|Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship||Winter 1999|
Paul J. Bracke
Reference and Educational Services Librarian
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
The explosion of the World Wide Web has led to an explosion in the amount of scholarly (and not so scholarly) information widely available in an electronic format. Not only are materials increasingly available in an electronic medium, the nature of the medium allows for new means of presenting information. No longer are authors or curators limited to the format of a book or traditional museum exhibit. Information may now be presented in a manner that is interactive, dynamic, of multiple source formats, and easily updatable. While this medium is still in its infancy, there are a ever increasing number of sites taking advantage of its possibilities to present information on the history of science.
This guide consists of an annotated selection of some of the best websites on the history of science. No attempt has been made to be comprehensive, as the number of relevant websites is incredibly large. Additionally, the transient nature of electronic publishing makes the gathering of resources difficult. While all sites reviewed below were active as of Jauary 15, 1999, during the course of the writing this paper there were sites that disappeared.
This guide has been divided into two primary sections: general history of science and history of specific disciplines. General history of science resources have been further subdivided by resource type (e.g. journals, pathfinder sites, etc.). while the sites about the history of a specific discipline have been grouped by discipline, with disciplines listed alphabetically.
Curator/Author: Thomas B. Settle, IMSS & Polytechnic University.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated December 19, 1998
Review: This site provides a collection of links, most without annotation. Much original content is provided through links to the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza on current and completed research projects. "The sites selected for this list conform loosely to criteria determined by the nature of the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza and the students and scholars who have either visited it in Florence or have had reason to come to its Homepage." There is no attempt to be comprehensive, but rather to suit the needs of the IMSS and its scholars and students. Emphasis is placed on Italian and European resources. A substantial collection of links is provided nonetheless, divided into the following categories: General, Bibliographies, Specialized Collections and Archives, Manuscripts and Printed Texts, Topics, Individuals, Institutions and Organizations, Museums and Exhibitions, Courses and Narratives, Journals and Newsletters, and Lists. The primary drawback to the site is the lack of annotation. On the other hand, the site's focus on some European material is uncommon among History of Science websites, and its list of museum and exhibitions is extensive.
WWW Virtual Library for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine
Author: Currently maintained by Tim Sherratt, formerly the Deputy-Director of the Australian Science Archives Project (ASAP). The site was established as part of the WWW Virtual Library in 1994.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated in April of 1998.
Review: The WWW Virtual Library for the History of Science, Technology & Medicine is a well-developed, but not so well-maintained, collection of links in all areas of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. In some sections up to half of the links are dead. This enormous resource can be browsed alphabetically, by discipline (e.g. astronomy and space, biology, chemistry), by sources (e.g. "Additional sources of information, research tools, and documents. Includes bibliographies, electronic texts and other WWW indexes."), by Exhibitions (virtual counterparts to exhibitions and those that are purely virtual), by Institutions (museums, libraries, university departments, and archives), by geographical regions (Australia, China, or Canada only), by biographical information, or by email discussion lists. There is also a search option that allows all resources in the site to be searched.
A particularly nice feature is a rating system that judges sites in the areas of depth, content, and design. The criteria for this system is explained in detail. It appears that the rating system was implemented recently (or is unevenly applied) as many sites are not rated. Those with a rating generally have a descriptive paragraph, plus an "Editor's Note" that tends to be more evaluative. This site provides a huge number of links, and is very easy to navigate with many navigation options. Included are unusual links to things like articles from magazines, such as one from the Atlantic Monthly, and an emphasis on Australian links.
Yahoo! Science: History
Author: Yahoo! Staff
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated.
Review: Yahoo! is often a good place to begin a search for internet resources, and this is certainly the case for the History of Science. The choices of browseable categories are interesting, including such standard divisions as astronomy, mathematics, and chemistry but also including categories for women, web directories, countries, magazines, and timelines to name a few. Also interesting is the lack of a category for topics such as the history of biology. A search on "biology" within the "Science:History" category produces 0 categories and 3 sites, although many more sites listed are clearly about biology.
Author: PBS, based on the documentary A Science Odyssey produced by WGBH.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: This site is not regularly updated.
Review: A Science Odyssey reviews the last 100 years of discovery in Medicine and Health, Physics and Astronomy, Human Behavior, Technology, Earth and Life Sciences. While the site covers a lot of areas, none are covered in any great depth. The emphasis of a Science Odyssey is telling the human side of the story--the triumphs, tragedies, rivalries, missteps involved in the advances of the past century. This treatment should prove very interesting to almost anyone, and the treatment level is such that a reader does not have to be a scientist to understand the stories.
Some original content is provided for the website, but much is taken from the documentary. The strength of the site is the presentation of the information in novel, interesting, and non-linear fashion. The inherent capabilities of the web to be a teaching tool are utilized.
