'A Twist to Life' is the online edition of a BBC Radio 4 programme about the discovery of DNA. The website offers an overview of the programme, originally broadcast on Saturday 12th April, 2003, which may then be replayed in full through a highlighted link to a RealTime Player download. The remainder of the webpage has information on the full range of the BBC Radio 4 schedule, as well as an archive of previous science programmes and access to a message board for discussion. Other programmes which may be accessed from this page are 'Adventures in Science', 'In Einstein's Shadow', 'The Mozart Effect' and 'What remains to be discovered?'. As these programmes are all aimed at a general public, rather than academic audience, they are most likely to be of use at the early stages of research to undergraduate students.
The Alfred Russel Wallace Page presents a definitive web resource on the life and work of Alfred Russel Wallace, the naturalist and social critic whose 1858 essay setting out the principle of evolution by natural selection prompted Charles Darwin into publication. The site has been created by Charles H Smith, Science Librarian at Western Kentucky University and a student of Wallace's work for over two decades. Dr Smith describes himself as "primarily a biogeographer by training," but the historical and analytical content is thoroughly respectable and carefully researched. The site includes a capsule biography (around 7000 words) and chronological summary of major events in Wallace's life; a comprehensive primary bibliography, listing over 700 of Wallace's essays, monographs, pamphlets, letters and major interviews, indexed chronologically and by subject areas and personal names; a secondary bibliography covering both modern analytical pieces and contemporary reviews of Wallace's writings; and a bibliography of archival sources on Wallace (particularly useful for correspondence) prepared by Michael Shermer, director of the Skeptics Society, in the course of his doctoral dissertation. There is an exemplary archive of full-text transcriptions of Wallace’s writings, including the famous "On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type" (1858) and other evolutionist texts, but also representing Wallace's work on geology, anthropology, spiritualism and politics, plus, arranged separately, transcripts of some published interviews with Wallace. The site also provides an FAQ, chiefly addressing the various myths which have sprung up around the man and his work. Of particular interest to tutors involved in teaching responsible Web use to students is an essay by Smith, entitled '"It's On The Web..."--Or, When is a "Russel" a "Russel"?', which catalogues his experiences in discovering unreliable online resources. This is a highly professional and comprehensive resource, which has won several awards.
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'.
Published by Glasgow University Library's Special Collections, the Birds, Bees and Blooms website presents images and information from a selection of early ecology books that are in the university's collections. Ranging from the 15th to the 19th centuries, the website includes enlargeable images from: Art of falconry (manuscript) / Guillaume Tardif (France, c. 1494); De historia stirpium commentarii insignes / Leonhart Fuchs (Basel, 1542); Florilegium / Emanuel Sweerts (Amsterdam, 1614-1620); Micrographia / Robert Hooke (London, 1665); A natural history of birds / Eleazar Albin (London, 1731-1738); Hortus Cliffortianus / Carl von Linné (Amsterdam, 1737); Illustrations of natural history / Dru Drury (London, 1770-1773); An exposition of English insects / Moses Harris (London, 1782); Birds of America / John James Audubon (London, 1827-1838); A monograph of the testudinata / Thomas Bell (London, 1832-1836); A naturalist's rambles on the Devonshire coast / Philip Henry Gosse (London, 1853); Origin of species by means of natural selection / Charles Darwin (London, 1859); and The birds of Great Britain / John Gould (London, 1861-1873). A selected bibliography is also available. This website provides a valuable introduction to some rare early natural history resources.
The website "Blackwell's herbal", made available by the British Library, provides an overview of and introduction to Elizabeth Blackwell's 'Curious Herbal', first published in 1737. The herbal is one of the texts featured in the British Library's Online Gallery Virtual Books, and provides useful background information for interested users of the website. Elizabeth Blackwell, who was the first female herbalist to publish such a book, drew the plants in her herbal from live botanical specimens at the Chelsea Physic Garden. She also prepared the work for publication, and coloured the plates herself. She was accomplished enough to gain the support of the Society of Apothecaries. Brief accounts are given of two editions of the text: the first edition of 1737; and the 'Nuremberg' edition of 1747-73, which is said to be superior. Four illustrations taken from the two editions of the text are included in each of the pages available, accompanied by a few lines of contextualising information. The images are not of the same quality as those in digitised version, but are equal in quality to the British Library's standard web pages. An audio file is also available to go with this version of the resource, for which Windows Media Player is required. The author(s) of the essay are not identified on the site.
The Charles Darwin After the 'Origin' website was published by the Cornell University Library, and Museum of the Earth, in Ithaca, New York, to accompany exhibitions held at both locations between February and September, 2009. The exhibitions celebrated the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his landmark work in evolutionary biology, 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life'. Although the exhibitions started with the lead-up to writing 'Origin', they focused on Darwin's life and work following the publication of his most famous book. After 1859, Darwin continued to study the natural world, conducting his experiments from his home, Down House in Kent. As one of the last men of science to work from home, he studied a diverse range of subjects, including botany, the movement of soil made by earthworms, sexual selection, human descent, and the expression of the emotions. The website features sections and annotated images from the exhibition on topics such as: orchids and insectivorous plants; different forms of flowers; climbing plants; domesticated animals and plants; The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871); The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872); mating displays; and coral reefs and earthworms.
