The Alchemy website and virtual library is an extensive resource relating to the historical study of alchemy. The site is maintained by Adam McLean (based in Glasgow, UK) and relies on contributions from interested individuals. The collection has over 150 megabytes of data spread over 2,400 sections and also available on cd-rom. There also is specialist sections on Islamic, Chinese and Indian alchemy. The texts and bibliographic sections are particularly extensive. Texts have been transcribed or translated, and are mainly in English with separate collections in Italian, French, Spanish, Russian and German. Authors and works include: Roger Bacon, Simon Forman, Paracelsus, Pontanus, Petrus Bonus, Johann Rudolph Glauber, Athanasius Kircher, Edward Kelly, Jean Albert Belin, R.W.Councell, Elias Ashmole, and numerous others. The bibliographic database of alchemical books contains over 4,500 records of books published before 1800. The database can be navigated by author name or by record number and may be browsed by frames. It cannot currently be searched. The database of alchemical manuscripts provides a listing of around 4,000 manuscripts by library. Each record gives the catalogue reference and manuscript contents. Other bibliographic resources include a list of authors of alchemical books and a list of post-1800 books about alchemy. This is an extremely comprehensive site, of use to researchers at all levels, although slightly overwhelming in its enormous content. Time is needed to consider its resources thoroughly.
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 Archimides Palimpsest is a website devoted to the oldest surviving manuscript containing the work of the Greek thinker, Archimedes of Syracuse (ca 287-212 BC). Preserved at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, the manuscript contains a compendium of his mathematical treatises. Most importantly, it includes the only copy of the treatise Method of Mechanical Theorems, in which Archimedes explains how he drew upon mechanical means to elucidate his mathematical theorems. It is also the only source in the original Greek for the treatise On Floating Bodies, in which Archimedes explores the physics of flotation and explains the formal proof for the principle of specific gravity. With beautifully rendered reproductions, biographical and historical background, as well as information on preservation techniques, the Archimedes Palimpsest is an excellent introduction to the manuscript. A core set of data including digital images, transcriptions and metadata of the Archimedes Palimpsest has been released in October 2008 and can be downloaded from a linked website. The core set of data has been used by Google to produce an e-book accessible online. This website and the data made available may be useful to people interested in a variety of disciplines (Greek literature; mathemathics; palaeography; manuscript preservation; digital reading on ancient artefacts; etc.) at all levels.
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 website presents an illustrated essay examining the interaction between science and art in Renaissance and early-modern Italy. The discovery and application of mathematical perspective forms an important aspect of this essay, as do Galilei's studies of motion, especially his experiments with inclined planes and his analysis of accelerated motion associated with the leaning tower of Pisa. The first part of the essay is about Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), his life and work. The author then looks at the evolution of perspective in Italian art and architecture, before returning again to Galilei's experiments with motion. The conclusion argues that Galilei achieved a synthesis of theory and observation, and that the mathematical principles of physical reality discovered by the new scientists also facilitated art. Some sections of the site include video clips.
The Center for History of Physics is a division of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). The centre has a mission to preserve and make known the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, optics, etc. The site includes links to the AIP History of Physics Newsletter which reports on work in the history of physics (and allied fields such as astronomy and geophysics), archival materials, bibliographies, photographs, etc; selected bibliographical listing of publications; exhibits and online source materials for history of physics and allied fields; links to other sites; history of physics syllabi (including reading lists); and the Center's Niels Bohr Library Archives (including library catalogue) .
The Center for History of Physics is run by the American Institute of Physics whose aim is to preserve the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, and optics. The site includes information on the Center's oral history and educational programmes and several well documented and interesting online exhibitions. There is also an International Catalog of Sources (ICOS), compiled by the Center to collect information on publications and research collections of historical interest in physics ; astronomy ; acoustics ; optics ; geophysics ; and medical physics. The ICOS covers the period from 1890 to the present, although it also includes notable collections from earlier in the nineteenth century. The database can be searched through an online catalogue. Another collection entitled Physics History Finding Aids offers full-text descriptions of finding aids at 15 different academic and research institutions. These can also be searched on the site. The site further provides the catalogues and information on the Center's library, the Niels Bohr Library in College Park, Maryland and its image archive, the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives. This section of the Niels Bohr Library possesses some 25,000 historical photographs -- several thousand of which can be browsed online. This site would prove invaluable for general interest, teaching or research. Despite its size, it is easy to navigate and clearly organised.