The documentary and companion book versions of a Science Odyssey proceed in a typical linear storyline. The website, however, rearranges information in interesting ways:
This site is very well developed with lots of great graphics and is easy to navigate despite the abundance of information on the site. This would be an excellent resource for educators because of the variety of interesting, interactive ways this information is presented.
Author: James McNelis, Editor. Editor-in-Chief of Envoi: A Review Journal of Medieval Literature, and Founding Editor of Æstel. Prof. Of English at Kutztown University, PA.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Claims to have been "continuously available since October 19, 1995", last updated June 29, 1998. Shows links that have been added.
Review: The Medieval Science website is designed to provide a comprehensive collection of internet resources on the rich heritage of medieval science, both from Western and non-Western cultures. It is intended for academics, undergraduate level and up. The site is arranged by subject: Alchemy, Animals, Astrolabe, Astronomy, Botany, Calendars, Cartography, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, Time Museums (under construction), General History of Science, and Renaissance Materials. Most links are very briefly annotated and many are very specific, dealing with such topics as alchemy or falconry. A number of the links also deal with medieval manuscripts and illustrations about scientific topics. Some hobbyist pages are included, although the authority of many of these pages is unclear. Interestingly, the author notes that he has seen an alarming trend among freshman college students--the belief that any bit of information, research, text, or knowledge can be found on the internet and that eventually the library as we know it with all it's paper sources will become obsolete.
Review: A refereed publication of the Agricultural History Society Edited at the Center for Agricultural History, Iowa State University. The website has the table-of contents for the current, and one back, issue. Also provided are editorial policies, contact information, membership and subscription information.
AIP Center for History of Physics Newsletter
Review: The American Institute of Physics Center for the History of Physics Newsletter covers work on the history of physics and related fields. It includes news, announcements, biographies, and announcements for publications of interest. The website provides full text and illustrations from newsletters going back to the fall of 1994. Also included is information on print subscriptions.
AMBIX: The Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
URL: [Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Review: AMBIX's website provides table of contents for its three 1997 issues, as well as information on joining SHAC, subscribing to the print journal, or sending inquires. AMBIX is a refereed serial.
The British Journal for the History of Science, Cambridge University Press
URL: http://titles.cambridge.org/journals/journal_catalogue.asp?historylinks=ALPHA&mnemonic=BJH [Note: Link moved; URL changed 1/3/03 by firstname.lastname@example.org]
The British Journal for the History of Science is the official journal of the British Society for the History of Science. It is refereed and published by Cambridge University Press. The journal's website includes tables-of-contents for 1996-1998, editorial board, subscription, submission, and advertising information, and contact information.
Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Press
Review: The Bulletin of the History of Medicine is the official publication of the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Institute of the History of Medicine. The website has subscription, advertising, and submission information, as well as a directory of the editorial board, and copyright information. Full-text articles from 1996- are available to Project Muse subscribers.
Centaurus International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Munksgaard International Publishers Ltd.
URL: http://www.blackwellmunksgaard.dk/tidsskrifter.nsf/a3b40ef0ca9b8d86c1256a160050049f/b1afdc0fea740863c1256a1b003044eb?OpenDocument [Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00, 1/3/03 by ald]
Review: The Centaurus International Magazine has been publishing original research papers and numerous book reviews in the history of science since 1950. No full-text is provided but information on the journal's editorial board, subscriptions and article submission.
Environment and History
Review: Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal that publishes environmental research that bridges the gap between the humanities and the biological sciences. The site provides a table-of-contents of research articles with abstracts since 1995. Book reviews and editorials are not included. Also included are instructions to authors and subscription information.
Review: Environmental History is an interdisciplinary journal whose authors seek to analyze and understand the effects of nature on human activity, the effects of humans on the ecosystems in which they live, and the effects of cultural conceptions of the non-human world on economies, politics, and cultures. Environmental History is published jointly by the Forest History Society and the American Society for Environmental History. Its website provides complete tables-of-contents dating from 1996, a staff directory, and guidelines for contributors.
Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, University of California Press
Review: Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences is a refereed journal that includes research on the "intellectual and social history of the physical sciences and experimental biology since the 17th century." The website provides tables-of-contents dating from 1994, and information on the editorial board, article submission, subscriptions, advertising, and copyright.
HYLE: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Chemistry, published at the University of Karlsruhe, Institute of Philosophy, Germany
Review: HYLE is a refereed journal covering all aspects of the philosophy of chemistry. The website states "Articles deal with epistemological, methodological, foundational, and ontological problems of chemistry and its subfields; the peculiarities of chemistry and relations to technology, other scientific and non-scientific fields; aesthetical, ethical, and environmental matters in chemistry; as well as philosophically relevant facets of the history, sociology, linguistics, and education of chemistry."
There are two versions of HYLE, a print version published annually and an electronic version published biannually. Full-text of the electronic edition is provided freely, along with the tables-of-contents of latest print issue. Also provided is an author index to HYLE dating from 1995. Additionally there is a listing of editors and the scientific board, subscription and submission information, calls for papers, and a listing of upcoming conferences.