This is the website for the University of Reading’s Cole Museum of Zoology. Founded in the early twentieth century by Francis Joseph Cole, the museum is “one of the most important and complete UK museums of comparative anatomy” and retains its original collection of 3500 specimens intact. The Museum is complemented by Professor Cole’s “precious library of first editions and rare volumes” of scientific and medical works. The website offers a useful collection guide, which as well as illustrating the collection, includes a brief introduction to the history of zoological collecting and comparative anatomy. The Cole Museum received AHRC-funding for its recent refurbishment.
The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online is a website providing unprecedented, comprehensive access to Darwin's published works and unpublished papers as well as to his private papers. With at least one exemplar of all known Darwin publications available here, this impressive resource provides over 40,000 pages of searchable text and over 150,00 images. Complementing these primary texts (which have either been scanned or transcribed, or both) are a number of other valuable resources. These include: the largest Darwin bibliography, based on the work of R.B.Freeman; the largest catalogue of Darwin manuscripts (from the University of Cambridge Library); hundreds of additional texts such as reviews of Darwin's works, obituaries, biographies, and works useful for studying Darwin; and editorial introductions to contextualise Darwin's work and aid understanding. As from April 2008, Darwin's private papers are also available, including his diaries, field notebooks, drafts, drawings and diagrams, photographs and much more.
The site may be navigated in a number of ways, including searching and browsing, as described on the User Guide page. Additions and improvements to the site are being made continually; more editions, translations and introductions are planned, and new materials added can be found in the 'What's New' section. MP3 files of some of the works may be downloaded for free, and a user guide is available to help make the most of this vast website. This immensely important and rich resource will appeal to anyone interested in the works of Charles Darwin, and represents a major contribution to the digital humanities.
'Darwin 200' is the website of a national event in the UK, which aims to celebrate the 200th birthday of the scientist Charles Darwin. The website has been created by the Natural History Museum and has a full description of the project, its aims, and partner events such as a BBC 'Darwin season' on television. There is also an events listing which is searchable by keyword or can be filtered by place. Visitors to the website can create their own customised programme of events. The website also has a guide to online Darwin resources, and an interactive map of "Darwin's Britain". This may be a useful website for those studying media coverage of science, public understanding of controversy in scientific history, and the role of the arts in contemporary science education.
The website "The Darwin Correspondence Online Database" is not only an online database, but also provides an extended and extremely comprehensive bibliography of works on the eminent scientist and thinker. It is of use to those researching or studying any aspects of Darwin's thinking, nineteenth century correspondence, or any other figures connected to Darwin, as well as botanists, biologists, and sociologists. It contains information on all the known correspondence of Charles Darwin, which can be searched by name, places, plants, animals, geological terms, and many other terms. There is also a list of correspondents, supplemented with their biographical details. The correspondence is also arranged chronologically, consisting of almost fourteen thousand items from 1821 to Darwin's death in 1882, at the time of cataloguing. This project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) within the Resource Enhancement scheme.
'Darwin Country' is a website describing the landscape and places that are associated with the famous scientist Charles Darwin, in and around the rural town of Shrewsbury in the British Isles. The website was created by the Shrewsbury Museums Service with support from The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, and the West Midlands Regional Museums Council, among others. It contains a wealth of images, paintings, maps, and texts. Some articles are also linked to selected digitised materials from museum collections. Users of the website can 'collect' such items into a personal 'discovery folder'. By visiting the 'Images' pages, the user can also browse 1294 photographs, paintings, drawings, and some maps. Despite its general lack of design values or navigational elegance, this substantial website is a useful and impressive addition to the online resources for the study of Darwin in the context of the northern Midlands and the Welsh Marches.
This Web resource is part of the Digital Commons Project at the University of Nebraska, and offers Georg Wilhelm Steller's classic work 'De Bestiis Marinis, or, The Beasts of the Sea' as a downloadable PDF file. Steller's text was first published in Latin in 1751, and then in German in 1753. The English edition available on this site appeared in 1899. Steller's work contains the first scientific description from life of a manatee, or 'sea cow', and also the first descriptions of the fur seal, sea otter and sea lion. The website also contains some background detail to Steller's work as part of the Great Northern Expedition, commissioned by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, as well as a brief bibliography and links to other online material. This is a straightforward resource, particularly useful in being open-access and freely downloadable.
The American Museum of Natural History's palaeontology department website contains an immense database of fossils held by the Museum, which houses the largest collection in the world. What may be of more interest to Humanities scholars, however, are the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century field notebooks, photographs, and letters of the famous palaeontologists of this era. Many of the notebooks have been fully digitised, allowing users to magnify the images of the original pages as well as viewing the text transcripts. These books provide an insight into the working practices of fossil-hunters around the turn of the twentieth-century as well as providing records on the fossil-finds themselves.
Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution, and Diversity Studies: To 1950 is a beautifully clear and informative bibliographic and full-text resource covering early publications broadly relating to biogeography, the study of the distribution of living organisms. The site's creator is Dr Charles H Smith, Science Librarian at Western Kentucky University and himself a former research biogeographer, author of the well-known Alfred Russel Wallace resource site. The bibliography is a straightforward alphabetical list by author, unannotated and presented as a single webpage, citing close to 600 publications (chiefly journal articles) from the early nineteenth century to 1950. Most of the papers referenced are in English but there are some in other languages, with German research particularly prominent. What makes the listing particularly useful is that links are provided to full-text transcripts of the works cited wherever these occur on the web; many of these transcripts have been prepared by Dr Smith and are available on-site. Also present -- carefully distinguished by colour-coding -- are links for all those papers which, although not freely available on the web, have appeared in journals with electronic archives available through the commercial JSTOR service. Most universities now subscribe to JSTOR, and so the majority of academic users will be able to access some or all of these papers (often only in digital facsimile form): results, however, will vary according to individual institutions' subscription arrangements. In a similar fashion, links are provided to online biographical information on the authors cited wherever it can be found. The list of authors is broad, including amongst many others Louis Agassiz, Buffon, Robert Chambers, Georges Cuvier, Charles Darwin, R A Fisher, John Gould, Asa Gray, Ernst Haeckel, J B S Haldane, Joseph Hooker, Ernst Mayr, George Gaylord Simpson, Alfred Russel Wallace and Sewall Wright. At the time of cataloguing, a keyword index and search facility were in development.
Published by the National Library of Australia, the 'Endeavour: Captain Cook's Journal 1768-71' website provides excerpts from the journal of Captain James Cook, which was written aboard HMS Endeavour during his epic sea voyage when he, and the English naturalist and botanist, Sir Joseph Banks, circumnavigated the world and discovered Australia. The site is advertising a CD-ROM, Endeavour: Captain Cook's Journal 1768-71, published by the library and designed with teachers and school students in mind. The site offers a sample of the material available on the CD-ROM, with an except from the journal (covering 10-13 June 1770, when the Endeavour crashed onto the Great Barrier Reef), which can be viewed as a facsimile image, or read as a transcript. In the 'Voyage' section of the website, it is possible to click on a month and see a map and a brief description of the route travelled during that time.
Created by the Natural History Museum in London, this website presents most of the botanical drawings and engravings prepared by artist Sydney Parkinson on the first voyage of HMS Endeavour (1768-1771), plus drawings by other artists in England, produced from Parkinson's initial sketches. Parkinson died on board the Endeavour shortly after leaving Java and had, prior to embarking on that journey, worked for a year at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The images on the site have all been taken from the illustrations made by Sydney Parkinson, John Frederick Miller, and Frederick Polydore Nodder in the period during and after the Endeavour's circumnavigation of the world, between 1773 and 1784. The illustrations are of plants found in a range of countries, with botanical specimens from Australia, Java, Brazil, Madeira, New Zealand, Tierra Del Fuego and the Society Islands included. In addition to these prints, the text explains the publication history of the illustrations, from their ownership by Joseph Banks to their place in the Natural History Museum collections. The site offers a clickable map of the Endeavour's journey, linking through to the images of botanical specimens from each location. The images can also be searched by keyword. Historical information about the Endeavour, the illustrations, the publication of the voyage results and the people involved is also provided.
Electronic Scholarly Publishing, despite its generalist name, is a project chiefly devoted to the online full-text publication of well-known books and papers from the history of genetics and evolution. The catalogue so far includes works by Aristotle, William Bateson, Charles Darwin (The Voyage of the Beagle, On the Origin of Species, Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication), Galen, Francis Galton, Thomas Malthus, Gregor Mendel, Thomas H Morgan, Alfred Russel Wallace and others. Most of the texts are presented as transcripts in PDF format, although some are given in HTML, and a few as PDF image facsimiles: this is clearly indicated in the indexes. The presentation is a little gimmicky, with the text appearing in a relatively small window inside an onscreen "book". The circumstances of this site’s creation are unusual: it was originally a personal project of Robert J Robbins, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, but is now supported by the US Department of Energy as part of a commitment to develop educational resources associated with the Human Genome Project. Some Department of Energy publications concerning the Project are also available on the site.
A handsomely planned and produced educational website to accompany the seven part PBS television series on evolution first broadcast in 2001 and based around Karl Zimmer's highly acclaimed book 'Evolution : The triumph of an ideal'. In addition to offering a guide to individual episodes of the television series, based around key themes such as Darwin and the history of the debate about evolution, evolutionary change, survival and extinction of animals, sex, human origins and religion (including video clip previews), there is an extensive library of hundreds of additional essays, images and weblinks to complement the contents of the broadcast series and an impressive glossary. Hypertext links are used throughout, though in a way which does not distract the reader from following a linear course through the text, though the website will make demands on your browser in the form of QuickTime or RealPlayer video plug-ins. The website is multi-layered and richly textured to appeal to a wide audience from the general public to college undergraduate level in a broad spectrum of studies from biology, biological anthropology, archaeology and the history of science and religion. It is also aimed at teachers in the form of an extensive series of FAQs and excellent educational and professional resources such as online lessons (with video clips from classroom situations) addressing issues raised by each programme. The fact that some of the educational aids address directly the on-going debate in the US between evolutionists and creationists adds an extra interest for readers from Europe interested in the relationship between science, religion and politics.