This site, from the American Institute of Physics, offers free access to the twice-annual newsletter of its Center for the History of Physics. Every issue since 1994 may be accessed in this way, and the opportunity to subscribe to future issues is also offered free of charge. The newsletter contains reports on recent work in the history of physics and allied fields such as astronomy and geophysics, carried out at the American Institute of Physics and elsewhere. Also included are reports on archival materials. Of perhaps most use, however, to the researcher is the site's comprehensive bibliography of recent books and articles in the history of physics, the former being usefully indexed by subject area, the latter according to the journal in which the articles appear. The site is very well presented and easy to navigate.
Classic Papers from the History of Chemistry is an online repository of primary source documents maintained by the ChemTeam, a US organisation mainly concerned with providing resources in chemistry for high school students. The material on this page of their website, however, is suitable for a more advanced audience also. Some eighty documents are provided, arranged in chronological order: there are a few pieces from the prehistory of chemistry including extracts from Paracelsus, but the material is primarily of nineteenth- or early-to-mid twentieth-century origin. There is a distinct bias towards physical chemistry and the sub-atomic realm. Featured texts include: Volta’s work on the battery; Davy and Faraday on new elements; Joule on the mechanical equivalent of heat; Rutherford, Geiger and Marsden on the nucleus; Bohr on atomic structure; Chadwick on the neutron, and Meitner and Frisch on nuclear fission. Most of the articles are provided as transcripts, but some are facsimile images: there is no indication concerning this on the main index page. Most of the transcripts are excerpted and pagination is not recorded.
An archive of data on over 80 twentieth century women who have made original and important contributions to physics, and whose contributions to physics were published before 1976. The Web page describes their major contributions to different areas of physics and provides biographical information pertaining to their scientific achievements. Fields covered include astrophysics, atomic physics, molecular physics, optics, condensed matter, cosmic rays, crystallography, fluid dynamics, plasma physics, geophysics, materials physics, mathematical physics, nuclear physics, particles and fields, beams, and space physics. The site includes the full-text of documents written by some of the women. It was compiled by Nina Byers with the help of colleagues at UCLA.
Contributions of Twentieth Century Women to Physics is an archive of information, mostly bibliographic, on 83 women in the history of physics whose principal researches were published between 1900 and 1976. It has been compiled by members of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA, and verified by an extensive network of specialist field editors. Each profile lists significant publications, education details and positions held, with brief biographical notes and annotated bibliographies of deeper biographical material where this is available. References to papers cited, etc, provided in detail on separate pages reached via hyperlinks. The profiles may be browsed by subject area, and a comprehensive search facility is available. The site also hosts the full-texts of a number of "fascinating documents" (such as papers, conference addresses and obituaries) by or concerning the women featured; an annotated photo gallery, which might serve as an introductory guide to women's role in twentieth-century physics; and essay pieces on fields in which women were conspicuously prominent, such as the nuclear physics work of Lise Meitner, Ida Noddack, the Curies and others.
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 Discovery of the Electron is another online mini-exhibition featured by the Center for History of Physics, administered by the American Institute of Physics. The site begins with an overview of the life and work of Joseph John Thomson (1856-1940) whose work at Cambridge on electromagnetism and atomic particles was performed in conjunction with the teaching of many talented young physicists -- seven of whom later won Nobel prizes and 27 of whom later became Fellows of the Royal Society. The site goes on to describe the rest of Thomson's career: his own Nobel prize ; the influential work of his contemporaries ; his discovery of electrons as components of atoms. The site includes a sound file of Thomson discussing his ideas and is illustrated with historical photographs. Concise, clear and easy to navigate, the exhibition would make an excellent teaching tool, although it is less extensive than some of the other exhibitions attached to the Center for History of Physics site. There is a brief links list and select bibliography provided for further information and reading.
