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 website from the Turing Project may be viewed via the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, or the University of San Francisco. This dual hosting is designed to make accessiblity straightforward for researchers globally. The site makes available online digital facsimiles of key primary texts in the history of computing, with special reference to the pioneering work of Alan Turing (1912-1954). The articles are indexed under four main headings, within which they are listed chronologically. In addition, the site offers various reference articles concerning the life and career of Alan Turing, as well as information about conferences and discussion groups, although it is not updated regularly enough to ensure that these are current. A list of links to other relevant sites is also available. Its presentation is excellent and it has received a Britannia award.
This site, from the Library of Congress in the United States, contains online versions of the Alexander Graham Bell family papers, amounting to approximately four thousand seven hundred separate items. These include correspondence, scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs. They may be searched by keyword, or browsed by series, subject or name. The site also contains some 'special presentations', including descriptions of the highlights of the collection, a timeline, a family tree and a brief description of Bell's invention of the telephone. The presentation is exemplary.
Alexander Graham Bell’s Path to the Telephone is an innovative attempt to characterise the process of "invention" or creative discovery leading to a recognisable finished artefact, taking as its case study the telephone, as developed by Alexander Graham Bell (1847 –1922) in the 1870s. The site depicts the process using a flowchart structure, with clickable image maps providing successive levels of detail: through a mixture of diagrams (often reproduced directly from Bell's work), commentary and symbolic illustration, the viewer can trace the complex influences and developments involved. The site was created by a group of faculty and students connected with the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia [US], led by Michael E Gorman. Historians concerned at the teleological approach suggested by the site's title will hardly be reassured by the authors' early contention that Bell's route to the telephone was "more linear" than his competitors' on account of his "scientific" approach; in fact, however, the content is by no means historiographically simplistic. On the contrary, the introduction contains a thoughtful discussion of how the influences leading to an invention might be characterised: a series of "mental models" are proposed, but it is made clear that these are not to be taken as prescriptive. The purpose of this method of analysis is to trace the roles of diverse sources of inspiration in Bell's thinking, such as the apparatus developed by Helmholtz to simulate vowel sounds, Bell's role as a teacher of the deaf and human aural anatomy. Other important features of the site are an unannotated list of sources on Bell, the telephone, and the art of invention; and a complete transcript and facsimile of the first patent taken out by Bell on a telephonic device (dated 7 March 1876). A link to the text of a follow-up patent, stored elsewhere on the University of Virginia server, was broken at time of cataloguing: the site is now several years old and has a number of problems due to outdated links, the most serious being an inoperable search facility. While the site may be of some help to students seeking background detail on Bell and the telephone, it is not chiefly designed for this purpose, and is more useful for its contributions to the representation of invention. The analytical material will be of interest to research academics in the history or philosophy of technology, and the site might easily be used to provide inspiration for student work.
This general-interest site on Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, the nineteenth-century mechanical calculating device widely considered to be the first computer in the modern sense, contains several primary source transcripts which may be useful to the historian. The full-text of Ada Lovelace’s well-known 1842 translation, with extensive annotations, of L F Menabrea’s original account of the instrument is included, as are Babbage’s own account from his autobiography, the 1878 report from the British Association for the Advancement of Science which concluded against building a completed form of the device, and two subsequent papers by Babbage’s son. Diagrams and tables are given as facsimile images where required. Also included for curiosity value is Blaise Pascal’s 1645 account of his own adding machine, presented in the original French. This site is part of Fourmilab, a wide-ranging collection of largely computer-related exotica created by the software designer John Walker. It also contains an emulator which simulates the actions of the Analytical Engine through a Java applet: this is obviously of little value to the research historian, but teachers may find it useful as a way of engaging students’ attention. A brief collection of other Babbage-related links is also provided.
Andrei Sakharov: Soviet Physics, Nuclear Weapons, and Human rights is a subsite of the Center for History of Physics website. The site provides a good illustrated narrative history of the physicist's life and work, including his participation in the Soviet development of the hydrogen bomb in the 1950s. Of particular interest are the sections emphasising Sakharov's growing conscience and sense of social responsibility with regard to the fruits of his research and design, culminating with his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. As presented here, the themes of his life, spanning most of the Soviet era and ending in 1989, demonstrate many of the core issues of the Cold War, particularly the connection between scientific, social and political developments. In a final section, site visitors can access a sound file with a recording of Sakharov speaking in Russian. Easy to navigate and clear in its historical outline, the site would make a good starting point for those with general interest in the topic, or an excellent teaching tool. There is a site bibliography and related links list.
The Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS), is a learned Society dedicated to the history of time measurement and the study of clocks, timekeepers and marine chronometers. The site includes: membership details; news; a meeting programme for Society sections and specialist groups; details of the quarterly journal Antiquarian Horology, with the contents pages for the latest issue and some sample articles; publication information and a suggested reading list; ideas for classroom-based activities; details on museums which have specialist clock and watch collections; and publications and useful references.
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 website celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon. On 20 July 1969, man landed on the Moon for the first time when Neil Armstrong left the landing module and uttered his famous phrase, 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind'. The site narrates the events of the mission and illustrates each phase with photographs taken by the astronauts and with audio clips. There are links to other official NASA history sites, including one with a full transcript of Apollo 11 communications. The site also links to 30th anniversary Web pages by other companies and agencies associated with the landing.
The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, edited by Eric M. Jones and Ken Glover is an electronic version of the mission journals Apollo flights 11-17 (1969-1972). The journals reproduce the audio transcripts from each of the six successful Apollo missions together with interpolated commentary, photographs, maps, equipment drawings, background documents and video clips. The editors received assistance from the astronauts involved including Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Pete Conrad and Al Bean. The online journals include audio and video clips. Also provided are supplementary materials which provide insight to the technologies and equipment used. The sites makes use of frames, PDF and RealVideo.
This Web page provides the archives for the arch-metals mailing list. The email discussion forum is intended for use by scholars researching the history of ancient and historic metallurgy (archaeometallurgy), metal artefacts and related subjects. The list is hosted by JISCmail, the UK national academic mailing list service. Visitors to the arch-metals list can join or leave the list and view list archives, dating back to 1998; these archives can be viewed by non-list members. The list appears to be well used.
This online resource consists of a substantial miscellany of items relating to the ancient mathematician and technologist Archimedes of Syracuse (?287-212BC); it was compiled by Dr Chris Rorres, a member of the mathematics department at Drexel University (Philadelphia, USA) who has a strong amateur interest in Archimedes' life and work. The site is illuminated throughout by translated extracts from the works of Polybius, Livy, Plutarch, Cicero, Vitruvius and other writers, discussing familiar episodes such as the siege of Syracuse - the defence against which is traditionally held to have relied on Archimedes' mechanical ingenuity - and Archimedes' subsequent death and burial. The site includes: a summary timeline of Archimedes' life; a narrative account of the siege; some historical background material, including information on the ruling family of Syracuse; discussions of Archimedes' known or supposed mathematical concerns, including the 'cattle problem and the Archimedean solids; and numerous paintings, engravings and contemporary illustrations (some highly speculative) depicting Archimedes' claw, burning mirrors, screw and other legendary innovations, plus a number of "portraits" available at various resolutions.
The Science and Technology Studies email discussion forum (STS@nic.surfnet.nl) contains subscription details for a Listserv concerning the history, philosophy and sociology of science and related disciplines. The submissions to the list are usually job announcements or calls for papers, although postings concerning topical events, research projects and technical issues are also received. Founded in 1992 and originally US-based, the list became well-known as a site of discussion on the so-called "Science Wars", in which postmodern critics were pitched against hardline scientific realists. The list now has an administrator based in the Netherlands, and this archive site includes the full-text of messages dating back to January 2000. A basic but effective search facility (allowing full-text searching) is provided. The list receives a moderate amount of traffic, averaging about ten topics per month. Other previous submissions include a call for evidence on risks to the well-being of researchers in qualitative research; upcoming conference details; notice for online availability of Chinese journals; and notice of a freeware programme for co-word analysis. This site offers a useful means of keeping abreast of current events, research and resources in science and technology studies.
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.
This research guide, produced by the National Maritime Museum, is part of a series intended to help people wishing to carry out their own research. The guide outlines the Atlas Collection of bound volumes of charts, maps and sailing directions held by the Hydrography Section of the Museum. Information on visiting the Museum's Library is included.
The Atomic Archive, published by AJ Software and Multimedia (San Digeo), presents resources relating to the history of the development of the atomic bomb. The site is intended to supplement a CD-ROM of the same name published by the company. The site is primarily aimed at supporting the US school curriculum and includes introductions to the science underlying nuclear weapons and a collection of data relating to the development, location and storage of nuclear weapons in the present day. The sections which may be of particular interest are the sample primary documents and photographs relating to the early history of the atomic age. Documents include: Lise Meitner and O.R. Frisch, "Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: A New Type of Nuclear Reaction." Nature 143 (11 Feb 1939): 239-240; the report by MAUD Committee on the Use of Uranium for a Bomb (1941); the founding of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory; eye-witness accounts of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and documents relating to the subsequent development of the hydrogen bomb. The site also includes brief biographies, timelines, and maps.
The Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre was established in 1999, as a continuation of the Australian Science Archives Project. Particularly noteworthy among its online resources is "Bright Sparcs," a register of over 4000 individuals involved in the development of Australian science, technology and medicine, with brief biographies (generally concentrating on professional careers), bibliographies and references to archive materials. Also attached to the Bright Sparcs project are various online exhibits aimed at a popular audience. Bright Sparcs now has a counterpart in "Australian Science at Work", a similar database listing corporations, societies and other institutions connected with Australian science and related fields, again with bibliographies and archive references. Both registers are fully searchable and browsable. The site is also home to online versions of several of the Centre's publications: these include "Federation and Meteorology", telling the story of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; "Technology and Innovation in Australia, 1788-1988" compiled by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; and "Science and the making of Victoria", exploring the role of the Royal Society of Victoria in scientific history. Other items include an impressive collection of guides to archive records relating to various Australian scientists and societies, and information on resource management software developed by the Centre to manage its online publications, some of which is available for free downloading.
This website is the online presence of AVISTA, which was founded in 1984 to promote interest in the writings of 13th-century French artist, Villard de Honnecourt. The extensive travel and wide ranging interests of Villard de Honnecourt have made him the figurehead of AVISTA, whose members now study the science and art of the medieval craftsman throughout the Middle Ages. With a strong interdisciplinary agenda, AVISTA's website promotes live events in North America and Europe, enjoying links with the Universities of Oxford and Leeds, as well as containing a large amount of accessible online information. The site has pages on Villard de Honnecourt, including a biography, bibliography and samples from his manuscripts, with discussion and analysis of his ideas. There are also comprehensive details of the society's print Forum Journal, with full contents listings and several archived issues available as PDF files. Also available are details of publications arising from society conferences. Particularly useful for those in search of secondary source material are the full contents analysis of these texts. Editors include Nancy Wu, Marie-Therese Zenner and Robert Bork. Comprehensive links and resources pages are available.
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was the 19-century pioneer of calculating and computers. This website discusses his life, his achievments, and ground-breaking inventions. His famous Calculating Machine (which incendentky was never built in his life), was the forerunner of the modern computer, and he was very liekely the first programmer. This website provides a biogrpahy of the great mathamatician, includign a list of his inventions such as lighthouse signals, and mathamatical code breaking. Also outlined is Babbage's socio-political ideas. He was a great economist, suggesting that the centre of the economy was the industrialized factories. His ideas influence Marx's ideas about the evolution of society, and capitalism. There are bibliographic references given on various pages for those looking for further research. An illustration of his famous Calculating Machine is given. A brief explanation of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's half sister, who became one of Babbages' prize pupils, and is often accredited with the invention of programming. A large excerpt from Nathan Rosenburg's "Babbage: Pioneer Economist" which discusses in greater length Babbage's theories about economy, as well as an essay by the website designer called "Whiggism and the History of Science and the Study of the Life and Work of Charles Babbage". This website is recommended for students of nineteenth-century history, political science student, and economy students.