Fauna and Flora in Illustrations : Natural History of the Edo Era is an online exhibition from the National Diet Library of Japan, accessible only in Japanese. The site is divided into four broad sections: an introduction to the materials in the exhibition; the development of natural history publications; the evolution of uniquely Japanese horticulture; and rare birds, strange animals and curious fish. Each section has enlargeable thumbnails of illustrations embedded in explanatory text. The introductory section describes some of the features of the illustrations and the books and other texts in which they appear, and each of the other sections is further broken down into various aspects of the topic it covers. Even for non-Japanese readers, the site is a valuable source of images of Japanese illustrations of the natural world during the Edo period (1603-1868).
galton.org is a site devoted to the work of Francis Galton (1822-1911), best remembered as the founder of eugenics, author of "Hereditary Genius" and cousin of Charles Darwin, but also a noted contributor to fields including geography, meteorology, psychology and statistics. The site is the work of Gavan Tredoux, a Galton enthusiast and maintainer of Upstream, a US-based "heterodox" (libertarian and broadly opposed to liberal-academic consensus) web journal and resource. It consists mainly of electronic publications of Galton's work, plus brief biographical sections outlining Galton's activities in various fields. The primary source material is mostly in facsimile form, presented as PDF files (often large, typically up to 9Mb in size). All of Galton's major publications are available: the "Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa" (1853); "The Art of Travel" (1855); "Hereditary Genius" (1869); "English Men of Science" (1874); "Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development" (1883); "Natural Inheritance" (1889); and Galton's 1908 autobiography, "Memories of My Life", plus the multi-volumed biography prepared after Galton's death by his primary disciple, Karl Pearson, "The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton" (1913-40). "Hereditary Genius" and "Inquiries into Human Faculty" are additionally available as transcripts in both PDF and HTML form. The HTML version of each text is presented as an extremely long webpage (which may cause problems for some users); "Hereditary Genius" lacks pagination in its HTML form, although the PDF version has it. Occasional typos appear in the transcripts. Also archived are a large number of Galton's papers, short articles and letters to individuals and newspapers, including his correspondence with Charles Darwin, in a mixture of PDF facsimile and HTML transcript. There is a very substantial bibliography of Galton's writings, giving links to the digitised texts where available. The various summary pages outlining particular works and activities are also well-supplied with relevant source links. Other site features include a summary of locations of Galton papers catalogued by the Historical Manuscripts Commission, and the best archive of Galton portraits available online.
The UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections website provides information about their collections, has online exhibits, and details of their online projects. The site has general information about the history and content of their collections. Details of opening hours and information on using the collection are also available for anyone wishing to consult the collections. As well as providing general information about the library and its collection the website has a number of online exhibitions, including ones on the relief of pain and suffering, bloodletting, and smallpox. The History and Special Collections department of the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library are developing a number of digital projects. Details of these projects are available from the site. The site also has a list of medical history websites and details of fellowships and prizes.
This is a very large site, mainly a primary resource for the work of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), zoologist, defender of Darwinian evolution, agnostic, educational reformer and advocate of the professionalisation of science. A comprehensive bibliography of Huxley's writings (originally prepared by Professor James Paradis, author of 'T.H. Huxley: Man's Place in Nature') is used as a medium for links to over two hundred online transcripts, mostly full text and in HTML. These include the entirety of the 1893-4 Collected Essays, plus much material, unpublished in print, held in the Huxley Archives at Imperial College London. In a similar fashion, the site provides bibliographies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentaries, reviews and critiques of Huxley and his work, many of which (such as the anonymous 1875 lampoon 'Protoplasm, Powheads, Porwiggles...') are transcribed in full where copyright permits. There are also numerous selections from letters written by Huxley throughout his life. The transcripts are supplemented by facsimiles where appropriate, and numerous illustrations by, of, or relating to Huxley are included in the text. These have a separate index. The material may be browsed chronologically via the bibliographies and letter index, or thematically via a series of narrative 'guides' devoted to Huxley's early marine voyages, ideas on university reform, agnosticism, his role as 'Darwin's bulldog' etc. A family tree and brief timeline are also provided. This website is the result of a collaboration between two faculty members at Clark University, Massachusetts, one a computer scientist, the other active in both English studies and biology. The design appears a little eccentric at first, but becomes increasingly easy to navigate. Historians of science may find the site's enthusiastic introduction off-puttingly presentist - judging Huxley by the standards he himself was instrumental in imposing. This cannot, however, detract from its considerable value as a primary document source.