Developed by the American Institute of Physics, 'Einstein: Image and Impact' is a website very much in the style of a general-interest museum exhibition. It tells the story of Albert Einstein's life and legacy through around 100 pages of narrative, photographs and other images. The site is likely to offer most interest to undergraduate students seeking plain-language introductory material. There is a good balance of commentary on Einstein's personal life, work and opinions, with headings including, Formative Years, World Fame, Quantum and Cosmos, and Science and Philosophy. Secondary source materials are included in a series of essays by historians. These include, 'Einstein's Worldview' by Gerald Holton, 'Einstein on the Photoelectric Effect' by David Cassidy, and 'How did Einstein Discover Relativity?' by John Stachel. The site also includes a concise chronology of important events in the life of Einstein, a short bibliography, and a selection of web links with brief annotations.
Einstein Archives Online details holdings of the manuscripts of Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the great scientist and formulator of the general theory of relativity. The website also makes available digital images of those papers and notebooks held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over 3,000 digitised pages of Einstein's writings may be viewed, at either standard or high-resolution definitions. These images are stored as JPG files. The larger archival database allows access to approximately 43,000 records of Einstein and Einstein related documents. The website also includes PDF versions of 39 of Einstein's published manuscripts, 22 of which have been translated into English (The originals are in German). The archives are grouped according to whether they are scientific, non-scientific, or biographical; then by whether they are manuscripts or correspondence; then chronologically. They are accessed by expanding menus. Alternatively, there is a search engine and also a page of finding aids to facilitate research. The site includes a biographical timeline of Einstein's life. This is an excellent site that is smartly presented and easy to use. It will be of great value to scholars studying Einstein and his ideas.
Einstein is an online exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History. It accompanied an exhibition at the Museum from 2002-2003, which explored the life, works, ideas and legacy of Albert Einstein, physicist 1879-1955. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the American Museum of Natural History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles. The images can be enlarged. There is a video of contemporary physicists discussing Einstein's legacy, which requires Real One Player. School-level education resources have been created organised around major themes in the exhibition, such as: light; time and space; energy (focusing on Einstein's ideas about energy, nuclear power on Earth, and fusion in the Sun); gravity (from Isaac Newton to Einstein to current scientific research); and Einstein's legacy.
Galileo Galilei's Notes on Motion is a major digitisation project, converting folios 33 to 196 of codex 72 of the Galilean Collection in the National Library of Florence into electronic format. These folios include text, drawings, and calculations pertaining to the theorems on motion published in the 'Discorsi'. They also include three short letters to Galileo. The folios are not in chronological order, dating from various periods of Galileo's life. This manuscript was chosen for digitisation in part because of its importance to the Discourses, and in part because the project organisers believed that it was insufficiently represented in the standard National Edition of Galileo's papers. The digital version consists of multi-definition images of the folio pages alongside transcriptions of the texts, including corrected and cancelled versions. Modern notation versions of Galileo's calculations are provided, as are English translations of theorems. There are indices of Latin and Italian words, and analysis of the deductive structures of the arguments. Technical information regarding paper and handwriting is also provided, along with scholarly work on individual folio pages and a bibliography.
The Galileo Project is an online resource documenting the life and times of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Much of the site has been constructed by students at the Department of History from Rice University. The site is divided into the following sections: introductory material; Galileo's villa (with individual pages for each of the rooms); resources, of which the most extensive is a database of scientists from the 16th and 17th centuries); maps and timeline and, finally, specific topics created by Rice students. There is also a more recent, and fairly substantial, section on the letters of Maria Celeste, Galileo's daughter, to her father. English translation of all 124 letters sent from 1623 to 1633 is available online, together with a number of essays. This site is well-presented and straightforward to use. It would apperar not to have been updated since 1995 however, so additional resources should be sought for information on recent research.