This website describes an AHRC-funded research project assessing “the rise of spiritualism in contemporary technological culture through the lens of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”. The project will consider the historical and contemporary relationship between spiritualism, technology and culture, exploring the potential of spiritualism to “be witness of” a particular time. To this end the project intends to develop a network between the University of Westminister’s English and Photography department; other academics with literary, cultural, historical and political interests; visual artists and curators; archivists and specialists in the field (through partnering the Society for Psychical Research). The website gives further details about the project’s intended activities, including a seminar programme in 2008/2009.
The excellent website of the Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture provides information on the academic research centre and its museum. The Centre houses one of the UK's largest collections of books, prints, artefacts and ephemera, collected by Bill Douglas and Peter Jewell. These depict the history of the cinema illustrating the development of 'optical recreation' and popular entertainment from the late 18th century to the present day. The centre also encompasses what it calls the "pre-history" of cinema, boasting a copy of Athanasius Kircher's "Ars Magna Lucis et Ombrae" of 1671, the first book to illustrate the magic lantern. There is a teaching and learning section, a searchable database of the collections, and further information about the onsite museum. An excellent section on further reading recommends the best publications on cinema and related themes. The website hosts virtual exhibitions and provides information about forthcoming events. The Teaching and Learning section includes information on degree courses, research opportunities and resources for schools for Key Stages 1 to 3. Worksheets are provided and the Centre can be used as a part of science projects, and 19th- and 20th-century history. The Centre's EVE online catalogue and virtual exhibition space received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is preserved at AHDS Performing Arts.
The “Blackout History Project” website explores the experiences of those caught up in the power failures that affected the New York metropolitan area in 1965 and 1977. Reactions to the blackouts were very different: the first brought people together and the second led to looting and rioting. The site is experimental in that it asks visitors to help build the site by adding their own comments and recollections of events. This online resource focuses in particular on the experiences of New York residents during the two blackouts and on the technical failings of the electricity utilities. Included here are narrative accounts of the two blackouts, audio files and text transcripts of interviews conducted with ‘survivors’ and employees from the utilities companies and an online forum. In addition, many press articles and official documents relating to the incidents are reproduced in PDF format for downloading and several secondary essays place the events in their historical context and examine the lessons learnt by the power industry. This interesting site demonstrates how the interactive features of the Internet can be utilised for historical research on relatively recent events.
Bletchley Park was home to the Second World War codebreaking initiative which famously defeated the German Enigma machine, employing Alan Turing’s innovation of the Bombe, a predecessor of the early electromechanical computers. It now operates as a visitor attraction, and this official site is relatively commercial: there is, however, some historical information including a loose narrative chronology of events in the period September 1941-March 1942 (author unspecified) and an account of early Polish successes in breaking Enigma, often overlooked, plus photographs and a Java simulation of an Enigma machine (also available at the website of its author, Russell Schwager). The material is popular in tone and would be suitable for presenting to school-age or first-level undergraduates as background or a basis for project work; there is little of potential use to researchers, however, with the possible exception of a paper, written by Bletchley Park mathematician Frank Carter, entitled "Mathematics in Action". This discusses some of the principles behind the breaking of the Lorenz cipher: the full-text is available in PDF format. The site also provides conference details, briefly annotated links, and general information about visiting the site. The layout is rather busy and a little confusing: most of the useful material is to be found in the sections "Enigma" and "History".
Founded in 1858, membership of the British Horological Institute (BHI) is open to anyone with an interest in timekeeping in its many forms. It aims to maintain the standards of British horology and has close links with colleges and establishments offering horological training. The site includes: membership details; training opportunities; a regional directory of BHI qualified repairers; details of the Horological Journal, with a featured article of the month and an on-line search facility of indexes from 1991; and links to related sites.
Calculating Machines introduces the history of mechanical calculation devices from the abacus up to the electromechanical calculators of the twentieth century. It has been written from a collector's point of view, but should also appeal to those with a more academic interest in the subject. The site includes a chronological history of adding and calculating machines, with a classification system and colour photographs of many twentieth-century models. There is also a selection of American adverts for such machines from the 1930s to 1950s. Another section looks at early devices such as the abacus and the slide rule. The controversy surrounding the replica of Leonardo Da Vinci's adding machine is also covered. The site features articles from various publications, a Java applet simulating a "Felt" adding machine, and an email discussion list with online searchable archives. The reference section of the site contains a bibliography of printed works, a list of organisations, societies, and periodicals, and a page of links to other websites.
The Calculator Museum Web Page contains information about early electronic calculators from 1963 to 1975. The site consists of three main galleries: the Desktop Calculator Gallery features larger models spanning the entire period; the HP gallery is devoted specifically to models manufactured by Hewlett-Packard; and finally, there is a gallery of pocket calculators. Each gallery contains photographs of the models the site owner has collected, accompanied by text explaining technological innovations and interesting features. The site also features a 'trading post' for collectors of old calculators, and links to related websites.
The website of the Canada Science and Technology Museum may be viewed in English or French. While it is aimed at a general audience, material included under 'The Collection' subheading, which may be found in the sidebar on the left of the overview page, may be useful to students at undergraduate level. The Museum's collection is evidently significant, including a comprehensive selection of artefacts relating to Canada's scientific and technological development. Also, interesting insights are offered into the Museum's collection, cataloguing and conservation processes. This is a well-presented resource, primarily of use to school teachers, but offering a starting-point for early stage academic research into the history and philosophy of science.
Sandretto are an Italian company that supply plastic moulding processes and machines. In 1995 they opened a museum devoted to the history of plastics. This accompanying website presents a brief history of plastics, along with images of many of the artefacts housed at the museum. It also includes a number of art images inspired by the chemistry of plastics. The site offers guided online tours of the plastics museum and the art museum, both of which have searchable catalogues. There is also a glossary of the various types of plastics, and an industrial history of Pont Canavese, the town in which the museum is situated.
Published by the British Library, the Online Catalogue of Photographically Illustrated Books provides a valuable search aid for those interested in the early history of photography. The collection, conceived in 1994 and initially funded by the Penny Charitable Trust, comprises over 1,300 books containing a total of 15,274 photographs, and is "one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive sources of early British and foreign photography" between 1839 and 1914. The complete catalogue can be searched online by keyword, or by using a more advanced search, with categories that include subject and process. Also on the site are some 320 digitised examples of the photographic content in the books, giving viewers a welcome taster in the British Library's Online Gallery of Historic Photographs. More digitised images are promised in future site updates. For a complete idea of the scope of early photographs used in books in the British Library collections, users should check the link to the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections, where there are additional similar sources. Instructions for searching the catalogue are provided, as are details on how to order image and more information on the history of this project. Related catalogues are posted and completed research on this collection are described.
The website of the Centre for the History of Defence Electronics, History of Technology Research Unit, University of Bournemouth introduces the activities and scope of this research department. The research focuses on the work of their Oral History Research Unit, which aims to explore new ways of understanding technological change through oral history and to use the Internet in presenting the history of technology in the virtual museum environment. Currently, archive material available on the website relates mainly to radar and radio communications during the Second World War, also prisoner of war radios. You can listen to extracts from some of the interviews, some with a transcript, most with at least a summary of the key points to accompany the sound clips. There are also oral history presentations for the 'Talking About Technology' project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, working with the University of the Third Age, which relate to local history - iron and steel, shipbuilding, building conservation - in Melton Mowbray, Basildon, Billericay, Wokingham, and Stamford. The creators of the site have ceased to add new materials or to expand their projects but the site still remains live to provide access to its archives.
The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial College London (CHOSTM) is one of the largest units in Britain devoted to the historical side of the discipline. This departmental website provides contact details and publication lists for all teaching, research, and affiliate staff; general information on research degrees; details of PhD and MPhil researchers; details of the Centre's Research Seminar series (chiefly featuring postgraduate researchers from the Centre and other London departments); and a list of research resources, museums and relevant departments in the London area. One of the Centre's notable specialist areas is the history of Imperial College itself, which played a key role in the professionalisation of British science: a page is devoted to the Imperial College Centenary Book Project undertaken by Hannah Gay, scheduled for completion in 2007. Information is also provided about the Centre's other current research projects.
The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) is an historical archives and research centre of the University of Minnesota. It is dedicated to promoting study of the history of information technology and information processing and their impact on society. CBI preserves relevant historical documentation in all media, conducts and fosters research in history and archival methods, offers graduate fellowships, and sponsors symposia, conferences, and publications. The website also provides a catalogue of the institute's significant archives of the history of technology. Materials within the archives include: corporate records, manuscript materials, personal papers, records of professional associations, oral history interviews, trade publications, periodicals, obsolete manuals and product literature, photographs, films, videos, and reference materials, and books that have become historically significant in the subject area.
Codes and Ciphers in the Second World War is a site principally devoted to the work of Bletchley Park, the secret British codebreaking centre. The site is maintained by Tony Sale, original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum, and is independent from the present Bletchley Park Trust. Significantly richer in detail than the official Bletchley Park site, it provides useful introductions (both technical and contextual) to the prehistory of the codebreaking initiative; the operation of the various Enigma machines; the roles of Polish and French cryptanalysts; Alan Turing and the development of the Bombe; the physical layout of the Park (with numerous photographs from 1938 and the present); the logistics of the codebreaking and translation process; the building of the Colossus machine to break the Lorenz cipher; and the 1990s project to reconstruct Colossus, which was instigated and organised by the site's author. Notes to several lectures given by Tony Sale on Enigma, the Bombe and the Colossus are also included, as is a chronology (compiled from secondary sources) of twentieth century codebreaking history. Also present are full-text transcripts of several reports and manuals from the 1940s which concern Enigma or Bletchley Park, presented in PDF format; a contents list to Tony Sale's personal database (not archived online) of source documents from the history of cryptanalysis; and an interactive simulation of the Colossus machine.
Colour Prints by George Baxter (1804-1867) is an online exhibition displaying archival collections held at the E. J. Pratt library, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Baxter was an English lithographer and engraver who "developed a process to produce colour prints from blocks and plates using oil-based inks. His aim was to provide good, inexpensive prints for popular sale, and to imitate oil painting. He was the first printer successfully to use oil-based inks, and was among the first to make colour prints available to ordinary people." These images helped to set the tone for the period: compare, for example, the similar styles of The Carrier Pigeon and The Holy Family. A number of fine samples are available for users to view online. Images are arranged according to the following categories: Early Prints; Missionary Prints; Needle-box Prints; Portraits; the Coronation; and Exteriors and Landscapes. They are accompanied by helpful historical and cultural commentary. Further information -- including lists of all print titles held in the Library, Baxter's biography and a full account of his work, and other samples of his pieces -- is available on a subpage of the E. J. Pratt Library Special Collections page, which is also devoted to Baxter. Researchers in British Art History for the Victorian period should find the site of special interest.