This website results from the AHRC-funded cataloguing and research of the University of Leeds’ collection of botanical specimens collected by pioneering botanist Ida Roper in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection includes period photographs of plants, people and scenery, black and white and colour plates, letters, contemporary articles, paintings and postcards as well as over 10,000 plant specimens. The AHRC grant has allowed the original hand written catalogue to be digitised as well as some 4,000 full catalogue records to be created, 1,000 of which are illustrated. The catalogue can be searched from this website, which also includes background to Roper and her collection.
This website, hosted by the University of Iowa, offers the images from 'Anatomia Universa', by Paolo Mascagni (1755 - 1815). This seminal work on the lymphatic system, particularly famous for the exquisite quality of its plates, is exceptionally rare, with only three or four copies thought to exist in the United States. Therefore, the site is likely to be of use to researchers of this field at all levels. The images from the plates may be accessed from the home page in sections headed: 'skeleton', 'front', 'back', 'special', 'viscera I' and 'viscera II'. The site includes a detailed biography of Mascagni, with full reference to the different stages of his work and discussion of his challenges to contemporary beliefs about the workings of the lymphatic system. There are also details on the construction of this Web project to make his work accessible, and a link to the Hardin Library for Health Sciences. QuickTime plug-in VR (QCVR) components are available on the site which add the ability to zoom in and pan across images for more detail. However, they may also be viewed without this facility. The only negative feature about this site is that the home page offers very little information, so that researchers who are unfamiliar with the text may not immediately realise what is being offered.
The International Kraepelin Society aims to advance research and education on the work of Emil Kraepelin (1856 - 1926), including his methods, theories and diagnostic principles. As the founder of modern scientific psychiatry, Kraepelin was the first to identify schizophrenia and manic depression and laid the groundwork for the modern psychiatric institution. This website aims to further the work of the Society by widening the dissemination of Kraepelin's work, as, despite being recently classed among the 100 most influential scientists in history, his name and work are not widely known. The home page of the site lists Kraepelin's most significant achievements, while a side bar offers links to details of publications on and by Kraepelin, a biography, a timeline and the society's journal. This site offers useful starting points for research into an important figure, though it is plagued with adverts and pop-ups, which make it rather irritating to use.
This is a definitive web resource on the life and work of Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), botanist, traveller, close associate of Charles Darwin and President of the Royal Society. The author, Jim Endersby, is a historian of science who completed a doctoral thesis on Hooker’s work in 2002. Contents include a capsule biography (around 5000 words, substantially equivalent to the author’s entry on Hooker for the New Dictionary of National Biography); transcripts of some of Hooker’s works, and of several chapters from Leonard Huxley’s 1918 Life and Letters of Hooker; annotated bibliographies of Hooker’s own work, reviews by contemporaries, and secondary sources; and a guide to archives containing material which relates to Hooker or his correspondents. The site focuses particularly on the network of Australasian collectors with whom Hooker exchanged information: brief biographical and bibliographical details are provided for over twenty individuals, including William Colenso and Ronald Gunn. The site is searchable and provides a page of links to other sites dealing with the history of naturalism and botany. The site is no longer being updated, but remains a solid resource.
This site from the Australian Science Archives Project provides access to the text of the journal of Syms Covington from December 1831 to September 1836. Syms Covington was the assistant to Charles Darwin on the second voyage of HMS Beagle. The text on the website has been provided as an edited and annotated transcription of the original journal text, divided into eight chapters. Each chapter is illustrated and appendices of crew lists and Covington’s travels are also provided. A bibliography of suggested readings is available from the site, which includes references to both primary and secondary sources. This site is text-heavy, with the material presented as densely written scroll-down pages. However, while this can be tiring on the eyes, the tone is very readable and offers useful context and commentary of the main content, while the annotations provide valuable additional understanding.
This website describes the Foyle Special Collections Library at Kings College London. Built up over centuries, the library contains some 150,000 items and is particularly strong in the fields of the history of science and medicine, travel and exploration, the history of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, the British Empire and 20th century German and Jewish studies. The website describes the collection in detail, and provides 'canned searches' of items within the university's library catalogue.
This is the website for the Lapworth Museum, Birmingham University’s museum of geology. Dating back to 1880, the collection is one of the largest in the Midlands (with over 250,000 specimens) and it retains its historic Edwardian setting and interior. As befits its location the Lapworth “has some of the finest collections from the Wenlock Limestone of Dudley” rich in 420 million year old fossils from a tropical sea ecosystem. Elsewhere, the Midlands Coalfields were an important source fossil plants, fish, insects, arachnids, fossil footprints and animal tracks. Further afield are palaeontology specimens from as far afield as the Solnholfen Limestones of Germany and Burgess Shale of British Columbia. Named after Charles Lapworth, first professor of Geology at the University’s forerunner, Mason College, the collection is of historical as well as scientific interest, particularly for those interested in the work of early geologists, and includes early geological maps (well described on the website with biographies of their makers), equipment, models, photographs, zoological specimens and stone axes. Additionally, the Lapworth archive is “one of the most complete records of the work of a scientist of [the] period”. Further collections include engineer and inventor William Murdoch’s mineral collection. Collections can be searched online through the University’s illustrated catalogue of its museum holdings. The Lapworth Museum recieves funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Lephalophodon is a small site, ostensibly devoted to the history of evolutionary biology; in fact, the survey is quite broad, taking in a variety of palaeontologists, natural historians and taxonomists from the approximate period 1800-1950. The site’s creator, a research palaeobiologist, describes it as "informal and incomplete": although lacking analysis, it is a useful introductory resource, including capsule biographies (with portraits) of around 50 eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century researchers; images of more than 80 further individuals, with brief details; a brief chronology of events in the period 1749-1959, and an annotated bibliography of secondary works.