Isis, the Official Journal of the History of Science Society
Author: Isis is edited by Margaret Rossiter, sponsored by the History of Science Society, and Published by the University of Chicago Press Journals Division
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated September 1998
Review: Although the full-text of Isis is not available electronically, recent tables-of-contents, editorial and submission information are provided by the University of Chicago Press. The site provides the HSS-PSA (History of Science Society and Philosophy of Science Association) Combined Membership Directory, and tables-of-contents for issues from Volume 86, Number 4 (December 1995) to Volume 89, Number 3 (September 1998). Some abstracts are included beginning with Volume 88, Number 1 (March 1997). Also included are links to the HSS, a description of the journal, announcements of what's new to the journal, a directory of the editorial board, suggestions for contributors, subscription information, how to become a member of HSS, how to request permission for reprinting, advertising information, where to send books to be reviewed, other University of Chicago Press items of interest, and how to contact the editorial board. A search is provided but searches all University of Chicago Press Journals Division.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Oxford University Press
URL: http://www3.oup.co.uk/jalsci/ [Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Review: The website for the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences includes research on all aspects of the history of medicine. Also provided is a listing of the editorial board and subscription, submission, and advertising information. Tables-of-contents going back to January 1997 are provided, and are searchable by keyword or concept.
Metaphysical Review: Essays on the Foundations of Physics, University of New Hampshire Department of Physics
URL: http://roentgen.sr.unh.edu/./ [Note: Broken link removed 3/5/01 by ald]
Review: Metaphysical Review is a freely-accessible electronic journal consisting of papers and book reviews on "conceptually difficult problems in physics and science in general." All issues are provided in full-text, and the journal has been published since July 1994. Articles can be viewed in four formats: ASCII text , REVTeX , dvi , and PostScript. Illustrations included in jpg or gif format.
Osiris, University of Chicago Press
Review: Osiris has been published since 1936 by the History of Science Society as an annual supplement to Isis. Each year one theme issue is produced. The website for the serial provides tables-of-contents from last 4 volumes, editorial board, subscription, submission, copyright and advertising inforamation. Also provided is information on joining the History of Science Society, and a Society membership directory.
Social History of Medicine, Oxford University Press
URL: http://www3.oup.co.uk/jnls/list/sochis/ [Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Review: "Social History of Medicine is concerned with all aspects of health, illness, and medical treatment in the past" and strives to include research from many different disciplines. Includes editorial board, subscription, submission, and advertising info, contact info. Includes link to the Society for the Social History of Medicine. Can browse or search tables-of-contents going back to April 1996 or get on the tables-of-contents updates mailing list.
Technology and Culture, the Journal of the Society for the History of Technology, Johns Hopkins University Press
URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/technology_and_culture/ [Note: Link moved; URL changed 1/3/03 by email@example.com]
Review: "Technology and Culture is a scholarly journal dedicated to the historical study of technology in its relationships with society and culture." Full-text articles are available from July 1998- from Project Muse. The website includes subscription and submission information, most recent tables-of-contents, sample articles, editorial board, contact info, and a link to the Society for the History of Technology.
Author: The catalog was "compiled by the late Richard S. Westfall, Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University." It is currently maintained as part of the Galileo Project by Albert Van Helden at Rice University
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated.
Review: "This catalog is a collection of 631 detailed biographies on members of the scientific community during the 16th and 17th centuries with vital facts about each individual and their contributions to science." Ten categories are used to describe the scientists in the database: birth and death years, father's social status and occupation, nationality, education, religion, scientific disciplines, means of support, patronage, technological involvement, and membership in scientific societies. The database is searchable in two ways: through a short search form in which 9 of the 20 fields may be searched, and through a long search form from which all 20 fields may be searched. Each record for a scientist contains information according to the 10 categories, as available. This site fits nicely with the Galileo project. There are no explicit options for browsing entries. One can, however, search by a broad category and browse the results. For example, by searching under just "Botany" as the primary discipline you get a browseable list of botanists from the 16th and 17th centuries.Great Canadian Scientists
http://www.science.ca/ [Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00, 1/3/03
Author: Great Canadian Scientists(GCS) Team, published by the GCS Research Society
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Unknown (copyright says "©1994,1995,1996 GCS Research Society"; however one of the designers won a prize in 1998)
Review: While this site does not cover every Canadian scientist that every lived, it is an ever-growing list whose authors welcome suggestions for additions. "Great" is difficult to define, but the initial definition for this site was winners of the Nobel Prize and other such monumental awards. As the project grew, the definition of great grew to include other scientists whose work has had a substantial impact. "Canadian" generally means that the researchers held Canadian citizenship when they did most of their work, although they need not have been born in, or died in, Canada. "Scientists" generally refers to people in the areas of physics, chemistry, and biology but engineers, doctors, and inventors have also been included to a lesser extent. This project to encapsulate the lives of great Canadian scientists has also produced a book and a CD-ROM. The two main parts are the Profiles and Reference section. The profiles section provides in-depth profiles of the lives of 20 scientists representing a mix of disciplines and accomplishments. These scientists are all still living, and were chosen so they could be captured on video. The Reference section includes about 150 brief profiles, many of whom are deceased. Also included is an interactive salmon game and an extensive scientific trivia quiz. The site clearly identifies the portions that are works in progress and encourages in several places the submission of suggestions for future profiles, further information on scientists already included, and feedback on the selection of scientists. This site fills a void on the web for information on current and past Canadian scientists. Its only real shortcoming is that too few profiles are in-depth.