The Computer History Museum is a visitor attraction, archive and deposit centre for the history of computing and computer culture, based in California's Silicon Valley. The Museum's associated website will be of interest to researchers mainly for a section on access to its collections, begun in the 1970s and now numbering many thousands of items, grouped under the headings Artefacts, Documentation, Software, Media (audiovisual footage) and Ephemera. Eventually the catalogues for all collections will be digitised and placed online; at present only the Artefacts catalogue is available, accessed through a keyword search facility. The site also provides a few "online exhibits": a history of the Internet (to 1992) with narrative discussion; a timeline charting the development of the microprocessor; and photographs and brief details of several of the Museum's artefact holdings. Another feature is a more general timeline, covering the period 1945 to 1990. Short summaries of individual events from the established historiography of computing are presented: the subheadings under which they are classified -- "computers"; "people and pop culture"; "software"; "components"; "robots and artificial intelligence"; "networks"; "companies" -- define the scope of the survey. The tone is concise, poppy, and sometimes unreasonably glib (1970: "Vietnam War protesters attacked university computer centers. At the University of Wisconsin, the toll was one human and four machines"): the material may be of help to some beginning students looking for an overview of the field, but is unlikely to be better than the established print sources. In addition, the site gives details of the museum's location, staff and current events, including lecture series.
The website "Croness Pumping Station" is published by the Crossness Engines Trust, and is part of the National Grid for Learning. The site covers the history of the Crossness Pumping station, built in 1865 by Joseph Bazalgette as part of London's new drainage system. There is a sizeable section on the pumping station's history, taken from Ian G. Hampson's 'A popular history of Crossness'. This covers the building and it's engines, as well as including a biography of Joseph Bazalgette, and information on the state of London's sanitation and public health in the Victorian age. There is also information about the Trust and it's work to restore Crossness since the 1980s.
Da Vinci Notebook is a webpage from the British Library's collection. The manuscript is sometimes referred to as 'The Codex Arundel' and was put together after Da Vinci's death from loose papers. The material dates from throughout Da Vinci's life (1452-15190 and ranges from geometry, mechanics and landscape architecture to the movement of water and the flight of birds. The document is part of the British Library's Treasures which makes available historically significant manuscripts in its public galleries and reproduced through the British Library's Publication Programme. The manuscript is also available online through the library's Turning Pages Programme. Da Vinci's unusal handwriting from right to left and in Italian has been reversed and translated into English for users. A Shockwave Player is required to view the manuscript.
This is the website for the Daguerreian Society, which was founded in 1988. It is an American organisation made up of individuals and institutions, sharing a common interest in the art, history and practice of daguerreotype photography, which was pioneered in the 19th century by French artists and photographers Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (1787-1851) and Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833). The website includes galleries of daguerreotype photographs, articles about the history, process and development of the daguerreotype and a bibliography of the literature surrounding the subject. The Resources section is very comprehensive. It has a collection of full and selected text materials, from descriptions of scientific processes, to fiction in which a daguerrotype has importance. Some of these are downloadable PDF files. There is a bibliography, an illustrated guide to the process of making a daguerrotype, news from contemporary practitioners and a facsimile of a guide around an 1850s daguerrotype factory. A National Endowment of the Arts database contains a developing collection of images, which may be searched by reference number, author, location, subject or other detail. The Galleries contain images under headings including, 'The American Vision', 'Silver and Gold', Reflections of an Era' and 'Contemporary Daguerrotypes by Charlie Schreiner'. There is membership information on the website and links to the Society's newsletter, and a membership directory with information on how to purchase these items. The links section provides an extensive list of links relating to the daguerreotype, as well as links of photohistorical and general historical interest. This is a fascinating resource, full of information and with a wealth of material for researchers in all aspects of early photography. It is also especially interesting because it deals with the daguerrotype not only as a stage in the development of photography, but also as a process used by contemporary artists.
The Open University's Department of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine is a relatively large unit, offering undergraduate study and postgraduate research, with specialisations both in the early-modern period and in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This departmental site comprises a set of staff pages, including selected publications and notes on research interests; details of undergraduate courses, with synopses, reading lists, entry requirements, etc; information on applying for postgraduate research, with a list of current and past research topics (including some detailed information on a number of projects).
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 Digital Bridges website is a collection dedicated to 19th century American bridge engineering material, from monographs, manuals and documents, relating to bridges considered to be particularly representative of the era. The original documents are from the Lehigh University Libraries' Special Collections, and many are fragile or rare. Therefore, this online access is of particular value, and likely to be of use to researchers at all levels, in civil engineering, material culture, technology and the renovation of historical structures. The documents in the collection are scanned images, which have been converted to text and may be accessed via the site search engine. Divisions of the material may be accessed randomly as chapters and subchapters, with page-to-page forward and backward facilities. An online glossary is available, which may be searched under names, terms and specific bridges, including the Niagara Falls Bridge and the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. The Collection may be browsed via an alphabetically listing of book titles, or searched via keywords or specific reference. There is also a page devoted to images from the volumes in the Collection and an information page of background to the project. This site is user-friendly and well-presented.
The Dream of Flight is an online exhibition published by the Library of Congress. It looks at the history of flight, and the notion of flight in past centuries. Using digitised primary sources from the library's collections the exhibition explores images and ideas of flight from antiquity, through to the Renaissance and then the twentieth century. The history of hot air balloons is covered, and the first dirigibles, as well as a substantial chapter about the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville, which features some fascinating archive material. In addition there is a useful timeline of important dates, and a list of suggested further reading.
Until the late 19th century when developments in the chemical industry allowed the manufacture of artificial colouring agents, dyes were laboriously manufactured from a range of plant and animal extracts. This wide-ranging website provides a comprehensive historical, cultural and scientific overview of the various processes involved in the making of dyes such as Indigo and woad, Tyrian purple, Murexide and Lichen purple, from technical chemical details to biographical and historiographical material illuminating the history of dye making. Extensive bibliographic references and weblinks on this subject and contact details of modern manufacturers and supplies of traditional dyes are provided. The resource includes a guide to the contents of the journal "Dyes in History and Archaeology" since 1991 which published the proceedings of annual conferences on this subject. The text is illustrated throughout with a variety of botanical and historical images as well as many chemical formulae. The hypertext links lead you to a variety of websites of related interest in English, French and German. "Ancient dyes" has a wide potential audience among students and researchers of archaeology, anthropology and history of all periods (including the history of science, industry and clothing). Regular meetings are organised and advertised on this website.
The European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, founded in 1981, is a pan-European learned society (with some members elsewhere) covering the field of Science and Technology Studies. This site includes a full-text online archive of the Association's quarterly journal, EASST Review, dating back to 1994; an open-access email directory of present and former members; information on joining the society, and a small, unannotated collection of links to STS-related sites. The site suffers from some odd web design in places and often appears to be out of date: it is stated to be maintained regularly but infrequently, "on or about the 15th of March, June, September and December", to coincide with the publication of the journal.
This website is part of the Centre for History and New Media at George Mason University. The Research Centre is an annotated catalogue with reviews of over 5,000 websites on the history of science, technology and industry. The collection may be searched or browsed by key word, topic, content or time period. The Collecting Centre is a directory of websites dedicated to online collections of historical materials. It may be browsed by topic and offers a guide to best practice for collecting history online, with a range of additional free tools and services. It also has links to the sites of featured projects. This is a comprehensive site, generous in its resources and well-presented, but it appears to not have been updated since 2005.
A biography of Thomas Edison (1847-1931), produced by the Lemelson Center to celebrate the 150th birthday of the great American inventor. The website also relates the stories behind some of Edison's most famous inventions, such as the electric light bulb, the phonograph, the telephone transmitter, and the quadruplex telegraph system. A page of Edison's 'quotes and quips' reproduces some of his more famous sayings. The site also includes instructions for making one's own (rather elementary) electric light bulb. This exhibition was nominated in the competition for Best Museum Web Site Supporting Educational Use in 'Museums and the Web 2004 : Best of the Web'.
This is the online version of 'Ends and Means' - a journal which explored the impact of technology on people's lives and their conceptions of the world (ISSN: 1472-5819). The journal was published twice yearly from 1990 to 2001, and the full content of all volumes published between 1996 to 2001 is available to view from this site. Most issues of Ends and Means consist of three or four articles, generally of between 2,000 and 4,000 words, and reviews of recently published books. The articles are not usually allied to any particular school of philosophy, and are comprehensible enough to be appreciated by the interested public.
This website contains an applet that simulates the Enigma encryption machines used by the Germans during World War Two. The user can enter text into the machine which is then displayed in its encoded state. The site also includes a history of the Enigma machine, from its commercial beginnings, through its use in the Second World War, to the attempts to decipher Enigma messages concluding in the success of the code-breakers and mathematicians at Bletchley Park. Another section of the site explains how the machine works, for the benefit of anyone else wishing to write a simulator. Links are provided to related sites. The website requires a Java applet to use the enigma machine.
"Epact: Scientific Instruments of Medieval and Renaissance Europe" is an online catalogue arising from a collaboration between four museums: the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford (on whose server the catalogue resides); the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza [Institute and Museum of the History of Science], Florence; the British Museum, London; and the Museum Boerhaave, Leiden. The 520 catalogue entries represent all the various museums' European instrument holdings from makers active before 1600. The catalogue is commendably detailed: in addition to information on maker, origins, dimensions, etc., each entry has an accompanying photograph, viewable at three levels of resolution, a summary overview (typically 130 words) and a rather longer description, with authors credited. The catalogue may be browsed by maker, place of origin or date. Particularly helpful is an online hand-list, allowing all the headings to be viewed at once. Alternatively, thumbnail images of the instruments may be used for navigation. A comprehensive search facility is also available. The instruments catalogued include armillary spheres, astrolabes, astronomical compendia, compasses, globes, quadrants, sundials, measuring rules and instruments for surveying and artillery ranging. Among the support materials are a glossary of all terms used in the descriptions, plus slightly longer articles outlining the operation of instruments; brief biographical details (with references) of the makers; notes on all the sites of instrument production featured; a general bibliography of early instruments and an essay, "Medieval and renaissance mathematical arts and sciences", putting the scope of the project in context.
This is the website of the Guglielmo Marconi Foundation. The Foundation aims to promote research into the field of telecommunications and the work of Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909. The site offers an outstanding wealth of primary and secondary sources. Two sections appear particularly noteworthy. A first - dedicated to Marconi and his work - presents a recorded biography of the Italian engineer which users can listen to, including Marconi's own account of his achievements. Full-text of Marconi's major writings can also be accessed from this section. Additionally available are several film reels covering Marconi's work, including one related to the first transatlantic radio transmission in 1901, and another to the experiments carried out in London. Additionally present are various texts on Marconi and a select bibliography. Under the heading "Archivio" a second section offers access to the catalogues of the monograph and periodical collections held at the Foundation. The documents collection can be searched online. Full-text of articles from three major Italian newspapers of the time recounting Marconi's activities can be viewed online. The Foundation houses the Marconi Museum, a virtual tour of which can be made online. Users can access images of several electronic devices, part of the museum collection, and read the accompanying explanatory captions. The website presents a section dedicated to students and teachers and details on the Foundations activities, past and forthcoming. The site would be of great interest to historians, researchers and students who could benefit from the educational material available.
This website - part of the Capturing the Energy Project, to document the history of UK oil and gas exploration in the North Sea – gives a history of the Frigg gas field. Named after a Norse fertility goddess, the field was discovered in 1971, in UK and Norwegian sectors of the sea, and developed shortly after. The website provides a timeline of the field’s development, illustrations and a description of the field. More usefully, this resource offers a starting point for those interested in this particular aspect of industrial heritage. A history perhaps more celebrated elsewhere in the world, the research involves collaboration with similar projects in Norway and is based around a consortium of leading oil companies with the University of Aberdeen forming the hub of the project.