The website of the Liebig-Museum in Giessen offers a useful introduction to study of Justus Liebig, who taught at the Giessen University as Professor of Chemistry from 1824 to 1852. The site is in German and English, with a wider range of information available in German, but the English material offering a background to his work and a selection of further material and links. The site reflects the museum's aim to be accessible to the general public and academic researchers. Liebig's most important innovations are detailed, his primary discoveries being those which influenced developments in agriculture chemistry. Also, information on the museum is included for those planning to visit the collection, which includes rooms left as Liebig would have used them and apparatus dating from that time. A series of links is available to other sites for further detail. For researchers who can read German, this site is a much richer resource, with a biography of Liebig and a range of material on his work and discoveries.
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.
'Linus Pauling and the Race for DNA: A Documentary History' is one of a series of web exhibitions hosted by the University of Oregon Libraries. This resource explores the work of Linus Pauling towards one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century - the structure of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which is the basic foundation of all life. The site uses digitized copies of over 800 primary source documents, from letters, photographs and manuscripts, in addition to video and audio materials. Many of these have not been made available for open access before. Items of particular interest include Linus Pauling's laboratory notes on his DNA work and a large number of letters between the major figures in this famous scientific quest. The documents are linked by a narrative from Pauling's point-of-view, with a day-by-day account of his work during 1952 and 1953. The narrative, documents and day-by-day account may be accessed separately though links on the home page, along with a bibliography, list of documents and links to further sites of interest. This resource is well-presented and offers interest for researchers at all levels. It has received the High in the Sky Award and the AG&H Education Site Award.
This is the website of the Manchester Museum, part of the University of Manchester, and a major public Museum in Manchester, UK. The Museum, with its origins in the 18th Century, encompasses a huge range of artefacts, specimens and objects (some 4.25 million) and includes important collections of anthropology; archaeology; archery; Egyptology; geology; human remains; natural history; numismatics; palaeontology. The website describes the collections in more detail (as well as showcasing highlights from them) and the museum's online catalogue can be searched. Further areas of interest include links to the Museum’s research (related to both its collections, practice and the institution’s own history), staff and extensive community outreach work. As a university museum, the Manchester Museum receives some core funding from the AHRC.
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.
MendelWeb is an online resource on Gregor Mendel's work on plant hybridization in 1865, based around his paper of that year and the English translation by C. T. Druery and William Bateson.
The resource is focused on the 'origins of classical genetics, introductory data analysis, elementary plant science and the history and literature of science'. It arose out of an undergraduate programme at Brown University, making it suitable for early research, though its high quantity of primary source material may also make it useful at a more advanced level.
Full text versions of Mendel's 1865 paper are included in the original German and in English, alongside essays and commentary articles, bibliographies and reference materials. Also available are glossaries, notes, discussion exercises and links to further sites of interest.
Devised and maintained by Roger B. Blumberg, a Fellow of Brown University, this site is the modest presentation of a large amount of material. Use of the site is well guided, but its layout, being something like a college handout, makes it appear a little complicated. It does not appear to be regularly updated, but as the material is not date sensitive, this is unlikely to offer any difficulties to users.
The website of the Museum Boerhaave for the history of science and medicine at Leiden offer a useful resource for searching for primary materials for all levels of research. While the primary language of the site is Dutch, it may also be viewed in English. The comprehensive catalogue of around 25,000 books, as well as secondary material, may be searched online, and a virtual tour of the museum is also available. Of particular interest is the alphabetical list of objects held by the museum, with links to a short but detailed description of its background or use in the development of science, with a photograph. Items in the collection range from amputation saws, through glass artificial eyes to wax models of brains, used to illustrate dissections. Many are linked to navigation, travel, observation of the solar system and the recording of time. The collection of the museum is primarily devoted to the Netherlands and covers a period of around 400 years. Information is included on exhibitions and conferences at the site and all aspects of the site are straightforward to use.
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.
Hugh Cahill has curated this exhibition of books from the Foyle Special Collections library at King's College London on 'Nature Observed: the work of the botanical artist'. The exhibition comprises six cases, which range from the early illustrated herbals through to 19th century illustration of plants from around the world, and which are illustrated with colour images taken from the relevant titles including 'The Botanical Magazine'. Brief biographies are provided on a number of the artists featured in this exhibition.
