New: Loeb Classical Library online

Loeb - Confessions - coverI am pleased to report that thanks to the Classics Librarian Oxford readers now have access to the Loeb Classical Library online. Over 520 volumes of useful sources materials for historians are now available in both Latin and Greek with parallel English translations.

The Digital Loeb Library is an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing, virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, travel, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians; those Church Fathers who made particular use of pagan culture—in short, our entire Greek and Latin Classical heritage is represented here with up-to-date texts and accurate English translations.

Catalogue records for the individual volumes will also soon be added to SOLO.

Related resources

Research workshop: Printing mathematics in the early modern world – 16 and 17 Dec 2013, All Souls College

Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 December 2013: 10am–5pm All Souls College, Oxford

The early modern period saw the printing, in large numbers, of mathematical tables, primers, textbooks and practical manuals, as well as the incorporation of mathematical notation into a wide range of works on other subjects. Algebraic notation, diagrams and even printed mathematical instruments all raised unusual problems for print. The development of appropriate layouts and conventions, the establishment of workable print-shop procedures, and the detection and management of error all required distinctive solutions where the printing of mathematics was concerned.

Those problems and their solutions are the subject of this two-day workshop, to be held in All Souls College, Oxford.

A limited number of places are available for observers. The cost will be £20, and will cover attendance at the conference sessions, with tea and coffee. Unfortunately accommodation cannot be provided for observers.

Further information, including a draft programme, is available.

To reserve a place, or for any enquiries, please contact

New: Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography

I am pleased to report that Oxford users now have access to the online Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography.

Dictionary of Scientific BiographyContaining thousands of biographies of mathematicians and natural scientists from all regions and historical periods, this resource is one of the most trusted science biography reference works.

The Dictionary of Scientific Biography is supplemented by the New Dictionary of Scientific Biography with an additional 775 completely new entries which include scientists deceased since 1980, figures omitted from the original and “postscript” commentaries that detail new research on great scientists of the past.

Today’s Biography of Day …

…is Johannes Kepler, the German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1571, d 1630)

Dictionary of Scientific Biography - Kepler

15 November is the 383rd anniversary of his death. Kepler’s work on the laws of motion were hugely influential on Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton. Check out his biography now!

Othe biographical resources available in Oxford

New: Dissertations Read to the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh

I am delighted to offer Oxford users online access to the Dissertations Read to the Royal Medical Society, Edinburgh (British Online Archives). Access is via SOLO (shortly) or OxLIP+.

On epilepsy / by William Adair. in DISSERTATIONS, ETC., 1751-1799, v1

On epilepsy / by William Adair. in DISSERTATIONS, ETC., 1751-1799, v1

Founded in 1737, the Royal Medical Society is the oldest student society of its kind in the United Kingdom, whose members were duty-bound to deliver a dissertation for examination by their peers.

This collection comprises over 200 volumes of hand-written dissertations, providing a unique insight into the development in medical teaching and thought during the last 250 years.

In subject, the dissertations range from framboesia to fear, from meningitis to mongolism and many represent the earliest original work of famous men of medicine.

The linked author index is in two parts: vols. 1-95 (1751-1833), and vols. 96-215 (1834-1968). Scanned from the microfilm of the Royal Medical Society collections in the Edinburgh University Library.

Some texts are difficult to read and images are faint. Use the zoom function to enlarge the text.

Images can be saved or printed individually as PDFs.

New: Technology and Culture – now full electronic access

Oxford users now have full electronic access to Technology and Culture, an important journal for the history of technology.

Technology and Culture ejournal tpPublished by Johns Hopkins University Press “Technology and Culture publishes insightful pieces intended for general readers as well as specialists.

Readers include engineers, anthropologists, sociologists, museum curators, archivists, historians, and others.

In addition to scholarly essays, each issue features 30- 40 book reviews and reviews of new museum exhibitions. To illuminate important debates and draw attention to specific topics, the journal occasionally publishes thematic issues.