'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 website hosts a well-used email discussion list for scholars working on the history of science, medicine, and technology. Discussions are not restricted by geographical region or time period. The list was started in 1997 and had over 1,500 subscribers by 2000. It typically receives about ten emails a day, mostly announcements, calls for papers, and user queries. Archives are maintained and may be searched in several different ways. The site also features annotated lists of links to other websites that might be of interest to teachers and scholars working in the discipline.
This is the website of the science, medicine and technology division of the humanities online project (H-Net), based at Michigan State University but aiming to encompass scholars and teachers from all around the world. One of the chief functions of this project is to provide an email discussion group for the historical, philosophical and sociological study of science, technology and medicine. Accordingly, the site contains details of how to join the list, together with an archive of all previous submissions to it and a selected list of some of the more interesting exchanges it has hosted, including some concerning important recent secondary literature. In addition, for the aid of newcomers to the field, the site contains information about teaching and research resources, including bibliographies, and offers links to other relevant websites. Its presentation is straightforward and the site is regularly updated.
This is the website for Heriot Watt University’s Archive, Records Management and Museum Service which manages, conserves and promotes the University’s collection of art, artefacts and archives. The collections, described here in more detail, include material related to: the history of the University; the working lives of staff and students; the University's place in the history of scientific and technical education; the Scottish textile industry; artists of the Edinburgh School (including artworks by Elizabeth Blackadder, William Baillie, Eduardo Paolozzi and John Bellany); the local history of Riccarton and the Gibson-Craig family, one-time owners of the Riccarton estate. The website also includes details about the services other activities, including work to enhance access to the collections.
The Historical Metallurgy Society UK seeks to provide a forum for the exchange of information and research about the history of metallurgy and archaeometallurgy. The Society organises an annual residential conference as well as meetings and lectures. They produce the journal 'Historical Metallurgy' (published annually in two parts), a newsletter, symposium reports, and various books. The contents pages of the journal may be viewed on line, although the full-text version is only available in print to Society members. Submission guidelines are provided. Included on the website are guides to historical and archaeological resources, both online and off, and a series of archaeology 'datasheets' to download (in PDF format), which provide introductions to the various kinds of artefacts and evidential remains relevant to the study of metallurgy. The Society also offers student grants to facilitate research into historical metallurgy, details of which are posted on the website. A membership application form may be downloaded from the site.
The Historical Scientific Instrument Gallery website, hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, displays images of and information about the collection that has been assembled from items used in teaching, demonstrating, and research by University staff from 1887 onward. The physical collection contains around seven hundred items from the last part of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth, and a substantial sample of these appear on the website. The instruments are catalogued according to their field of use (optics, electrostatics, vacuum discharges, etc.). Brief descriptions are provided, alongside thumbnail photographs that can be clicked to view a larger image. Unfortunately, few original records remain detailing the provenance of the instruments, although the curator has recovered as much information as possible from old books and sale catalogues. This is a well-presented site that will be of interest to anyone studying the more recent history of scientific instruments or who requires images of such equipment.
This website provides a history of computing, with sections devoted to software, hardware, computer companies, and influential individuals. There is also a timeline and a general reference section. The site is extensive, although it does not make any claims to offer a comprehensive history of computing. It is maintained by enthusiasts, and mostly written in a style better suited to the general public than a scholarly audience. The software, hardware, computer companies, and biographical sections each offer alphabetical lists linking to brief accounts of relevant subjects, usually with illustrations. The timelines and chronologies are detailed, if a little enthusiastic in their divisions of computing history into periods with names such as 'antiquity' and 'industrial era'. The reference section actually contains more of interest than might be anticipated, with essays on subjects such as the history of computer viruses, robotics, hacking, and binary computers. The site includes a search engine, and features a good annotated list of links to museums with collections of interest to historians of computing.
The History of Space Exploration web pages provide summaries of the more important spacecraft missions. Additionally, they include: a history of rocketry from ancient China onwards; an article on the selection and training of astronauts in the early days of space exploration; a NASA article on automated spacecraft; and a discussion of some of the 'hypothetical planets' that have been suggested over the years. The site also contains the texts of some historical publications on space exploration. These include books on the Viking Lander expedition to Mars, and the Apollo Space Program and Lunar landing. A chronology of space exploration may be displayed either according to date or by solar body. A chronology of solar system discoveries is also included at the site. The accounts of the spacecraft missions themselves are grouped by nationality, and cover Apollo, Ranger, Viking, Voyager, Mariner, Lunar, Venera, Phobos, Magellan, and Galileo missions. European and Japanese missions such as Ulysses, SOHO, Sakigake, and Yohkoh are also featured. Finally, the site includes links to the websites of current and future missions, some 'educator's guides', and additional history resources. Whilst the writing is occasionally rather florid, this is nevertheless an informative site that will provide a good introduction to the history of space exploration.
History of the Internet uses a clickable timeline to provide an introductory overview of the history of computer networking, from the birth of the ARPANET network in the 1960s, through the appearance of electronic mail and the establishment of the TCP/IP protocol which produced the modern Internet, to the creation and subsequent rise to dominance of the World Wide Web hypertext system. Some primary materials are included within the timeline section, including photographs of hardware, transcripts of policy documents (occasionally external to the site) and video clips downloadable in MPEG format: these include a discussion of 1970s network research, and reminiscences from WWW creator Tim Berners-Lee. Also present on the site are helpful brief introductory guides to the network systems discussed, a statistical survey of the Internet’s rapid growth, and an unannotated bibliography of sources used (mostly online). The site was produced by a researcher at Finland’s CSC, the organisation responsible for maintaining FUNET, the Finnish University and Research Network (analogous to the British JANET). The historical overview does place a marked emphasis on developments in Finland and specifically concerning FUNET from its creation in the early 1980s; but this is addressed alongside global events, making the site a perfectly suitable general-purpose introduction. Finnish and Swedish-language versions are also available. The site was created in 1998, and does not at present contain information on developments beyond that date.
The website "HMB Endeavour replica" hosted by the Australian National Maritime Museum gives the latest news and information about the 'Endeavour', a replica of the ship in which Captain James Cook made his first voyage to Oceania. The ship has been described by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwic, as the world's best replica of an 18th century ship. She has sailed from Australia to Britain in several voyages and is very much a functioning vessel as well as a floating tourist attraction. The Captain's and crewmembers' reports may be read at the site, along with the charts of recent voyages. Information about refits and repairs is also included. There is also a section of the site devoted to the history of the project, and information for those who wish to sail the Endeavour, or assist with her maintenance. The history of the original ship, its specifications, the aim of its voyaged to the South Seas and more resources on Captain Cook's missions are also offered on the site.
'HOST: journal of history of science and technology' is a full-text ejournal, which aims to explore... "the cultural and social dimensions of science and technology in history across the world". It is published in English - jointly by the University of Lisbon, the University of Evora, and the New University of Lisbon. At January 2009 there are two issues online, offering articles and book reviews in HTML format. Example article titles are: 'The Emergence of Early Modern Commons: Technology, Heritage and Enlightenment'; 'What Can Local Circulation Explain? The Case of Helmholtz’s Frog-Drawing-Machine in Berlin'; and 'Bringing it all back home: Portuguese engineers and their travels of learning (1850-1900)', among others. The website has details of the editors, Editorial Board, Advisory Board, and the submissions process. There is an RSS feed.
HOST : the history of science and technology 1801-1914, was a project intended to increase accessibility to library and archive collections relating to the history of science (excluding medical science) during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The project also included the physical conservation of items.A consortium of UK university libraries was involved with the project, and the subjects covered and collections targeted were diverse, from vulcanology at UCL, to railway engineering at Birmingham, to atomic physics at Manchester. Materials relating to scientists such as Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley have been catalogued. The website described the projects and the general collections covered as well as providing links to related libraries, websites, and similar projects. The archives may not be searched from the HOST site itself, but records may be accessed via the A2A Access to Archives database. A link is provided. HOST received funding from the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP).
HTECH-L@SI-LISTSERV.SI.EDU is an email discussion forum for scholars working on the history of technology. There are over 300 subscribers to the list, which includes features such as a spam filter, bounce processing, indices, and database functions. The list includes an archive, but this is not available on the website to non-subscribers. The site includes subscription details.
The International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) was founded during the Cold War to help maintain the exchange of ideas and scholarship about the history of technology at an international level. The organisation is associated with UNESCO but functions as an autonomous body. Committee directors are listed and subscription details provided on the website. The ICOHTEC website grants access to contents pages for the Committee's annual journal 'ICON' as well as describing the aim and scope of the publication. The site also provides users with the full-text versions of the regular Committee newsletter, and monthly news pages publicising events, new books, and job opportunities. The ICOTECH statutes are reproduced online, as are the minutes of recent meetings.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers' History Center is a research facility set up to develop and maintain resources in the history of electrical and information technologies. Researchers may be particularly interested in an online archive of over 120 oral history interview transcripts, with specific sections covering workers at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and at RCA Laboratories, Japanese electrical engineers and managers, and associates of the Stanford electrical engineer Frederick E Terman. Other materials include an unannotated bibliography on the history of the computer (intended ultimately to be developed into a more general bibliography); an archive of the Center's newsletter; and a few secondary pieces on the IEEE and its predecessor organisations, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and Institute of Radio Engineering. Also provided are details of the Center's publications and catalogues to IEEE archive collections which are not available online, plus news of recent developments, a collection of links (large, classified but unannotated) and the archive of the Center's threaded discussion list, ECHOES. A recent addition is the IEEE Virtual Museum, with substantial exhibits on electricity and sound recording aimed firmly at a popular audience.
This is the website for Isis, the long-running journal for the history and cultural influence of science, medicine and technology produced by the History of Science Society in the USA. Apart from detailed submission guidelines and subscription information, the site also offers access to the contents pages of all issues since 1995 and to the abstracts of all articles published since 1997. Also of use are the details of forthcoming issues and a sample issue which may be viewed online via abstracts and downloadable full-text articles. A Table of Contents Alert email system is available. This site is straightforward and regularly updated.
This 1999 Digital Edition of Jacques Besson's 'Theatrum Instrumentum et Machinarium' of 1578 is part of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries online collection. The introduction by Ronald Brashear, Curator of Science and Technology Rare Books for the Smithsonian Special Collections offers a concise but detailed context for Besson's work. This includes a background to the genre known as the 'Theatre of Machines', of which Besson's text was the first, discussion of the plates and a bibliography of further primary source materials. There are also details on the donation of the original text to the Smithsonian and a bibliographic analysis of the book, with reference to secondary source materials. The digital images of the book are of sufficient quality to show the high standard of production in the original. The text is primarily in Latin, with details of the Royal Privilege granted to the first edition of 1571/2 in French. The text may be viewed page by page, or searched via the 'Structure' link. This offers direct access to specific pages, which may be chosen from four drop-down menus: Front Matter, Text, Plates or Back Matter. For researchers at all levels, this website offers high quality open access to a rare text with simplicity and ease of use.
The Joseph Henry Papers Project is run by the Institutional History Division of the Smithsonian Institution. Its chief activity is in preparing a print edition of the papers of the Institution's founding secretary, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), a pioneering electromagnetic researcher and noted supporter of ethnological and meteorological work. In addition to information about the Project, this site contains a substantial collection of short biographical pieces, surveying Henry's activities and beliefs and the history of the Smithsonian during his tenure; more technical essays, discussing Henry's role in the development of the telegraph, electric motor, electromagnet and telephone; an online facsimile of the catalogue to an exhibit entitled "Joseph Henry: an Enduring Legacy", first displayed in 1997; and diverse support materials, such as a chronological survey of items (including the SI unit of inductance) named in Henry's honour. Referencing is thorough, with a classified bibliography of print resources provided. The section relating to the Papers themselves provides a brief description of contents for each of the eight volumes currently in print. Volume 8 also has a full online transcript of the table of contents and introduction, whereas for volume 7, unusually, there is a link to a "mini edition" maintained externally at the site of the Model Editions Partnership, containing the full-text of 51 documents. A small sample of letters derived from the Papers Project, presented in transcript form as a single webpage with copious annotation, also appears in the biographical section.