Published to accompany an exhibition held at the Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University in 2008, the "Never Mind the Pussycat" website focuses on the early work of Edward Lear (1812-1888) as a natural history illustrator. Best remembered for his nonsense rhymes and sketches, Lear also produced "more than 300 landscape oil paintings, some 9,000 watercolors, hundreds of ornithological lithographs and natural history illustrations, five published travel journals, six unpublished manuscripts, a dozen published songs, and many thousands of letters". The website features examples of his illustrations of birds such as parrots (psittacidae), ravens, flamingoes, toucans, and owls, and also contains sections on Lear's professional relationships with John Gould (1804-1881) and the 13th Earl of Derby, Edward Smith Stanley (1775-1851), who was president of the Linnean and Zoological Societies. The resources area includes a brief bibliography.
This collection of Web pages from Literature.org - the Online Literature Library offers access to the seminal writings of Charles Darwin on his theory of evolution and the journeys that formed the foundation of his thesis. 'The Voyage of the Beagle' (1848), two editions of 'The Origin of Species' (1859), and 'The Descent of Man' (1871), are all available as transcripts, with the original references included and accessible through highlighted links. There is very little additional information, aside from the Web-editor's occasional detail on the texts, such as the note that the 6th edition of 'The Origin of Species', which is the second of the two available on the site, is considered to be the definitive version. This is a straightforward resource, of use to any researcher across a range of disciplines needing easy access to Darwin's work, with the added bonus of the two editions useful for comparative study. They are transcripts, however, not scanned originals, so should not be considered definitive in themselves and full publication details for all the original texts would add value to the resource.
This is the website for the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Located in an iconic, Grade 1 listed neo-gothic building, the museum is a working resource for the University’s teaching and research. The Museum’s collections are divided into four areas: entomology; geology; mineralogy and petrology; and zoology. The Museum also accommodates a number of research libraries and an environmental archaeology unit. As well as its obvious interest to those studying the natural sciences, the Museum’s collections have wider cultural and historical interest, and include: rare specimens such as the most complete remaining single Dodo in existence (immortalised in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’); much of Charles Darwin’s Crustacea collection from The Beagle; the collections of (or related to) pioneering scientists such as Thomas Bell, William Burchell, Robert Plot, Edward Lhwyd, William Buckland and Lawrence Wager. The website includes learning materials based on the museums collections, as well as access to the museum’s online collection database. The Museum receives funding from the AHRC.
Palaeontologia Electronica, published biannually since 1998, is the first exclusively electronic journal devoted to palaeontology. Its attractive and innovative layout is designed to appeal to a wide constituency from professional palaeontologists and research students to school teachers and the general public. While it publishes technical academic papers, it also offers a range of summaries, letters, news items and reviews (of technical books, popular works and items of interest to children and teenagers) which will appeal to anyone with an interest in fossils. One important feature of this online journal is the inclusion of abstracts not only in French, German, Italian and Spanish but also in a 'plain English' version for non-specialists and, in some cases, an audio summary. Each issue also features a selection of online teaching resources which will be of use to teachers of all didactic levels. These sections, which features themes such include as climate change, dating, dinosaurs, palaeoenvironments, and the relationship between evolution and the philosophy of science, have been validated by the editors as scientifically accurate though the reader will have to judge for themselves the value of the didactic presentations of individual weblinks. The website is hosted by a series of worldwide archives; it is necessary to choose one.
PubMed Central is a free Web-based archive of journal literature for all of the life sciences. The JISC Digitisation Programme funded the Medical Journals Backfiles Project in the UK to digitise and make available a selection of medical journals through PubMed. Some of these date back to the early 19th century, e.g. 1809 (the first edition of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine). Historical discoveries are obviously part of these papers: Sir Alexander Fleming's use of penicillin to fight bacterial infections; Thomas Hodgkin’s description of lymphadenoma (Hodgkin’s disease). Moreover, current issues can be understood through the study of earlier literature - the example given by the Project is that in order to understand the recent MMR scare, researchers can turn to the discussion surrounding autism in the 1940s and 1950s. Medical journal backfiles digitised in this way have had to be indexed and new xml citations are being created and added to PubMed Central. You can search the site by journal title, or by keyword across the range of journals included.
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 Society for the History of Natural History, founded in 1936, is concerned with all aspects of the history of botany, zoology and geology; its scope is international, although it maintains close links with the Natural History Museum, London. The Society's website includes announcements concerning its biennial conference, details of meetings and events; membership information; details of awards and bursaries; and a brief history of the Society. The Society produces a thrice-yearly journal, Archives of Natural History: the website usefully includes a complete chronological listing of papers published in Archives and in its predecessor, the Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History. No full-texts are provided here, but the site does provide links to those papers (at the time of cataloguing, only two) which have been electronically published elsewhere. For the current issue, abstracts are provided subject to individual authors' consent. Another helpful addition is a provisional contents listing for the next issue to be published, plus details of other papers accepted for publication.