The Galileo Project
Author: Albert Van Helden, Professor of History at Rice University, and others
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Stated last update August 5, 1996. Appears to have been updated more recently.
Review: "The Galileo Project is a hypertext source of information on the life and work of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and the science of his time." The collection is original in its collection and presentation of diverse information on Galileo in a hypertext format. The project's website includes biographical information, a portrait gallery, a section on his exploration of mechanics, maps, a bibliography, and information on instrumentation. Also included are: "Galileo's Villa," where each room represents a segment of his life, his science, or the social, religious, and scientific life of contemporaneous Europe; two intertwined timelines of Galileo's life and times, one representing his life and career and the other representing the political, military, and religious events of the same time frame.
This website presents a large amount of information and strives to integrate into a representation of a more complete picture of Galileo and his discoveries in the complex context of his society. This is a very interesting tool for educators in that it takes advantage of the medium of the web, hyperlinking diverse information to create a coherent depiction of events. Also very interesting is the variety of information presented: biographical information on family members, portraits of the "major players" of the day, religious beliefs and practices and their impact, maps, and more. The site also includes projects completed by Rice University students in conjunction with the Galileo Project.
The Nobel Foundation
[Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Author: The Nobel Foundation
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: December 1998
Review: The official website of the Nobel Foundation includes everything one could possibly want to know about the Nobel Prize and its winners, dating back to very first prizes in 1901. Included is a database of prizes and their winners (searchable fields include: prize category, year, name of laureate, birth or death of laureate, laureate affiliation or location, and English-language keyword). The site can also be browsed by prize category or by a reference table that is "color coded for amount of information on a particular year's prize by category, or when no prize was given that year." Information is frequently included on the winner or winners such as the awards presentation, a biography, acceptance speeches, portraits, Nobel lectures, and even commemorative stamps.
The site also includes information on Alfred Nobel, essays related to the Nobel Prize, information on previous Nobel lectures, symposia, and posters. As part of the Electronic Nobel Museum Project, this website will continue to grow as a digital archive and museum. The site is easy to navigate, and provides a lot of information on the prize, the prize's history, and its winners.
There is also the Nobel Prize Internet Archive, maintained by Almaz Enterprises, a multimedia design and consulting company. It does contain the listing of past winners and some biographical information. However, the "quick search" feature doesn't work, the layout is too cluttered with numerous frames and too much advertising, and viewers have the ability to add links (which people do some appropriate, some advertisements, so must be no regulation). It is not affiliated with the Nobel Foundation or the official Nobel Prize website. Despite its self-congratulatory listing of Internet awards and accompanying press, it is a sad shadow of the previous site.
[Note: Unable to connect 7/28/00]
Author: Students in mathematics at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia as part of a continuing project.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: October 1998
Review: The Women Mathematicians site provides over 130 biographies, ranging from the 5th Century BCE to the 1950's. Some are very brief (no more than an identification of the woman), but many are actually biographical essays contributed by students. Many of these essays include portraits or photos. Bibliographies are frequently included, as well as links to other relevant sites. It is unclear how the entries are chosen, although it seems that students choose a mathematician who seems interesting and hasn't been written on. The maintainer of the site acknowledges that it is not comprehensive, but hopes to continue to add to the site and welcomes contributions.
The site may be browsed alphabetically or chronologically. There is also a collection of annotated links to other resources on women mathematicians and science, a table of the First PhDs in Mathematics by Women (all before 1930), and a listing of prizes, awards, and honors for women mathematicians. This is a good model for the kind of interactive projects students can do without having to have web design wizards at hand.
Author: Staff of the Charles Babbage Institute
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated. Appears to have been updated in 1998.
Review: The Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) at the University of Minnesota is a research institute dedicated to the study and preservation of the history of computing. A large part of this site is devoted to describing the archival collections, finding aids, and contact information for the physical collection housed at the CBI. The archives include manuscript collections, computer trade publications, manuals, photographs, oral histories, and a reference collection dating back to 1935. However, there are also some virtual parts to the archives as well, such as the Burroughs Corporation collection, Cray Research Virtual Museum, and DARPA/IPTO History Project. Most of what is available from the site are brief histories, company logos through the years, and photographs. Also included is a brief biography of Charles Babbage and a bibliography of resources on him.