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 web resource introduces the issues surrounding the navigation of the South Atlantic Ocean and the calculation of latitude. It is divided into a number of pages covering different aspects of navigation in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. There are sections on ship design, magnetism, developments in sailing techniques, ocean currents, map-making, and several other topics. Digital images of early-modern maps illustrate the points made by the site. Links to other websites are categorised by the educational level they might be best suited to, for the benefit of teachers. The presentation of the site seems curiously arbitrary, but it is worth exploring, as it does provide a good introduction to many of the problems faced by early-modern mariners that are now easily forgotten or overlooked.
The Legendary Lighthouses website was designed to accompany an American television series and book of the same name. The site summarises the television episodes and includes historical information on lighthouses by region of the USA. Each regional section contains: about 20 photographic images of various lighthouses; information on the particularities of that region's coastal geography; accounts of particularly notable lighthouses, with historical anecdotes; information as to the state of the lighthouses today; and contact details for structures not in private hands. The photographs are unfortunately rather small. The site also features a QuickTime illustration of how a Fresnel lens operates.
This website, part of the BBC Science & Nature section, looks at Leonardo da Vinci as an all-round genius, thinker, artist, scientist and engineer. The site includes online galleries of paintings, sketches and works by other artists, providing additional information and high-quality images. An interactive area presents Leonardo's 'studio' which, by navigating around select items in the studio, links to additional biographical and historical information about the artist and the Renaissance period, covering Leonardo's designs for flying machines, the materials used by Renaissance artists, camera obscura, anatomy and the unfinished work 'Adoration of the Magi'. In addition, there is a link to an illustrated timeline of his life with a series of 12 questions to test your Leonardo knowledge, plus an interactive 'what kind of thinker are you?' quiz. The site is exciting to explore and allows a closer look at masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, Lady with Ermine, The Last Supper, and drawings and sketches. Experts in the fields of art history, architecture, and engineering share their opinions on the website.
The Leonardo da Vinci Society provides a forum for scholars interested in the art, science, and times of the great Renaissance artist and inventor. The website provides an introduction to the Society, along with committee and membership information. It contains a biography of Leonardo and details of the annual conference and annual general meeting. Book reviews and a list of recent publications are also included. Online copies of the Society newsletter provide more detailed information about events and recent research.
"Leonardo's Codex Leicester, A Masterpiece of Science" is an online exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History. It accompanied an exhibition at the Museum from 1996-1997, which used a manuscript (The Codex Leicester, written circa 1506-1510) in private hands in America to illustrate the scientific thoughts and amazing drawings of Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance artist, scientist, and thinker. The Codex Leicester is a record of Leonardo's thoughts, from astronomy to hydrodynamics, and includes Leonardo's observations and theories related to rivers, the moon and the oceans, and the properties of water. The online presentation includes an annotated image of one folio of a single sheet of the 300 page manuscript.
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.
The Magic Mirror of Life website stems from the personal passions of two photographers interested in the history and prehistory of photography. The camera obscura (Latin for dark room) is an important discovery in the development of the photographic camera. Many of the obscuras built in Britain are relics of the Victorian era. The site offers background and historical information on the camera obscura. Links and bibliographic sources provide further points of reference. The personal collection of the site's authors display a very good collection of images of camera obscuras in the UK and the US, plus images of books, cartoons, postcards, encyclopaedia pages and vintage instruments. The authors' visits to obscuras are detailed with maps and personal accounts.
'Making the Macintosh' is an online project at Stanford University, tracing the social history of the Macintosh computer. It is likely to be of use to researchers at all levels. Using photographs, interviews and technical diagrams, among other primary source materials, the project is divided into key areas. These come under headings including 'Counterculture and Computing', 'The Early Macintosh', 'The Apple Mouse' and 'Marketing the Macintosh'. Interviewees include members of the Macintosh development team, technical writers and members of user groups. This site aims to have the people involved in the development of the Macintosh computer speak for themselves through the primary source material, 'without the usual intermediary scholarly apparatus of interpretation and explication'. The layout of the site makes it straightforward to access technical material and interviews directly and also includes information on media events such as the Macintosh launch of 1984, with reviews by different reporters, and accounts of user-group meetings. This site lays out its material clearly, separating technical material from reportage and responses, yet using both scientific and personal material to create a full overall picture of the development of a seminal contribution to modern technology.
Making the Modern World is an impressive website that charts the development of modern industrial society, and the changes in science, technology and medicine from the eighteenth century onwards. It is published by the Science Museum, in partnership with Peter Symonds College, Winchester and Mackensie Ward Research, and with funding from the ISB Fund. It features a wide number of resources, with a stories timeline, interactive presentations on particular people or inventions, an exploration of artefacts and learning modules for students and educators. There are also guided tours of particular topics, such as women in the modern world, conflict and technology, modern health, modern life and modern work. Users will find a wealth of information on the site ranging from the inventions of Richard Arkwright, to the development of the contraceptive pill.
This is the award-winning website of Canada's Manitoba Museum. A science and natural history museum and planetarium, the museum specialises in space and space exploration. The site contains many attractive and informative features. Apart from articles about previous exhibitions (on the Northern Lights, for example), browsers can take a virtual tour of a bat cave; view the night sky; read about telescopes; investigate the history of expeditions to Mars; order education kits; take a virtual tour of the entire museum. The site also provides information about membership, special tours, lists of collections, and an online shop.
Published to accompany an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, from September 26, 1997 to January 4, 1998, “Mathew Brady’s Portraits” is an online exhibition of photographic portraits by American Civil War photographer Mathew Brady. Brady photographed many important figures from the 1850s until his death in 1896. The website presents a virtual tour of the exhibition, providing enlargeable images and information about the pictures, and a technical glossary. There are also sections on photographic techniques during Brady’s time, which contain a number of animations, his relationship with the art world, his Civil War work, and a detailed biography. This resource can be navigated via the gallery or by a full index of sitters. The index is organised by theme, including gems of the collection, illustrious Americans, the civil war period, and imperial prints. Each portrait image is accompanied by notes on the sitter and the context in which the photograph was taken. Overall, this is an excellent and detailed website about Mathew Brady and his role in nineteenth century America.
The Medieval Technology Pages website was created by Paul Gans of New York University. The site aims to provide accurate, referenced information on medieval technological innovation and covers a period from 500 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 1600. The information on the site can be accessed through a subject index which lists items alphabetically, or via a timeline. Subjects include: Agricultural Tools; Cannons; Peasant Houses; Horse Shoes; Spectacles; and Windmills. The timeline is divided into two and three hundred year epochs, with highlighted links to information on key developments during those years, such as the importing of silkworms to Byzantium, the use of the heavy plow, the spread of the use of soap and the first use of the horizontal loom. There is also a reference section which takes the form of an alphabetical list of all the sources used to obtain the information for the site. Each reference links through to the relevant information on the site. This site is comprehensive and well-presented, offering a useful resource for all levels of research.
This is the website for Mersenne, an informal email discussion group for the history, philosophy and sociology of science, technology and medicine. The site is the responsibility of JISCmail, the provider of electronic discussion lists to the UK higher education community. Apart from information about how to join or leave the list, the site contains archives of previous submissions which may be browsed by author, date or thread, or searched by keyword. The volume of postings is low: most messages consist of job advertisements, calls for papers, and announcements of meetings, new websites or seminar series. All postings are archived at the JISCmail site, and it is thus possible to keep up to date without subscribing to the list by regularly checking this address. The archive contains all messages posted since September 1998, a significant proportion having been imported from the mailbase facility which formerly handled UK academic discussion lists. The site's presentation is simple but eminently clear.
Mining History Network is a website established to aid communication and the sharing of resources in the history of mining and related subjects throughout the world. It is maintained by Roger Burt, Professor of Mining History in the Department of History, University of Exeter. The site contains a list of mining history researchers (numbering some 500 members at the time of cataloguing) with contact details and notes of specialisations; a collection of very comprehensive print bibliographies (unannotated, and in some cases hosted on other sites), with specific listings for mining in Britain, North America, Africa, etc.; a large collection of links (unannotated) to other relevant sites; news of forthcoming conferences and symposia; and a link to the archive of the Mining History email discussion forum (based on JISCmail). As an international centre for mining history online, the site also contains the web presences of the Exeter Mining History Research Group; L'Equipe d' Histoire des Mines et de la Metallurgie (Paris); the Japan Mine Research Society (Tokyo); the Earby Mining Research Group (Yorkshire Dales); and the Bristol and Somerset Coalfield Web Site, a sub-domain maintained independently by Keith Ramsey, containing bibliographic and other information.
This is the very sophisticated site of the National Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci, in Milan. At its heart is a virtual reality tour of the large section of the museum devoted to the work of Leonardo da Vinci. The simulation allows viewers to explore the beautiful architecture of the museum as well as the many machines, constructed from Leonardo's drawings, that have been built. Among the reconstructions both at the museum and online are Leonardo's armoured car, glider and revolving crane.The museum also has sections containing locomotives and air & sea transportation. Images of the exhibits can be viewed via the website, and there are links to a number of Italian libraries and archives.
The Museum of Computing (in Swindon, UK) website includes an introduction to the history and vision of the museum together with recent news items; brief details of exhibitions; a blog; and PDF copies of the Museum of Computing newsletter which includes articles covering all aspects of digital history from handheld electronic games to home computers of the 1980s.
The Museum of HP Calculators (MoHPC) is an extensive website covering all models and aspects of Hewlett-Packard calculators from 1968 to 1986. It also contains a good history of slide rules and calculating machines from 1614 onwards. The site explains the technologies and innovations that have driven the development of the modern calculator, as well as descriptions of the specific models produced by Hewlett-Packard during the years covered. Each model is illustrated with a number of good quality photographs. The site features a section of Hewlett-Packard advertisements, journal articles, and technical comparisons. There are a number of discussion forums and a classifieds section for sellers and collectors of old calculators. Links to other sites, and to journals and associations, are also provided. The author of the site is not affiliated with the Hewlett-Packard company. This site is likely to prove an excellent resource for collectors and anyone interested in the history of calculator technology.
The Museum of the History of Science, which reopened in 2001 following a three-year refurbishment, effectively serves as a centre for History of Science studies in Oxford, and this website offers several resources likely to be of use to researchers in the history of instruments. A fully searchable collections database is currently in development, providing catalogue information and, in some cases, photographs of instruments; the Museum’s collection of images, including many portraits of scientists and instrument-makers, is also in the process of being digitised; and the site also hosts a full searchable index for rete, the mailing list for the historical study of scientific instruments. A page of links to other institutions with significant instruments collections is maintained. There is also a collection of well-produced, atmospheric ‘online exhibits’ on diverse themes, including: early-modern Biblical metaphors of knowledge; the application of geometry in warfare; portrait images of the astronomer Tycho Brahe; early photographic processes; and the scientific history of Oxford, which may interest students and general readers. The site also provides general information about the Museum, its library and staff, online copies of its newsletter, Sphæra, and details of its Master’s-level postgraduate course.
