The collection is a rich resource of primary material for the study of the nineteenth century and includes many major and minor works.

Nineteenth century books

This collection of about 23,000 popular and academic books covers all branches of science, technology and engineering. Medicine, natural history, anthropology, exploration and geography are also well represented. The collection is a rich resource of primary material for the study of the nineteenth century and includes many major and minor works. Books are mostly in English but there are French, German, Italian and other languages represented.

Holdings of rarer works include books (sometimes signed) by Charles Babbage, Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Sir Humphry Davy, Michael Faraday.

Also included are sets of pamphlets collected by John Tyndall (25 volumes), Oliver Lodge (9 volumes) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (51 volumes).

The Library also holds 45 boxes of programmes, reports and evidence collected in the 1880s for the Royal Commission on Technical Instruction on educational institutions in Europe and the USA.

Catalogues: most of the collection is catalogued on cards, although all the astronomy books and selected other titles do have computer catalogue entries. Please email smlwroughton@sciencemuseum.ac.uk if you need staff to check the card catalogue.

Highlights

Early encyclopaedias

Mathematics

  • Euclid. The first six books of the Elements of Euclid : in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters for the greater ease of learners (London, 1847). 

Astronomy

Physics & Chemistry

  • Meyer, W. H. Theodor. Beobachtungen über das geschichtete electrische Licht sowie über den merkwürdigen Einfluss des Magneten auf dasselbe nebst Anleitung zur experimentellen Darstellung der fraglichen Erscheinungen (Berlin, 1858)

Natural history

Civil engineering

Trades & Industries

  • Twintig plaaten , voorstellende de werkplaatsen benevens de voornaamste werktuigen en voortbrengselen van twintig verschillende ambachten (Groningen, 1849)
  • Simonin, Louis. Underground life, or, Mines and miners (London, 1869)

Mechanical engineering

Electric lighting

Telecommunications

Transportation

Exploration & Discovery