Center for the the History of Physics
Author: American Institute of Physics
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last Updated November 1998
Review: The American Institute of Physics' Center for the History of Physics was established "to preserve and make known the history of modern physics and allied fields including astronomy, geophysics, optics, and the like." The Center's website provides original content on the history of physics as well as detailing research efforts and facilities. Among the resources available are: full text of biannual newsletter dating from the Fall 1994 issue, information on selected publications of the Center for History of Physics and the Neils Bohr Library, and descriptions of the extensive collections in the history of physics and allied fields in the Neils Bohr Library.
The absolute best part of the site is the virtual Albert Einstein exhibit. It is divided up by periods in his life: Formative Years, the Great Years, E-mc2, World Fame, Public Concerns, Quantum and Cosmos, Nuclear Age, and Science and Philosophy. Each period includes fascinating textual narrative and is highlighted by numerous pictures (e.g., photographs of Einstein and other family members, his boyhood home, a letter to Franklin Delano Roosevelt). The exhibit attempts to present the life of Einstein as a whole and in context, covering his background, his youth, the social, political, and the scientific forces that surrounded him. There is also a companion exhibit on the discovery of the electron.
URL: Available through Internet GratefulMed at:
http://igm.nlm.nih.gov/ [Note: Grateful Med has been retired; PubMed is
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query/ per firstname.lastname@example.org]
Producer: National Library of Medicine
Review: HISTLINE is freely available from the National Library of Medicine through Internet GratefulMed. It provides an index to the secondary literature dealing with the history of medicine and related fields published since 1964 in all languages. It includes virtually all citations of historical interest from other NLM databases such as MEDLINE as well as records indexed by NLM's History of Medicine Division and unavailable elsewhere.
History of Science and Technology
Producer: Available from Research Libraries Group (RLG), "expanded under the auspices of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science
Review: RLG is a not-for-profit membership corporation begun to enhance access for the intellectual community to information. HST, the "definitive international bibliography for the history of science and technology and its influence on culture, from pre-history to the present", is offered to subscribers as a CitaDel file. The database has 3 components: Isis Current Bibliography of the History of Science, Current Bibliography in the History of Technology, Bibliografia Italiana di Storia della Scienza. Includes citations to books, book reviews, journal articles, proceedings, and dissertations in all scientific fields and as well as citations from many interdisciplinary fields. Included is a list of the 1000 journals indexed and contact information for those interested in subscribing.
[Note: Link moved; URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Updated 9/98.
Review: The History of Science Society (HSS) is the largest professional society dedicated to the history of science, and its website is a valuable resource for HSS members as well as educators. There are two primary sections to the website, one covering research and publication opportunities and the second dealing with the HSS organization. The first section covers research, publications and meetings. A wealth of information is provided including professional meetings announcements, notices of international seminars, lectures and classes, and links to academic programs and funding tools. Also provided is information on HSS publications, including ISIS, OSIRIS, newsletters, and even topical essays for high school and undergraduate teachers of the history of science. The second section, on the HSS organization, includes membership information, contacts, history, officers, committees, statutes, and bylaws. Although the society has a scholarly emphasis that would draw academic users, it is interesting that a strong effort is made to reach out to K-12 educators by providing a starting point to teaching the history of science.
Society for the History of Technology
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated November 1998 [Note: Link moved; URL changed 1/3/03 by email@example.com]
Review: The Society for the History of Technology is a professional society dedicated to the encouragement of "the study of the development of technology and its relations with society and culture." The society's website includes membership information, its constitution, officers and committees, awards and prizes, annual meeting information; employment opportunities; fellowships, grants and other funding, and calls for papers. Current tables-of-contents and sample articles from Technology and Culture, the society's journal, and an archive of society newsletters dating from June 1996 are also provided. The RLG History of Science database (see review above) is freely available to all individual SHOT members. The site's layout is very basic but is easy to navigate. It does not attempt to reach an audience broader than current and prospective SHOT members.
URL: http://www.gutenberg.net/ [Note: Unable to
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last stated updated September 1998.
Review: An enormous collection of e-texts that was begun in 1971, Project Gutenberg provides texts in "plain vanilla ASCII text" so that it is easy to use and read by both the person and the computer. You can find some of the works by people such as Charles Babbage, Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley. Texts are meant to be accessible to all people by requiring minimal technology to use them. Works selected for inclusion are in the public domain and of interest to a wide range of users. Despite the enormous amount of available information, Project Gutenberg is easily navigable by author or title and searchable by many standard fields.
http://www.ag.usask.ca/exhibits/walkway/plains/history.html [Note: Link moved;
URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Has not been updated since 1996.