MuslimHeritage.com is a website dedication to improving knowledge of the contributions to science, technology, and the arts made by Muslims, particularly during the European (so-called) Dark Ages period. The site features articles explaining how the Islamic world both kept alive earlier technologies and ideas whilst developing new ones and promoting science during the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It also argues that this period of intellectual history is not given the attention that it deserves.The site features: an interactive timeline; biographies of Muslim scholars and scientists; and features covering fields as diverse as medicine, agricultural technology, conflict between science and religion, and architecture.This is a site with a point to prove, and it contains a lot of fascinating information. Some of the articles do, however, fail to flag points that might be considered contentious, and sometimes one suspects that words such as science or agricultural revolution are being used rather loosely. Nevertheless, students of the history of science would be well advised to have a look at the perspectives here offered.The site does not appear to function properly in Netscape browsers, but its presentation under Internet Explorer is clean and effective.
The Navigational Aids for the History of Science, Technology and the Environment project website is hosted by the University of Edinburgh. The project, which was completed in 2002, set out to make available the outstanding archive and manuscript resources held by Edinburgh, Glasgow and Heriot-Watt Universities. The website is primarily a search facility, offering open access to the online databases of these institutions. The resources it offers are exceptional in their importance to understanding the history of science in Scotland, especially in recording the 'whole range of national and international firsts in scientific advance and technological innovation'. The site also contains essays, biographical details for key individuals from the collections, images and sound-clips, and suggestions for research uses of the resource. This is a well-planned and comprehensive project, easily usable and with full guidelines for best use readily available. Links are also available to related records in other collections.
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.
Since its establishment in 1979, the National Association of Mining History Organisations has supported the study of mining history and archaeology in the United Kingdom and Ireland from the prehistoric period to the present. This valuable website provides practical guidelines and research advice to individuals and groups wishing to study the history of mining and to explore the sites of former mining activity. It aims to connect the many local and national groups interested in mining remains, from industrial archaeology enthusiasts to cavers to academic and commercial bodies, and provides a full list (with weblinks) of its members. The Association's newsletter is provided online from 2001 and there are details of an email discussion group to which interested parties can subscribe. The guidelines, which can be downloaded as PDF files, include detailed essays on recording the underground archaeology of mines and on removing artefacts as well as advice on library and archive research. Also provided is information on practical matters such as insurance and how to establish and maintain good relations with landowners and custodians of mining sites as well as an extensive series of weblinks to societies and institutions from all over the world. The links section lists the mining history associations and organisation in the UK. This resource will benefit a wide constituency, from the interested amateur to academics studying the history and archaeology of extractive industries.
The website of the United Kingdom's National Railway Museum in York provides access details, corporate information, special exhibitions, and details of many of the exhibits and features of the museum itself.The site includes: information and details of the photographic archive held at the museum; collections of railway posters, many of which can be viewed in an online exhibition; a gallery of the work of railway photographer Eric Treacy; another gallery devoted to the work of the illustrator John Cooke Bourne; and an 'exhiblet' on the Japanese 'bullet train', the Shinkansen. There are fact files for many of the locomotive engines held by the museum, from Robert Stephenson's 'Rocket' onwards. Photographs showing the interior of the Museum give potential visitors a taste of what to expect. There are lists of the engines and rolling stock housed in the collections. Whilst designed more for the general public than historians, this site provides a colourful general introduction to British railway history, and useful information as to the museum's holdings.
The 'Virtually The National Valve Museum' Web pages brings together articles and exhibits from a wide range of sources on the Internet; these are arranged in the following sections: Museums; Articles; Exhibits; Equivalents; and Time Line. The valves have been photographed and a description written and by clicking on the number of an exhibit, the details of each valve may be accessed. E.g. the HMS Collingwood page and the HMS Collingwood Museum page contains exhibits related to Naval communications and radar. These include the John Lawrence collection of valves and equipment, and a collection of vintage domestic wireless sets. Those interested in the museum need to phone for an appointment and the contact telephone number and address are provided.
This website offers the work of John Baptist Porta (Giambattista della Porta), "Magiae Naturalis" ("Natural Magick") in the original Latin and in the 1658 English translation. The Neapolitan playwright, alchemist, and general Renaissance polymath, Giambattista della Porta (1535-1615) claimed that the natural philosopher could learn to manipulate the world through practical experiment, and stated in his great work what could be achieved. "Magiae Naturalis" covers subjects as diverse as the generation of animals and plants, home economics, alchemy, cosmetics for women, cooking, cryptography, and mechanical experiments. The main Web page is a little untidy, but links to the two texts, and to several shorter biographical and critical sketches of the author and his works. The English translation features hyperlinks to a glossary of terms. The website is a labour of love by a former US Army officer who inherited a 1584 edition of della Porta's work from his grandmother. The site should prove a useful resource for those studying the history of scientific ideas during the early modern period.
This National Maritime Museum Fact File on the oldest instrument for navigation, the magnetic compass, describes where it was first used and how it works. It looks at lodestones, the accuracy of and improvements made by scientists to the magnetic compass, and the use of compasses on board ship, including particular problems posed by iron ships. Finally, it outlines how the problem of magnetic variation was solved.
The Newcomen Society is the principal British organisation devoted to the history of engineering and technology (with a particular focus on railway and other transport engineering, but also including fields such as computing and electronics). This site provides contact details for the Society's officers and organisers; listings of meetings organised by its various regional branches; links to pages announcing conferences in which the Society's members are involved; and details of publications, with some material downloadable in PDF format. Particularly useful is a full contents list to articles published in the Society's journal, Transactions of the Newcomen Society, since its foundation in 1920: this includes an author index and is presented as a single webpage. An online membership application form is also available.
The National Cryptologic Museum holds a large collection of machines, books, and other artefacts relating to cryptography and code-breaking. Situated in Maryland, USA, the Museum is dedicated to 'the exploitation of enemy cryptology and the protection of American communications'. Exhibits include German Enigma machines used in the Second World War, a cipher-wheel that may or may not have been connected with Thomas Jefferson, early computers, and a collection of rare books. There are also several special exhibitions described and illustrated at the website. The site provides an interesting overview of some of the technologies used in the intelligence industry.
Old-computers.com is a website devoted to mapping the history of now-defunct computers, exploring their development and offering a forum for enthusiasts. While aimed primarily at latter, the site would also be of interest to those researching the history of computing or history of science. The site is divided into several sections: News (regarding additions to the site, related events and any other items of interest); Museum; History; Magazine; Forums; Collectors; and 'Fun'. The online museum contains images and detailed descriptions relating to almost 1000 computers, with full technical information, and can be searched by: name of computer; manufacturer; or year of production. The history section begins at 1915 and goes through to 1979, with: news; product details; and significant developments for each year. The online magazine (not updated since 2006) has: interviews; reviews; and articles available for open access, while the forum and 'Collectors' sections offer users of the site the opportunity to make contact with other researchers and enthusiasts. This site is very well presented and easy to use, offering a detailed range of information.
Papermaking in Ontario is an online exhibition, hosted on the official Archives of Ontario website. The manufacture of paper has been a key industry in the province for nearly 200 years, a time span traced through the exhibition from its earliest days to the present. The home page of the exhibition is presented as an album, but a text version is also available. A series of straightforward headings enables navigation through the exhibition. From In the Beginning, through The Early 1900s and The Move North, to Company Profiles and Papermaking Today, the site moves chronologically through the development of the industry. A useful list of archive sources is included and the site features a large number of original photographs and documents, plus a number of video clips. Although the material on the site is aimed at a general audience, it includes sufficient details and additional sources to enable more detailed research also. It is well presented and user friendly, and available in both English and French.
Urbino University's Physics Laboratory and Museum of Scientific Instruments holds several collections containing over a thousand objects in total. The museum is open to the public, with access details available from the website. The site presents a history of physics in Urbino from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, and a history of the collections held at the museum, which began at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Many of the instruments are pictured online, with catalogue details and notes provided in English and Italian. The instruments are grouped according to their field of application. Some of them may be viewed in '3-D', the user being able to rotate the view of the instrument through 360 degrees. The website also features a list of the laboratory's publications, links to online resources about scientific instruments and the history of science, and a guide to online museums and exhibitions around the world. The guide presents the user with a map of the world, which links to a list of resources geographically located in the selected continent.
The landing point of the 1870 India – Britain telegraph cable, Porthcurno is an important site in the development of global telecommunications, at its height being the largest telegraph station in the world and home to a school training hundreds of telegraph operators. The underground Museum of Submarine Telegraphy at Porthcurno is housed in tunnels cut during the Second World War and tells the story of telecommunications technology. Visitors to the website can take a virtual tour of the Museum, finding out more about the instruments and the construction of telegraph cables. The Instrument Room contains images and text on a range of instruments, such as the Muirhead Transmitter and Bullock and Browns Unigraph. The Reference Library includes information on the people and principles behind telegraphy; this section covers the construction of submarine telegraph cables and faults that can occur in them such as trawler maul and fish bite. Befitting Porthcurno’s history, the Museum has received AHRC funding for a research project: ‘Connecting Cornwall: Telecommunications, Locality and Work in West Britain 1870-1918’. This project aims to connect historical telecommunictaions sites in Cornwall (including early radio sites at Poldhu, the Lizard, Land's End and Bodmin and the Satellite station at Goonhilly as well as Porthcurno). The project will use the and Wireless historic archive with an emphasis on the Eastern Telegraph Company to develop new research based around a major new exhibition at the Museum – focussing on the lives of the 19th century telegraph workers, and deepening understanding of “ the cultural, economic, social and technological issues raised by the construction of cable and wireless stations in the late-Victorian and Edwardian periods”. The museum is also hosting a number of AHRC-funded PhD studentships, also described here.
This paper by Mary Croarken introduces the Nautical Almanac and traces its development. The author describes how the Nautical Almanac came to be created by Nevil Maskelyne in the mid 1760s, and examines the system of 'computers' he set up around England to calculate the necessary data. The article is from the National Maritime Museum's Journal for Maritime Research, and requires a subscription to the journal for full viewing.
This website contains a large free archive of the famous U.S. Radio Shack product catalogues, from 1939 until 2005. Some catalogues from the late 1940s and early 1950s are missing from the run. Catalogues have been scanned in colour and at a high resolution. Scans are available via a simple Flash interface, and do not have watermarks. There are also other brochures, many Radio Shack TV adverts as online streaming video, a short history of Radio Shack, and a discussion forum. This will be a useful resource for historians seeking to examine the ways in which new consumer and hobbyist technologies were promoted and sold in the U.S.A. over a long period, and to examine original documents showing the commercial emergence of early personal computers. It may also be a useful resource for those seeking to track the evolving representations of 'the nerd' in U.S. culture. The website is not authorised by the RadioShack Corporation and is intended for non-profit research uses only.
The Regency Collection website consists of miscellaneous resources relating to the Regency period of British history (and the surrounding years). Topics receiving particular attention include: coach travel; celebrities of the era; war and conflict (The Peninsular War); the postal service; industrial advances; writing; recipes; the 'cries of London' picture series; and Regency life in general. There are several individual articles under each topic area, providing introductions to subjects such as: muskets and rifles; London clubs; Royal marriage; gas lighting; and so forth. The articles are generally concise and informative, consisting of a mixture of primary and secondary materials. They are aimed more at the general public than a specifically academic readership, although they should be of interest to undergraduates requiring background information about Regency culture. Images of contemporary prints and paintings are used to illustrate the texts. The site also hosts (mostly) non-academic book reviews and small sections on Byron and Jane Austen (a certain Austenphilia pervades the site).
