction to Brahe's life and to the text of the Mechanica. Large digitised images are available of each page. The original text is in Latin, and no English translation is given. There is a brief bibliography of further reading.
The website of the Vatican Observatory is the work of the Vatican Observatory Research Group (VORG) in Arizona. The Vatican Observatory (Specola Vaticana) was founded in 1891 by Pope Leo XIII. It has its roots in the papal reform of the calendar in 1582. The observatory itself was originally located within sight of St Peter's in Rome, later moved to the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. By 1981 the work of the observatory was being hindered by the growing Roman urban sprawl, and a second research centre was located at Tucson, Arizona, with access to an international centre for astronomy. The website gives information about the history and location of the observatory, current research priorities and publications, the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, and related links.