Review: This electronic history exhibit is part of series of College of Agriculture displays and includes a brief textual history of agriculture in the Great Plains. Sections include: stone tools of the prehistoric plains, Indian groups at contact (1750), the settlement of Saskatchewan, history of agriculture timeline, and agriculture in profile. Also included are photographs, sketches and promotional posters. These sections are complemented by descriptions of climate, evolution, and plant adaptations of the prairie land. Even though the site presents a somewhat focused area of agricultural history, it is very interesting in its description and presentation.
History of American Agriculture, 1776-1997, USDA
Author: Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Recently updated to include 1990 - 1997
Review: The USDA's History of American Agriculture website is adapted from an educational poster charting the history of American agriculture, recently updated to include 1990-1997. It is divided into 11 areas: economic cycles, farm economy, farmers and the land, farm machinery and technology, crops and livestock, transportation, agricultural trade and development, life on the farm, farm organizations and movements, agricultural education and extension, and government programs and policy. Events are listed with a brief description, sometimes including pictures and illustrations. It is helpful to see events in different spheres of agriculture that occurred contemporaneously to get a better idea of the "big picture".
Author: Maintained on behalf of Commission 41 (History of Astronomy) of the International Astronomical Union and the Working Group for the History of Astronomy in the Astronomische Gesellschaft.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated January 7th, 1999
Review: The Astronomieae Historia site is maintained by Dr. Wolfgang R. Dick of the German Bureau of Cartography and Geodesy for the International Astronomical Union and the Astronomische Gesellschaft. The site does contain some links on history in general and the history of science but the focus is on gathering resources on the history of astronomy. The history of astronomy links are divided as follows: general links (including glossaries and metasites), observatories, persons, items (astronomical objects), archives and libraries, museums and historical places, research institutes and departments, publications, other sources of information (discussion groups, CD-ROMs, etc.), meetings, societies, and historians of astronomy. Links are unannotated. Dead links remain in the listing, but are noted as being unreachable. Other than noting unreachable links, there is no annotation. Astronomiae Historia is recognized by many websites as the most comprehensive resource for links on the history of astronomy, and will be of interest to a wide audience, from the novice to the researcher.
[Note: Broken link removed 3/5/01 by ald]
Author: Unstated, although it resides on the site of biocrawler.com, a reputable biology webserver.
Review: Residing on the site of biocrawler.com, this site is a massive list of important events in the biological sciences throughout history from 1800 B.C. to 1993, although most comes from the last 2 centuries. It covers events covering all aspects of biology, such as the publication of important works (e.g. Pliny the Elder's Historia Naturalis) to discoveries (e.g. Leeuwenhoek's discovery of bacteria) to the development of new concepts (e.g. Julian Huxley's introduction of the concept of the cline to evolutionary variation). There is also an extensive bibliography of sources used.
Women in Developmental Biology
Author: The Program of Women's Studies, MIT
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated July 1998 [Note: Unable to connect 1/3/03]
Review: This site, though under construction, is a good start at being a biographical resource for women in developmental biology. Currently, there are 10 women listed. About half are simply curriculum vitae, honors, and a general statement of research interests. The other half are more filled out and include a variety of photographs, biographical essays (even some that appeared in other sources), and sources used. Again, this site appears to be in just the beginning stages of development, but hopefully will continue to be added to as it has the potential to be a good resource for historical information about women in the biological sciences.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated
Review: The Chemical Heritage Foundation was founded in 1982 by the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. It serves several functions including educating the public about chemistry and to encourage talented students to enter the chemical sciences and chemical industries, but it also serves to increase awareness and pride among chemists about the history of their profession. The foundation, located in Philadelphia, has a 50,000 volume library, the Beckman Center for the History of Chemistry, and sponsors numerous local and traveling exhibits and educational programs. The foundation's website reflects this diversity of purpose, but also includes a number of resources for those interested in the history of chemistry. Selected articles from Chemical Heritage Magazine, the foundations' publication, are available as well abstracts of interviews from the Foundation's Oral History project, and a moderate-sized collection of links relevant to chemistry and its history.
Carmen Giunta's Classic Chemistry Page
http://webserver.lemoyne.edu/faculty/giunta/ [Note: Link moved; URL changed
3/5/01 by ald]
Author: Carmen Giunta, Chair of the Chemistry Department at LeMoyne College
Review: Maintained by Carmen Giunta, Chair of the Chemistry Department at LeMoyne College, the classic chemistry page is divided into several sections: Selected classic papers, this week in the history of chemistry, a glossary of archaic chemical terms, links on the history of chemistry, course webpages (Lemoyne College courses), and a paper presented by Dr. Giunta at a 1996 ACS meeting on the discovery of Argon. The classic papers are arranged in two ways: alphabetical by author, and by subject (9 categories are provided as well as a catch-all "other"). For the most part papers were digitized by Giunta or the ChemTeam at Diamond Bar High School in Walnut, Calif. The Glossary of Archaic Chemical Terms is very useful for reading the classic papers (and was derived from the collection). This Week in the History of Chemistry is updated every Friday. The design isn't flashy, and the content is not overwhelming in quantity, but is excellent in quality.