The Renaissance Connection website explores innovations from that period using artwork from the Allentown Art Museum, Pennsylvania, and humorous sound effects and Flash animation that owes much to the work of Terry Gillian and Monty Python. The resource is an exemplar of how a museum can grab the attention of secondary school students, and support the work of their teachers. It was a finalist in the competition for Best Museum Web Site Supporting Educational Use in 'Museums and the Web 2004: Best of the Web', and was awarded an honourable mention Muse Award in the Art category, 2004. 37 art works from the Museum's Samuel H. Kress Collection of European art, teaching resources such as secondary school lesson-plans for teachers and links to Internet resources, an interactive timeline and maps, are all arranged into themes of the Renaissance such as: The Quest for Knowledge; The Arts and Architecture; Patrons and Lifestyle; Everyday Life; Science and Technology; Trade and Exploration. For example, in the "Be a Patron" activity, students can role-play the commissioning of an artwork, while "Time Telescope" allows them to trace today's innovations, such as digital cameras, back to their Renaissance roots. The site also includes links to relevant Web resources and a glossary. A simplified HTML version of the site provides access to all of this, although the whistles-and-bells of the Flash site are more dynamic and eye-catching.
This Web page introduces the life and achievements of the mathematician George Boole (1815-1864), now regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern computing. Boole gave his name to Boolean logic, a binary system used in digital technology and familiar to all modern programmers. The text is taken from a guidebook to Lincoln Cathedral, where there is a memorial stained-glass window to Boole, paid for by the dignitaries of the town. The site owner has added a short bibliography to the account of Boole's life, which includes a link to his seminal paper, 'The Calculus of Logic'.
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 Rutherford Journal is an online journal that publishes invited articles, and critical notices, from leading international scholars in the history and philosophy of science and technology. It is edited by Professor Jack Copeland of the Philosophy Department of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. The journal has been published annually since December 2005, and the full texts of the articles of this and subsequent volumes are freely available as HTML files. The articles include original contributions from: Rom Harré; Alan Chalmers; Margaret Boden; and Alan Musgrave. Many of the articles include JPEG images which, although welcome and often instructive, can pose a problem for printing.
This website hosts the Archives of Ryerson University in Toronto. The site describes the archive's holdings, with records from 1783 to the present, but most from the second half of the twentieth century. The institution holds vital statistics; photographs; records of the university; private papers and documents; speeches; sound recordings; and oral interviews, among many other sources. Names of specific files are posted in an alphabetical index. These focus mainly on the past life of the university, but several of the fonds - ranging from aboriginal issues to papers on the Canadian film director Norman Jewison - will be highly relevant to researchers working on a variety of topics in Canadian History and Cultural Studies. This resource is generally useful, although it could have been strengthened by a more detailed description of fonds within the index itself. This problem is partly mitigated by the site's essays describing the history of the university. There is also a subsite with a good virtual exhibition of archival photographs, particularly helpful for those studying the History of Computing in Canada. Other mini exhibits are posted in the What's New section. The site is further complemented by a good, mainly Canadian, archival links page.
This is the website for Salomons Museum, the onetime home and estate of the Salomons family. The Salomons included Sir David Salomons, Member of Parliament, equality campaigner and the first Jewish Lord Mayor of London and his son, the scientist and road transport pioneer Sir David Lionel Salomons. As well as the family's historic home and estate (one of the earliest buildings in the country be powered by electricity and including Sir David Lionel Salomons' purpose-built Science Theatre) the museum is cares for the various collections built up by the family: badges; ballooniana; Jewish history; London; electrical/scientific; estate and family; transport; medals; World War I. The collection’s illustrated catalogue is available online, and the website includes a virtual museum tour and information about public access. Salomons Museum has received AHRC funding.
The Morse Papers collection, held at the Library of Congress, is the principal source for primary documents relating to the inventor, artist, politician and telegraphic pioneer Samuel F. B. Morse (1791-1872), best remembered as creator of the signalling code which bears his name. This online version, produced as part of the National Digital Library Programme, provides free access to digitised facsimiles of almost the entire archive, comprising some 50 000 images: these are mostly manuscript correspondence but also include print materials, drawings, maps and other materials. The collection can be browsed by series, for those following bibliographic citations; a limited keyword search facility is also provided. Beyond its obvious value to the specialist researcher, the site will be useful to those seeking general background information on Morse: also included are a chronology of his life, family tree, bibliography (unannotated) of relevant print and online sources, and a neat collection of "highlights" from the digital archive. These are arranged in sections devoted to Morse's telegraphic work (including the paper tape record of the first telegraph message, received in 1844), his family life, and careers as artist and photographer. The less well-known sides of Morse's activities are addressed specifically in one of several short secondary pieces.
Sandretto are an Italian company that supply plastic moulding processes and machines. In 1995 they opened a museum devoted to the history of plastics. This accompanying website presents a brief history of plastics, along with images of many of the artefacts housed at the museum. It also includes a number of art images inspired by the chemistry of plastics. The site offers guided online tours of the plastics museum and the art museum, both of which have searchable catalogues. There is also a glossary of the various types of plastics, and an industrial history of Pont Canavese, the town in which the museum is situated.
Science and Technology Resources on the Internet: Selected Web Resources in the History of Science is a critical bibliography of web resources in the history of science, technology and medicine. Written originally for the journal 'Issues in Science & Technology Librarianship' by Marianne Stowell Bracke and Paul J Bracke, subject librarians at two Texas universities, it is presented as a long, single-page document. The guide covers relatively few sites, but the commentary is thorough and often raises worthwhile analytical points about the nature and usability of the sites catalogued and of web resources in general. The guide is divided into sections dealing with 'gateway' sites, overviews of the field, journals, biographical resources, centres of research, bibliographies, professional organisations, primary texts, and sites devoted to specific disciplines. The number of records catalogued is seldom large enough to be representative, but the way the guide is structured may in itself be of interest to anyone planning to develop a similar resource. The guide was first compiled in January of 1999: since that point the page has been updated only to take account of site moves and disappearances. Important sites created subsequently therefore do not appear.
The Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London offers both research and teaching expertise across the full breadth of STS/History and Philosophy of Science-related disciplines, with a notable specialisation in the field of science communication. This website contains contact details and general information about the department; full details of undergraduate, taught postgraduate and research programmes; listings for the STS Speakers seminar series; and individual pages for staff and researchers, giving details of courses taught, recent publications, research areas and administrative responsibilities. A particularly welcome addition is a parallel collection of pages for postgraduates, giving details of research in progress. The Department's online provision for undergraduate students is at the time of cataloguing the most advanced in any British HSP/STS-based unit. Detailed course lists, timetables, syllabi and, in some cases, lecture notes are available as PDF files or downloadable Word documents. The section "notes for guidance", containing such information as staff responsibilities, the departmental plagiarism policy, pastoral care announcements, marking criteria and essay guidelines, is altogether exemplary.
The Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical (SciPer) is an interdisciplinary initiative that charts the relationship between science and literature, and specifically the representation of science in the British periodical press, in the years 1800-1900. The project was run in the years 1999-2007 by the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies in the Department of English Literature, University of Sheffield, and the Division of History and Philosophy of Science in the Department of Philosophy, University of Leeds. The product of this co-operation is an electronic index to articles concerning science, technology or medicine in sixteen selected general-interest journals of the period. The index 'contains entries for over 14,000 articles and references to more than 6000 individuals and 2500 publications'. It can be browsed by references: to people; authors; illustrators; books; periodicals; and institutions, societies, and companies. Various search options are also available. Also included are notes on the project's editorial policy and details of its personnel. The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Innovation Awards scheme.
This Web page, entitled "A Selection of Web and other Internet Sources For the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine", is a large single-page collection of web links with occasional brief annotations. It is regularly updated and its summary of relevant discussion lists, with subscriber information, archive addresses and home page details, if available, is particulary useful. The main catalogue is subdivided by resource type: the sections on general-purpose and subject-specific sites, journals and primary texts are perhaps not large enough to be representative, but those on professional institutions and museums are extensive, covering a variety of countries. The website is based at the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza, in Florence, and is partially available in Italian translation.
A Short History of the Development of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology provides a chronological overview of technological developments in this field since the nineteenth century. Much of the information on the site has been written by the site creator, Joseph Woo, although links to external sites are also used where appropriate. As well as providing a chronology the site has an index which divides the information into the following categories: Early developments in ultrasonics; Short histories of the developement of medical ultrasonics in pioneering countries; Biographies and mentions; Gray scale and scan converter; The Real-time Scanner; The Transvaginal Scanner; Early Doppler ultrasound; Applications; Amniocentesis; Three dimensional ultrasound; Tissue characterization; Bio-safety; and Others.
These Web pages give free access to the full-text of titles in the 'Smithsonian Contributions and Studies' Series, produced by the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Several available titles will be of interest to historians, such as: 'Smithsonian Contributions to History and Technology'; 'Smithsonian Studies in Air and Space' (1977-1990, which also has history articles); and the 'Smithsonian Annals of Flight' (1964-1974, about the history of flight). Two other titles may be of interest to those studying arts and music in traditional and folk cultures: 'Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology'; and 'Folklife Studies' (1980–1990). Articles are provided in PDF format, with both high-resolution and low-resolution versions available. Short abstracts are also available. There is also a short essay on the history of the series, and a useful full-text keyword search facility to search the whole series.
SHOT - the Society for the History of Technology, is an interdisciplinary organisation involved with promoting scholarship into all aspects of technological history. This includes the relations of technology to science, politics, social change, the arts and humanities, and economics. The society has a large number of international subscribers. It organises conferences, publishes regular newsletters, a series of books, and its own journal, 'Technology and Culture'. The website contains membership details, information on the Society's committees and constitution, and pages for each of the special interest groups within the organisation. Details of the prizes and grants that the Society offers are also presented. The most recent SHOT newsletter may be read online (in HTML or PDF format), but subscription is required for access to Technology and Culture. A reference section contains links to universities with history of technology graduate programmes and course syllabi. There are also links to other websites and an introduction to the History of Science and Technology database (HST).
The hydraulics of Roman aqueducts website is written by a professor in civil engineering, hydraulic and applied fluid mechanics at the University of Queensland. Offered on the website is, therefore, a civil engineer's perspective, rather than that of an archaeologist, which provides a basic introduction to the subject of Roman aqueducts. As well as focusing on aqueducts, the author also includes information on other water management systems (such as various types of modern dams) including a history of arch dams. Detailed photographs of a limited selection (about half a dozen) of Roman aqueducts are shown. These are are largely confined to aqueducts in France (such as the Gier and Brévenne aqueducts in Lyon), as this is where the finest examples are to be found. A select, but useful introductory, bibliography on Roman aqueducts is included, as are a handful of links to other websites relating to specific aqueducts (such as the Mons and Gorze aqueducts).
This simple site is webpage of STAMA, the science, technology and medicine subdivision of the International Council on Archives. Based in Australia, it aims to bring together people from all over the world who are interested in science, technology and medicine archives by offering them the chance to subscribe to an electronic mailing list providing 'a supportive, informative, creative and tolerant environment for the discussion, publication and promotion of issues relating to science, technology and medicine archives'. Previous postings to the list are archived on the site. They generally consist of various types of announcements, including announcements of forthcoming conferences, as well as information about various archives around the world.
Steam Engines of the Eighteenth Century is a website tracing the development of steam technology from Thomas Newcomen's pioneering Dudley Castle Engine, built in 1712, to the beam engines of the nineteenth century. Seven engines are discussed in detail, illustrated by photographs of scale models. Besides Newcomen's engine, the site describes the construction and mechanics of: James Watt's Smethwick and Lap engines, James Pickard and Matthew Wasbrough's engine, Francis Thompson's Arnold Mill Engine, and Richard Trevithick's Lambeth Engine. The website also promotes two of the author's books on steam engine history. This is a good introductory Internet resource for students looking at the history of technology and the birth of the Industrial Revolution.