Recent special issues have focused on biomedical technology, patents and inventions, ecology, engineering in the twentieth century, and gender and technology.”  (from Project Muse website:

Full-text access is as follows:

JSTOR Arts and Sciences 7: From 1959 volume: 1 issue:1 until 2007 volume: 48 issue:4

Project MUSE Miscellaneous: From 1998 volume: 39 issue:3 to current

Table of content of the latest issue (Volume 54, Number 2, April 2013)

How New Technologies Spread: Lessons from Computing Technologies / James W. Cortada

Taming the Microworld: DuPont and the Interwar Rise of Fundamental Industrial Research / Augustin Cerveaux

Food for Soil, Food for People: Research on Food Crops, Fertilizers, and the Making of “Modern” Indian Agriculture / Madhumita Saha

Mr. Taconite: Edward W. Davis and the Promotion of Low-Grade Iron Ore, 1913-1955 / Jeffrey T. Manuel

Inside the Black Box

The Atlas and the Air Force: Reassessing the Beginnings of America’s First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile /  Christopher Gainor

Film Review
Nuclear Waste and Historical Time / Maja Fjaestad

Essay Reviews
All the Tools Fit to Print / Karen Reeds

Science and Technology beyond the Barricades / Theresa Levitt

At Work in the Fields of Their Lords / Veront M. Satchell

Rethinking the Economic History of Early Modern India / Peter A. Coclanis

Book Reviews

The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies ed. by Trevor Pinch and Karin Bijsterveld (review by Andre Millard)

War Games: A History of War on Paper by Philipp von Hilgers (review by Daniel Bessner)

Artisans of the Body in Early Modern Italy: Identities, Families and Masculinities by Sandra Cavallo (review by Anita Guerrini)

Stays and Body Image in London: The Staymaking Trade, 1680-1810 by Lynn Sorge-English (review by Christelle Rabier)

The Colonial Machine: French Science and Overseas Expansion in the Old Regime by James E. McClellan III and François Regourd (review Henry Heller)

Making Tobacco Bright: Creating an American Commodity, 1617-1937 by Barbara Hahn (review by Drew A. Swanson)

Die moderne Strasse Planung, Bau und Verkehr vom 18. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert ed. by Hans-Liudger Dienel and Hans-Ulrich Schiedt (review by Marcus Popplow)

Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State by Jo Guldi (review by Patrick Carroll)

Railway by George Revill (review by Frederick Gamst)

Mountains on the Market: Industry, the Environment, and the South by Randal L. Hall (review by Robert Gudmestad)

Santa Rita del Cobre: A Copper Mining Community in New Mexico by Christopher J. Huggard and Terrence M. Humble (review by Robert L. Spude)

The Quest for Technical Knowledge: Bengal in the Nineteenth Century by Suvobrata Sarkar (review by Daniel R. Headrick)

Locomotive to Aeromotive: Octave Chanute and the Transportation Revolution by Simine Short (review by Glenn Bugos)

Reproduction by Design: Sex, Robots, Trees, and Test-Tube Babies in Interwar Britain by Angus McLaren (review by Maria Björkman)

Astounding Wonder: Imagining Science and Science Fiction in Interwar America by John Cheng (review by J. P. Telotte)

Into the Cosmos: Space Exploration and Soviet Culture ed. by James T. Andrews and Asif A. Siddiqi (review by Jenny Leigh Smith)

California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way ed. by Wendy Kaplan (review by Sarah Lowengard)

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings: A Life in Construction by Samuel C. Florman (review by Henry Petroski)

The Cinematic Footprint: Lights, Camera, Natural Resources by Nadia Bozak (review by Brian R. Jacobson)

Crabgrass Crucible: Suburban Nature and the Rise of Environmentalism in Twentieth-Century America by Christopher C. Sellers (review by Kristoffer Whitney)

Hormones for Life: Endocrinology, the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the Dream of a Remedy for Sterility, 1930-1970 by Christer Nordlund (review by Dominique A. Tobbello)

Embryo Politics: Ethics and Policy in Atlantic Democracies by Thomas Banchoff (review by Simon A. Cole)

The Digital Flood: The Diffusion of Information Technology across the U.S., Europe, and Asia by James W. Cortada (review by W. Patrick McCray)

User Unfriendly: Consumer Struggles with Personal Technologies, from Clocks and Sewing Machines to Cars and Computers by Joseph J. Corn (review by Kathleen Franz)

Ghosts in the Machine: (Re)Constructing the Bodleian’s Index of Literary Correspondence, 1927-1963

[Selectively re-blogged from the Cultures of Knowledge blog, with permission from the authors.]