Heisenberg and Uncertainty is an online exhibition which is a subsite of the Center for History of Physics, administered by the American Institute of Physics. The site provides an outstanding narrative illustrated history of the life and work of Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976). The technical aspects of his founding of quantum mechanics, the uncertainty principle, and his research on nuclear weapons are clearly explained; the historical context of his work -- such as his remaining in Germany for the duration of the Third Reich -- is discussed. Excerpts from his most famous lectures abroad after the War are posted in English and German. Easy to navigate, the site would be a good teaching tool and good starting point for students. A bibliography of his writings is posted on the site.
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).
This is a complete online edition of a historical overview to commemorate the founding of what became the University of California's Berkeley Laboratory, a pioneering centre for early cyclotron research and subsequently a major research facility in subatomic particle physics. The article, originally published in 1981, by the historians of science John Heilbron, Robert W Seidel and Bruce R Wheaton, is a somewhat analytical piece focusing on the role of Ernest O Lawrence, the Laboratory’s first director, in shaping his institution. References to the sources of direct quotations only are provided. This is a readable article which might be useful to undergraduates as an introduction to the work of the Laboratory, or to the nature of twentieth-century "big science" in general.
Lawrence and the Cyclotron is a mini-exhibition which is a subsite of the Center for History of Physics, a part of the American Institute of Physics. The site gives an excellent illustrated narrative history of the life and work of the American physicist Ernest O. Lawrence (1901-1958). Known for his invention of the cyclotron, an accelerator of subatomic particles, he also won the Nobel Prize in 1939 and took part in the Manhattan Project. Like the other online exhibitions in this series, this site clearly describes technical aspects of Lawrence's research, especially his work on the development of the atomic bomb and its connection to his political attitudes during the Cold War. The site also has links to related sites and good excerpts from primary source materials. It would make a good teaching tool or starting point for those interested in the topic.
This website, authored by a freelance enthusiast, concerns the life and work of the nuclear scientist, biophyscist and 'scientist of conscience', Leo Szilard (1898-1964). Amongst the items included are various biographical articles, secondary articles about his work, the most recent being by Valentine Telegedi and William Lanouette, and assorted pieces regarding the atom bomb and Szilard's opposition to its use. These include a copy of the petition he sent to President Truman in 1945. In addition, the site contains an audio version and transcipt of the speech Szilard gave at Harvard in 1961, called 'Are We on the Road to War?', which lead to the foundation of the Council for a Livable World. There are also links to other relevant sites. The presentation is a little busy but functional enough, although it has not been updated recently.
Constructed by James McNelis (Wilmington College), the Medieval Science Page is a quick-reference online gateway to a host of topics related to scientific development, primarily between the fifth and fifteenth centuries. The gateway focuses predominantly on European discoveries and innovations, and includes links to sites dealing with such topics as alchemy, astronomy, botany, calendrics, cartography, mathematics, physics and scientific instruments. The site is best used as a general starting point for students interested in a specific scientific discipline during the Middle Ages, as it does not provide a comprehensive list of electronic resources currently available, nor resources focused on methodological or philosophical issues that affected scientific development. However, by following the many links, one should be able to move to increasingly specific resources off-site.
Moments of Discovery is a subsite of the Center for History Physics and administered by the American Institute of Physics. This is another in a series of online mini-exhibitions devoted to the history of science, this one to the discovery of fission, the detection of the first optical pulsar and superconductivity. The site has a well-developed online teachers' pack, with downloadable material, as well as teaching material that can be ordered. The subsite devoted to fission provides a straightforward history of the discovery of nuclear fission, illustrated with pictures of relevant scientists and supported by sound files recording interviews with them. The section on pulsars -- defined for site visitors as "a highly magnetised neutron star, with a radius of 10-15 km, having somewhat greater mass than the Sun" --includes a link to an interesting site with files of sounds emitted by different pulsars. There are also sound files of interviews with various scientists who discovered the phenomenon of optical pulsars. Over-reliance on the interview format dominates this section. This site, more than others in this series, is devoted in diction and content quite explicitly to teaching over and above interest from the general public or undergraduate students. In its exhortation, "Don't try to learn about pulsars from this exhibit. Try to learn about science itself, and the people who practice science. Pay attention to the procedures, not the particular facts." it suffers perhaps from some oversimplification to achieve its aim.