This journal article examines the relationship between people and technology with reference to seafaring. The article is divided into seven sections, which include information about maritime technology, shipboard organisation and minimal manning. There are also charts illustrating for example, the organisation of shipboard working on steamships. This publication is part of the National Maritime Museum Journal for Maritime Research (December 2000) and the author, John King, is Professor of Maritime Technology, Cardiff University.
The Thin Blue Line is an online exhibition published by the Stetton Museum, Office of National Institutes of Health (NIH) History in collaboration with the Centre for History and New Media. It looks at the history of the home pregnancy test kit in the United States, and the researchers who contributed to its release in 1978. On the site are interviews with Judith Vaitukaitis and Glenn Braunstein who worked at the NIH during the 1970s on reproductive hormone studies and hCG research, and were instrumental to the development of the pregnancy test. A timeline on the site charts pregnancy testing over the centuries, and the advertisements section features digitised images of several 1970s and 1980s magazine ads. Along with the glossary and suggested reading, there is also a forum where people can submit their own stories of using home test kits, building up an archive of first hand accounts.
This is the website of a project to organise and publish the papers of Thomas Alva Edison (microfilms, book editions, and a digital edition), which in all number over five million pages. It is sponsored by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the National Park Service; the Smithsonian Institution; and the New Jersey Historical Commission, and supported by over 60 public and private foundations, corporations and individuals. The site makes available a searchable document database linked to document images for Parts I-III of the Thomas A. Edison papers (1847-1898) and some of the editorial materials from the image and text publications, with continual additions. The project intends that in its final form the full digital edition will include the text of the print volumes. The website has a series of headings through which the material may be accessed: Edison Papers; Thomas Alva Edison; Outreach and Search. Each of these has several sub-headings, which include Edison's patents and companies; chronologies; bibliographies; details about the microfilm and book editions of the project; maps and images, and related resources on the Web. There are also details about the Thomas A. Edison papers, and the project (history, staff and funders), as well as a Latest Edison Papers News sidebar. This is a huge project and the website reflects the comprehensive nature of the endeavour in a way which makes a large amount of material easily accessible.
"To fly is everything..." is a an online virtual museum giving access to resources relating to the invention of the aeroplane. The site has been compiled by Gary Bradshaw (Mississippi State University) and traces the history of the aeroplane from the Treatsie upon the Flight of Birds by Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) through to the first flight by the brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright, in December 1903. Notable sections include: an introductory essay on the development of the aeroplane; the digital library of primary sources which can be browsed by publication source or by chronology; a listing of US patents relating to aircraft from 1799-1909; a gallery of images and video clips; a listing of inventors, some with brief biographies; and a short annotated list of further resources. The digital library includes online editions of the Aeronautical Annual (1895-1897); articles from Scientific American (1896-1911) and other periodicals or newspapers; the full-text and illustrations of Progress in Flying Machines by Octave Chanute (1894); the correspondence between Octave Chanute and Louis-Pierre Mouillard on the subject of aeronautics (1890-1897); and correspondence between Wilbur Wright and Octave Chanute (1900-1901). Whilst links to and within the core sections work, readers may encounter broken links or images elsewhere on the site which has not been updated recently.
The Transistor is an online exhibition on the history of physics which led to the development of the transistor. The site is a joint production of PBS broadcasting, the American Institute of Physics and ScienCentral. Beginning with the discovery of electrons, this extensive site covers a series of developments in illustrated and documented short essays: vacuum tubes; conductors; quantum mechanics; semiconductors; the use of germanium; and diodes. These developments collectively contributed to the invention of transistors in their various forms. The history of the invention, which made modern computerised technology possible and eventually led to the microchip, is described at length. Descriptions are clear and comprehensive and would serve as an excellent teaching tool. Perhaps one of the best parts of the site, and not to be missed, are the hyperlinked histories of various scientists, especially the well-written history of the life of the difficult figure, William Shockley. This subsite implicitly provides further commentary on the history of corporate America, particularly the companies AT&T and Intel. A historical timeline, online video clips from contemporary news footage, online copies of scientists' lab notes, links, bibliographies, a site search engine, interactive pages -- and a sitemap -- all combine to make this a thorough and effective site ideal for teachers, students and those interested among the general public.
The "US Centennial of Flight" website provides resources for museums and teachers (supplemental materials, projects and research tools) to use to "celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight at Kill Devil Hills (near Kitty Hawk), North Carolina, on December 17th, 1903. This is the work of the U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission who also promote awareness of 100 years of aviation history through the website. The top-navigation bar points to main sections of the site such as: the Wright Brothers (Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright); the History of Flight; Sights and Sounds (multimedia); Education (resources for teachers) and Links (a gateway of links to more than 50 educational information sources arranged by category and the sponsoring Organization). A timeline and a dictionary are also available. The whole site can be navigated as-is, or by clicking on a link in the left-navigation bar the presentation changes to meet the needs of "kids, educators, enthusiasts, or the media". The images, films, audio files, educational posters, essays, and other media are extremely well presented, easy to identify on the site, and there are excellent notes and indicators to the memory sizer and anticipated download times.
The National Archive for the History of Computing opened in 1987 to preserve documents and pictures relating to the history of British computing and to encourage research into computing history. The Archive is based within the Centre for the History of Science,Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester. The Archive's website provides further information about the contents of the Archive and how to visit it. The online catalogue documents manuscripts and secondary sources held by the Archive including papers relating to: the Admiralty Computing Service; United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority; Dr Andrew Booth; Cambridge University Computer Laboratory; Ferranti Ltd, 1948-63; Douglas R. Hartree (1897-1958); International Computers Ltd (ICL), ca. 1907-80; Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd, ca. 1958-70; Dr D.G. Prinz (b. 1903); and Alan Turing (1912-1954). The catalogue also provides a brief guide to relevant material held at other UK locations and bibliographies relating to the history of computing. A small exhibition consisting of four virtual rooms provides a sample of the materials held together with brief notes. The four rooms relate to the programming notes of Alan Turing; life in a British punched-card business; Lyons electronic office; and the notebook of Geoffrey C. Tootill which records the first stored computer program to be run in Britain (21st June 1948, University of Manchester). The Archive runs an associated email list (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The US Patent and Trademark Office database is an invaluable resource for historians of technology, providing direct online access to virtually every patent granted in the United States since 1790. These are available in full-text only from 1976 onwards, but all the patents are available as facsimile images. Unfortunately these lack associated keywords, meaning that the search facility provided cannot be used to find historical patents which mention particular terms; it is necessary to know the number of a pre-1976 patent in order to view it. A handful of patents are missing from the database; these are listed on the site. The facsimiles, which include both text and diagrams, are provided in TIFF format, which means that additional software will be required for viewing: suitable free plug-ins are available for most browsers, but may need to be registered before use.
This collection of BBC Web pages offers an introduction to the technology and innovation of the Victorian era, when 'Britain emerged as the most powerful trading nation in the world, provoking a social and economic revolution whose effects are still being felt today'. A five-page article by the lecturer, broadcaster and exhibition curator, Paul Atterbury, which may be downloaded or printed out, forms the heart of the material. Each page of the article may be accessed individually, under the headings 'A powerful trading nation', 'Great pioneers', Booming railways' and 'Communication revolution', with the final page, 'Find out more', offering a bibliography for further research. There are also links to a wide range of additional material, from articles on other aspects of Victorian industrial culture, such as 'Industry and Invention' and 'Workshop of the World', to features on key figures, such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, James Watt, Queen Victoria and Alexander Bell. The Multimedia Zone offers animated models of innovations, such as the Beam Engine, the Spinning Mill, the Paddle Steamer, and George Stephenson's Rocket engine. This is a well-presented site offering a basic resource aimed at a general audience, but with sufficient depth to make it of use to undergraduate researchers.
The Virtual Guide to the History of Russian Science and Technology is an Internet resource guide to websites for scholars in the field. It also includes a categorised bibliography of printed works (some of which are also available online) in English and Russian. The site is divided into sections on archives, institutions, journals, people, news, courses, societies, Russian studies, and science studies. It should provide a useful starting point for researchers.
The Websters' Instrument Makers Database was compiled by former curators of the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum in Chicago. The database lists the signatures of the makers of scientific instruments, giving details of their full names, dates, and nationality where known, along with information about the types of instrument they constructed, their geographical location, and any additional comments. References are also provided. The site includes a bibliography, a location cross-reference table, and an acknowledgements page. The database may be browsed alphabetically or searched by keyword. The database should provide a useful reference resource for those studying historical scientific instruments.
The Wilbur and Orville Wright papers are housed in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. The library aims to provide online access to many of its collections through the American Memory Project. The project provides online access to primary source materials relating to the culture and history of the United States. The Wright Brothers collection is a successful example of this. The online collection comprises of about 10,121 library items and approximately 49,084 digital images. The site documents the lives of the Wright Brothers (1881-1952) following the development of their pioneering work which led to the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight. The collection includes: correspondence; diaries; notebooks; scrapbooks; and drawings, as well as the brothers' collection of glassplate photographic negatives. The collection has also been extended to include the brothers' letters to aviation pioneer and mentor Octave Chanute. The site requires no special viewers for most of the collection, however advice is given to users to view specific items.
The World of Athanasius Kircher functions as a portal to the online resources published by a major international research project aimed at bringing the manuscript correspondence of the seventeenth-century Jesuit polymath Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) to the Web. The website introduces the project and directs users to the searchable interactive digital archive. To access the manuscript images themselves, it is necessary to download Luna Insight software. This is available free of charge from Stanford University, though installing it is a somewhat tedious process. (Other Stanford digital collections can be viewed via the Web version of Luna Insight, which requires no downloading, so it may be hoped that this facility will be extended to the Kircher correspondence collection in time.) Kircher was a scholar and inventor who wrote on such subjects as cryptography; Egyptology; optics; music; magnetism; universal language; and alchemical transmutation. He also devised pneumatic, hydraulic, catoptric and magnetic machines. He wrote in a number of languages (but predominantly Latin), and had a great many correspondents including scientists, physicians, Jesuit missionaries, two Holy Roman Emperors, popes, and potentates from around the world. The project editors encourage user feedback.
Founded in 1631, the Clockmakers' Company is an active City of London craft guild. The site includes information on their library and collections which are now held at the Guildhall, London. Collections include 15 marine timekeepers, with examples by Henry Sully, Thomas Earnshaw of London and John Harrison (the 5th marine timekeeper). The site includes visitor information, links to other horological collections, training, and company news.
This is the website of a TV documentary about the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, the pioneers of flight. The show was originally broadcast in 1996 as part of the series 'The American Experience' by the PBS network.The site contains a complete transcript of the original programme, along with a separate article explaining the brothers' background, achievements, and the obstacles they had to overcome. The site also features a QuickTime movie of a flight made by a replica of the Kittyhawk, the plane in which the brothers made their first flights. RealAudio interviews with historians about the Wright brothers may be heard and read at the site, and there is a short bibliography of suggestions for further reading.
'Writing Technologies' is a full-text online ejournal that examines links between writing and technology. This peer-reviewed journal is published online biannually. The first issue was available online from May 2007, with a wide range of articles, such as: 'Technology and the Cultural Location of Japan'; 'Writing Technologies in the Renaissance'; and 'In Search of a Technological Criticism', among others. The journal is published by Nottingham Trent University, a well-known research location for the investigation of new forms of writing and interactive multimedia narratives. The website also contains details of the editorial board and submissions.
This website describes the special collections and archives held by the University of Bradford Library. Built around the University’s research interests, the collections cover areqa including: archaeology; local history; history of science and medicine; literature (notably the JB Priestley Archive); religion and peace studies. As well as describing each collection in some detail, the website also explains how to find and access material.