History of Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology
http://www.pafko.com/history/h_intro.html [Note: Link moved; URL
changed 7/28/00, 1/3/03 by ald]
Author: Wayne Pafko, maintained by Minnesota AIChE
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated April 1998
Review: This site is currently maintained by the University of Minnesota Student Chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The site was originally a project by Wayne Pafko, then a Chemical Engineering student at the University. While this history is not comprehensive, it does provide a good introduction to the origins and development of the discipline. A particularly nice feature of the site is that the beginning of each section presents the questions that the ensuing text attempts to answer, making it easier for the reader to process information on the topic.
Author: Erez Kaplan, a computer engineer who collects non-electrical calculating machines.
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated February 1, 1998
Review: This is one of the best history of science sites run by an enthusiast. Kaplan includes a brief chronology of major developments in calculating machines, and a brief chronology of calculation focusing on the abacus, logarithms and the slide rule. Among the features are: a java applet simulating am 1885 Felt & Tarrant "Comptometer," a graphical classification of adding and calculating machines, advertisements from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, and the author's report on the once-controversial IBM replica of a Da Vinci adding machine. Also included are links to organizations and publications for collectors, a bibliography, and a list of related sites.
History of Computing
Author: : J.A.N. Lee of the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science. Dr. Lee is a past Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, past chair of the IEEE Computer Society History of Computing Committee and current chair of the IFIP Working Group 9.7 (History of Computing).
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated 1999
Review: Dr. Lee's History of Computing website provides a wealth of interesting links, although the design may obscure this at first. To arrive at the index of the site, a user will have to scroll down past the sites awards, a hit counter, and a (huge) link to IFIP's proposal for integration of the history of computing into computing curriucula. Arrangement of items in the index is erratic, with the first three and last two of the 15 items located below the index on the main page and the rest located on separate pages. The design should not discourage users from visiting the site, for a little patience and digging will yield great rewards. Provided are links on a variety of topics in the history of computing, some annotated. The site is especially strong in its collection of links on pioneers of computing and computing machines.
Netizens: On the History and Impact of the Net
Authors: Michael Hauben and Rhonda Hauben
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not currently updated
Review: Netizens is an online book on the history of the Net, from the ARPAnet to the Internet. It has proved sufficiently popular to have been published by the IEEE Press for those who can't stand to read online. This site provides links to distribution sites for plain text and hypertext versions of the book. The book appears to have been regularly updated at one point, but the most recent version listed is form 1996.
Virtual Museum of Computing
http://archive.comlab.ox.ac.uk/other/museums/computing.html [Note: Link moved;
URL changed 7/28/00 by ald]
Author: Jonathan Bowen, Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading (UK)
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Uncertain, appears to have been updated since April 1998 but exact date unknown.
Review: The Virtual Museum of Computing provides a huge number of links on the history of computing, but little annotation or navigational aid. The entire site is one (extraordinarily long) page, divided into sections with a minimal number of internal hyperlinks. Following a brief introduction is a list of new sites, and links to news items of interest. Below this is the meat of the museum. This is divided into 11 sections: local virtual exhibits, corporate history and overviews, history of computing organizations, general historical information, computer-related museums, online exhibits and information, personal collections, selected newsgroups, computer simulators, the future, and other links. The local virtual exhibits section is not particularly well-defined, no definition for "local" is provided and not all servers are located at the same university. All sections are linked from a table of contents towards the beginning of the document, but no links back to the table of contents or other sections are provided within the document. While the quality of linked sites is, in general, very high, the quantity is immense and annotation is minimal, making it difficult to select with much certainty sites of relevance.
Review: The IEEE Center for the History of Electrical Engineering at Rutgers University is a research center devoted to the history of information and electrotechnologies. The center's website provides a number of features of interest to researchers in (or those with a significant interest in) the history of electrical engineering. The IEEE Archives are housed at the center, and finding aids for several of the collections within the Archives are available. Transcripts and abstracts from a selection of the center's oral history collection are available, as are a selection of historical articles produced by center staff. A message board is provided, although activity seems relatively low.
Thomas Edison Papers
Review: This is the website for a documentary editing project sponsored in part by Rutgers University, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the New Jersey Historical Commission. The project is in the process of publishing Edison's papers in a 6-part microfilm edition and a 15 to 20 volume book series. To date, the first three parts of the microfilm series (consisting of 162 reels), and 3 volumes of the book series have been published. Some of the website will only be of interest to those with access to these collections (e.g. a database of the microfilm reels, providing detailed information about each frame of each reel), although there is quite a bit of biographical information on the inventor. This includes a detailed chronology of Edison's life, a complete list of his patents, a list of Edison's companies, and a small selection of photographs and maps. While the site is useful as is, it will become a far more important research resource in the future if the project's ambitious plans are realized. The ultimate goal of the project is to make all images from the microfilm and text from the books available through the website.