This web resource offers a comprehensive list of naturalists from 1950 back to the eighteenth century, with a biographical sketch, overview of work and suggestions for further research. It has been set up by Charles H. Smith, Professor of Library Public Services and Science Librarian at Western Kentucky University, to support his websites 'Early Classics in Biogeography, Distribution and Diversity Studies', to which links are available. The list may be searched by name, country or discipline, with the prime focus on biogeography, but including names better known as, for example, botanists, climatologists, ecologists, oceanographers, palaeontologists or zoologists. The selection of names included on the list tends towards displaying, as the author notes, 'a decided Anglo-American bias', and some of the most famous names, such as Louis Agassiz, Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin, are not covered, as comprehensive information on them is available elsewhere on the web. The site is very straightforward and, aside from the content which is useful in putting each name in context, the large number and range of interests offers a fascinating overview of the development of research in natural history. The secondary authors are Joshua Woleben and Carubie Rodgers.
The 'Strange Science' website details some of the discoveries of palaeontologists and biologists now regarded as somewhat less than accurate. The site provides a timeline history of palaeontology, and biographies of many of the more influential figures in natural history and geology through the ages. A gallery of images includes some of the more ridiculous mistakes and misconceptions made about biological life. The gallery is particularly rich in portraits of monsters, mythological beasts, and misconstrued mammals, such as a mammoth whose tusks protrude from its eye-sockets. One section of the gallery deals with deliberate fabrications and forgeries.The site contains a wealth of information, but does not attempt to explain in any depth why it was that many early, and perfectly intelligent, palaeontologists came to their erroneous conclusions. The site is however rich in terms of bibliographic references, and would make an excellent starting point for those researching this interesting facet of the history of science and scientific ideas.
The Web Site "The Garden, the Ark, the Tower, the Temple : Biblical Metaphors of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe" is an online exhibition curated by the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. It explores interpretations of symbolism derived from biblical sources in the sixteenth century. The exhibition has an introduction written by Cambridge scholar Dr Scott Mandelbrote, and the focus is on the intellectual group around Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662). Biblical themes influenced this circle greatly, in their discussion of linguistic, agricultural, theological and botanical matters. There are selected highlights of the exhibition and its images on the site, together with commentaries on the works. A search facility makes the site easier to navigate, and the user needs to be able to view large images. An excellent site for all those interest in intellectual history, the history of science, and the ealry modern period in Europe.
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.
This website brings together the various artefact and archive collections held at the University of Dundee. Accredited by the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, the collections include botany; chemistry; dentistry; civil, electrical and mechanical engineering; ethnography; fine and applied art; mathematics; medicine; physics; physiology; psychology and zoology. Objects within the collections would obviously be of interest to those studying the history of these disciplines and the website describes the origins of each collection and includes illustrated highlights, as well as information on viewing objects, through regular exhibitions in University premises, which are archived here.
The Virtual Laboratory (VL) is a digitalization project at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. It 'collects and presents texts and images concerning various aspects of the experimentalization of life'. These include 'instruments, experiments, sites and people', with the main focus being the interaction between the life sciences, arts and architecture, media and technology. It also offers a platform for researchers at all levels to publish and discuss their work. The site is divided into the Laboratory and the Library. The Laboratory has an Encyclopedia which provides information on significant material in the VL collection, to enable cross-referencing between researchers, ideas and publications. It also has an Essays section focused on the history of experimental physiology and psychology in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The essays are presented in an innovative format 'somewhere between abstracts and articles and make intense use of images'. They seek to place the research within its cultural context and full submission guidelines are included. The Library has scans of books, journals, laboratory notes and catalogues, with bibliographic information. The collection can be searched by author, title, year or keyword. The site also has material under the headings Technology, Experiments, Objects, Sites, People and Concepts, with a news feature and regular updates. Also planned is a 'myLab' section, to enable researchers to customise a personal area of the site for their own work. This site is complex, with a large amount of information, but it is highly sophisticated and well designed. It offers a valuable virtual resource for researchers at all levels, with the promise of further development.
'The Vital Science: Biology and the Literary Imagination, 1860-1900' is the online full text of Peter Morton's 1984 work. Morton, an Associate Professor in English at Flinders University, South Australia, writes that the confusion and chaos in the biological sphere following the publication of Darwin's 'The Origin of Species', proved fertile ground for writers such as: H. G. Wells; Thomas Hardy; W. H. Hudson; and Samuel Butler. Morton examines their imaginative responses to such theories as: evolutionism; degeneration; eugenics; and ideas of heredity. The online layout is very easy to navigate, via chapter headings, with notes and references listed separately. Unfortunately there is no index or search facility. An impressive bibliography on Darwinism and literature is appended to the book. This site would interest students of English and also of history of science.
This online exhibition published by the Natural History Museum is an interactive exploration of the voyage of the Endeavour in the eighteenth century. Using Flash, Quicktime, or the Cosmo VRML viewer, the exhibition uses a range of multimedia to help users engage with the material, and the history of the Endeavour expedition. The exhibition features an introduction to Cook's voyage, noting the impact it had on astronomy, botany, geography, navigation and medicine, a plan of the ship, brief biographies of Captain Cook, Joseph Banks, Sydney Parkinson and Daniel Solander, and illustrations and specimens that were gathered from around the world during the voyage.
This website describes the special collections held at the University of Ulster’s Coleraine Library. The collections, which are searchable from the University’s main library catalogue (linked to from here) cover a range of subjects but with a particular focus on Irish history, literature and culture.