This is the website of the Newton Project, which aims to provide an online scholarly edition of Isaac Newton's manuscript collection. Based at the University of Sussex (formerly at Imperial College, London), the Project has so far published a catalogue of all Newton's surviving theological, alchemical, and administrative papers, and developed a transcription and markup policy (drawing on the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines). Manuscripts made available include: 'Seven statements on religion'; 'A Short Schem of [the true] Religion'; 'Twelve articles on religion'; 'Three paragraphs on religion'; and 'Twenty-three queries regarding the word omoousios'. Digital images of the original manuscripts themselves are not provided, although the electronic texts show all deletions and corrections made in their sources. The website also provides an introduction to the life and achievements of Sir Isaac Newton; his extant archives; the transcription and tagging policy; and an introduction to the manuscript transcriptions. The Project has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme and through the Cultural Heritage Language Technologies group. The resource can also be downloaded in XML format from the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)).
The Niels Bohr Archive website contains details of the archives held at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. Niels Bohr (1885-1962) was awarded the 1922 Nobel Prize for physics for his investigations into atomic structure and his work on radiation. He is perhaps best known as the father of quantum mechanics. As well as describing the available archives, the site contains: an early photograph of Bohr; an article on the historical sites of physical science in Copenhagen; annual reports; news of new document releases and other developments; summaries of past and forthcoming seminars; and links to other relevant sites. There is also a short account of the life of Hilda Levi.
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 Physics Museum of the University of Coimbra in Portugal houses a collection of scientific and didactic instruments from the 18th and 19th centuries. They consist of rare instruments used in the Physics Cabinet of the University of Coimbra since its origin in 1772. Many of the instruments have considerable artistic as well as historic value. This website includes the ability to browse the online catalogue and view 150 instruments through pictures, schemes, texts and animations. There is a Virtual Museum that contains a set of Virtual Reality films enabling visitors to pan around the Museum exhibition rooms and to virtually interact with selected Museum instruments. There is a Digital Library on the History of Physics under development on the site to put 18th century books online. The first work available is Pierre van Mussenbroek's 'Cours de Physique Experimentale et Mathematique' in 3 volumes. This site has been 'under development' for some time. It may be viewed in Portugese or English.
This website, from the University of Frankfurt, contains hundreds of photographs and drawings of famous physicists, mostly from the twentieth century, including over sixty of Einstein. The images are indexed both alphabetically, according to the depicted physcist's name, and under general headings such as 'pioneers of quantum theory' and 'Nobel Prize winners since 1991'. Images include family photographs, portraits and what are wittily described as 'clusters of physicists'. There is also a large selection of reproductions of physics-related postage stamps. The collection offers both insights into the lives and working relationships of these key figures in the history of physics, but also offers interest to students interested in the history of photography. The images are of a high quality and the site is generally well presented.
This website describes University College, London’s Science Collections. A by-product of the research conducted at UCL over the past two centuries, these are composed of scientific apparatus, equipment, notes and memorabilia. Collections include: Geomatic Engineering (including the Thompson pin-hole plotter, Professor E.H. Thompson's papers and items associated with surveying and photogrammetry); Chemistry (including Sir William Ramsay’s Nobel Prize Citation the very first clinical X-ray photograph ever taken in Britain); Physics (including historic laboratory equipment); Electronic and Electrical Engineering (including Thermionic Valve inventor Sir Ambrose Fleming’s papers); Physiology (including published papers from 1860’s and gramophone records made by Lovatt Evans). UCL Museums & Collections has recently acquired Medical Physics collection which is awaiting documentation. The website includes fuller descriptions of each collection as well as brief details of related research and access information (access by appointment only).