Early Modern Letters Online – or EMLO for short – is a growing union catalogue of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence. The project is based at the Faculty of History, Oxford. At the heart of EMLO is the The ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’.

The ‘Index of Literary Correspondence’ in the Bodleian Library is a card catalogue which occupies an imposing set of wooden filing drawers at the ‘Selden End’ of the Duke Humfrey’s Library.

It is a remarkable free-standing resource, describing a significant percentage of Bodleian’s rich holdings of sixteenth-, seventeenth-, and eighteenth-century correspondence, and had been accessible until recently only to those working on-site. Now you can read in Ghosts in the Machine: (Re)Constructing the Bodleian’s Index of Literary Correspondence, 1927-1963 about the history of its creation. The blog post documents a wonderful piece of Bodleian Library history and profiles the staff involved at the time.

As part of the EMLO project The Index of Literary Correspondence has been scanned and digitised, and now its 48,691 unique records can be searched and browsed online within EMLO, radically improving the discoverability and manipulability of the cards and the letters to which they refer.

Do you know something about the Index of Literary Correspondence? Get in touch with EMLO researchers. Email:

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs

Those interested in the history of Botany might be interested in an article published on 22 April in The Spectator by Dr Chris Fletcher (Keeper of Special Collections, Bodleian Library). He writes on the library’s recent acquisition of a ‘Catalogus Plantarum’ kept in the 1790s by an anonymous Botanist who roamed the south of England looking for specimens.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs.

The Secret Lives of Books – occasional tales from the Bodleian » Spectator Blogs


New History of Medicine journal subscription

Histoire, Medecine et Sante

The Bodleian Libraries have subscribed to a new French History of Medicine journal entitled: Histoire, Medecine et Sante.  The peer-reviewed journal, which is from the University of Toulouse II, will be published twice a year and include research articles, discussion of sources and historiography and reviews in English and French. Article summaries are provided in French and English at the end of the issue.


The topic of the first issue is “pudeurs” which translates as modesty in English.  Articles include Anne Carol on medical cadavers and Elsa Nicol on women with cancer in the 19th century.  There is also a book review of Morbid Curiosities : Medical Museums in Nineteenth-Century Britain (OUP, 2011), which is available to consult in the Wellcome Unit Library and the Bodleian Library’s Gladstone Link, as well as electronically as an ebook.

Available to consult

The first issue is now available to request from the Bodleian Stacks via SOLO for members of the Bodleian Libraries. The requested volume can be consulted in the Bodleian Libraries Reading Room of your choice. A full list of contents is available on the Historiens de la sante blog.

Related Links
SOLO | Bodleian Library | Historiens de la sante blog | HMS journal webpage

Renaissance in Astronomy Lecture Tuesday 4 Sept

Celestial globe by Johann Schöner, c.1534 (c) MHS

Renaissance in Astronomy lecture

Jim Bennett will speak on

 Thoughts and Things: The Role of Craft in 16th-Century Astronomy and Cosmography

on Tuesday 4 September, 7pm

Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street, Oxford

Professor Bennett is Director of the Museum and curator of the current exhibition “The Renaissance in Astronomy: Books, Globes and Instruments of the 16th Century”. He will discuss how the exhibition’s objects emerged from craft workshops and print-shops that were valued as sites of astronomical practice.

Admission free.

Online Exhibition

If you can’t make it along, then you can find out more about the Renaissance in Astronomy via the Museum’s online exhibition.

Related Links: Museum of the History of Science | History of Science degrees at Oxford | Oxford University Podcasts on the History of Science | Renaissance in Astronomy Online Exhibition

Nicholas Crane lecture on Mercator the Map who Mapped the Planet

Museum of the History of Science, Broad Street
‘Between the Lines’ Lecture Series
Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at  7pm

‘Mercator: the Man who Mapped the Planet’

Nicholas Crane, geographer, explorer, writer and broadcaster, will talk about his book on Gerard Mercator.

An event not to be missed by fans of ‘Coast’ and his many other television programmes.

Admission free.  Doors open at 6.30.

Nicholas Crane’s book ‘Mercator: the man who mapped the planet’ is available to borrow from the HFL at shelfmark MN553 Merc/C

Related links: Nicholas Crane biography (Orion Books) | Museum of the History of Science | Wikipedia entry on Mercator 1569 World Map