The "Scientific Revolution" website is part of web page of Dr. Robert A. Hatch and is made available by the University of Florida. It provides access to a range of resources for the study and teaching of the Scientific Revolution, covering developments from Copernicus to Isaac Newton over the period 1550 to 1700. At the time of review, some links on the site were incomplete or broken. Nevertheless, the site presents much useful information about the resources available for the study of the Scientific Revolution and the scientists and thinkers involved. The site is divided into the following sections: Introduction; Overview and Background; Outlines, Timelines and Tools; Biography and the Scientific Revolution; Intermediate Resources; Research - Primary Texts; and Research - Early English Books Online. It is aimed at undergraduate students and teachers. The content available at the time of cataloguing included: an introductory essay discussing the concept of periodisation in relation to the Scientific Revolution; bibliographic essays by Robert Hatch and Richard Westfall; an account of basic concepts of various world and cosmological systems, from the Aristotelian cosmos to Newton; timelines; bibliographies of secondary and important primary material; and a guide to online resources, in particular Early English Books Online and Gallica. Hatch's "History of Science Study Guide", which covers developments in astronomy and related scientific disciplines from pre-scientific times to Newton, is a very useful overview. The site also makes available Richard Westfall's browsable prosopographical list of over 600 individuals involved in the scientific community. This is a valuable tool and will be of use to students and researchers. The study guide and account of cosmological concepts will also be of considerable interest to those involved in the history of science in the early modern period. The bibliographical material will be of use to all students of the subject. There is no indication of updates and the site seems to be archived.
This is the website for the University of Cambridge’s renowned Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. With collections of geology and palaeontology, the museum traces the development and composition of the Earth and of life through minerals and fossils. Of particular interest to the humanities is the ‘Woodward legacy’ the collection of Dr. John Woodward (1665 – 1728) which formed the nucleus of the Museum, comprising some 10,000 specimens of housed in their original purpose built cases in a reconstruction of his study. Of further interest to those studying the history of science is the Darwin Collection, which includes many objects related to Charles Darwin’s early training as a geologist (which was closely connected to the University). This collection will be extended in 2009 to include an exhibition of the geological specimens collected by Darwin on HMS Beagle. The website also includes information about the Museum’s research and educational activities. The Sedgwick Museum receives funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is designated as an outstanding collection by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
Selected Papers of Great American Physicists is a subsite of the American Institute of Physics. This collection of papers written by famous American physicists includes a brief online preface by William A. Fowler, President of The American Physical Society. The collection offers brief illustrated biographies of, and downloadable papers by, Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) ; Joseph Henry (1797-1878) ; Albert Abraham Michelson (1852-1931) ; Henry Augustus Rowland (1848-1901) ; Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839-1903) ; Robert Andrews Millikan (1868-1953) ; and Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962). The site would make an excellent teaching tool, as well as informing those interested from the general public. There is a link to a good external links site ; a sample bibliography of suggested secondary reading ; and an outstanding link to a History of Physics Syllabi site, also invaluable for teachers.
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 website 'University of Bristol Special Collections' describes the special collections held by the University of Bristol Library. Covering a wide range of subjects the collections derive from a wide range of subject-specific personal and institutional libraries donated to the university. Particular strengths are in the history of architecture, non-conformist Christian movements, science and medicine as well as rare books, political pamphlets and social history. Other collections include various family archives, often related to the history of Bristol and the nationally important collection of material relating to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The site informs about catalogues and archives and gives guidance regarding library policy and practical things to know for users.
This website brings together the various artefact and archive collections held at the University of Dundee. Accredited by the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, the collections include botany; chemistry; dentistry; civil, electrical and mechanical engineering; ethnography; fine and applied art; mathematics; medicine; physics; physiology; psychology and zoology. Objects within the collections would obviously be of interest to those studying the history of these disciplines and the website describes the origins of each collection and includes illustrated highlights, as well as information on viewing objects, through regular exhibitions in University premises, which are archived here.
This website describes the special collections and archives held at the University of Leicester Library. There is a particular strength in holdings related to Leicester, from personal papers of local literary figures Sue Townsend and Joe Orton to archives relating to the history of science and medicine in the area. The collection is more wide ranging than this however, encompassing labour history, European history, 12th-20th century manuscripts, 17th century prints, incunabula and early children's books. As well as briefly describing the contents of each named collection, the website includes access information.
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.