Author: Dean A. Dunn, Professor of Geology at the University of Southern Mississippi and Theodore S. Feldman, Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Unknown
Review: GeoClio fulfills two needs for researchers in the history of the geosciences. It serves partly as a gathering of information for those with interest in history of geosciences. Among the original content posted are announcements of upcoming meetings, listings of new books and articles, project announcements, and a "Friends of GeoClio" directory which amounts to a list of researchers with interest in the subject. Also provided is a list of discussion groups (e-mail based, not usenet) and a list of outside links to resources in the geosciences and their history. Most of these are affiliated with professional organizations. Included in this list are links to archives and other collections of historical materials in the geosciences. This site is not a repository of information on the history of the geosciences, but it provides a good starting point for newcomers to the field and provides a wealth of information for professionals looking for contacts within the field.
International Archive of Economic Geology
http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/ahc/depts/reference/anaconda.htm [Note: Link moved;
URL changed 3/5/01 by ald]
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated January 2, 1999
Review: The International Archive of Economic Geology is a department of the University of Wyoming's American Heritage Center. The Archive is a research center containing one of the world's premier collections in the geological sciences, mining and prospecting, and petroleum technology. While the Archive's website does not provide online access to research materials, lists of the collections within (both personal and corporate records) are provided. Copies of more complete inventories, and of materials in the collections may be requested.
Author: Isaac Reed
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated October 8, 1998 [Note: Link moved; URL changed 1/3/03 by firstname.lastname@example.org]
Review: Famous Problems was created by Swarthmore College student Isaac Reed as part of Swarthmore's Math Forum WWW project, an internet resource center for educators. This section of the projects attempts to shed light on the history of mathematics through some of its greatest problems. Solutions and proofs are explained with a middle and high school audience in mind, although for the most part it seems most appropriate for high school students. Among the problems presented are the value of pi, finding prime numbers, proof of the Pythagorean theorem, and proof that e is irrational. The page does not attempt to present a comprehensive history of the discipline but provides an introduction to its history of interest to students and other newcomers (or returnees) to mathematics in perhaps the best way possible---through mathematics itself.
History of Mathematics Archive
Author: David R. Wilkins, Lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated.
Review: David R. Wilkins, Lecturer in the School of Mathematics at Trinity College in Dublin has composed and maintained this History of Mathematics website. The site provides both original material and an excellent collection of links. Biographies of a lengthy list of 17th and 18th century mathematicians adapted from A Short Account of the History of Mathematics by W. W. Rouse Ball (4th Edition, 1908). Mathematicians are listed both chronologically and alphabetically. There is also a small archive of classic papers in mathematics by Boole, Riemann, Newton and others. Finally, a lengthy list of links related to the history of mathematics is presented, divided into the following sections: General Sites for the History of Mathematics and Related Sciences, Biographies of Mathematicians and Scientists, Societies for the History of Mathematics, Museums, Journals, Mailing Lists, Topics in The Development of Mathematics and Related Sciences, Pages relating to Individual Mathematicians, and Miscellaneous.
MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive
Author: John J. O'Connor and Edmund Robertson, faculty members in the School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated November 1998
Review: The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive was created and is maintained by John J. O'Connor and Edmund Robertson, faculty members in the School of Mathematical and Computational Sciences at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. It was originally designed as part of the Mathematical MacTutor, a set of approximately 100 HyperCard stacks. While there is a brief section of related links, the bulk of the site consists of original material. The core of the archive is a collection of 1300 biographies of mathematicians, accessible chronologically or alphabetically. Biographical entries contains hyperlinks within the text to biographies of related mathematicians. The bottom of each entry consists of cross-references to essays on the history of mathematical ideas or famous curves, a list of awards bestowed upon the mathematician, related websites, scanned title pages of their books, and posters about the mathematician created by the authors of the archive.
Also included in the archive are 30 essays on historical topics in mathematics, and pages on over 60 famous curves in the history of mathematics. The most recent essay, on prime numbers, was posted in September 1998. As mentioned above, these essays are linked from the biographies of mathematicians associated with the ideas discussed within them. Other features include a set of chronologies that allow users to determine what mathematicians were contemporaries and a search function that lists mathematicians alive in a given year, a hypertext calendar listing births and deaths for each date, and birthplace maps for mathematicians (maps of Europe and North America are the only ones provided - listings of mathematicians born in other countries, by country, is provided). This is one of the best, if not the best, sites on the history of mathematics. It seems geared toward students, although the bibliographic references would certainly be of interest to scholars.
Author: Library of the Karolinska Institut
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last Updated September 14, 1998
Review: As part of its internet resources webpages, the library of the Karolinska Institut in Sweden has provided an excellent link site covering the History of Biomedicine. Although links are unannotated, the list provided is immense. The arrangement of sites is quite unusual. Sites are grouped into several categories, with each category placed on its own page. The initial section consists of general sites, museums, and libraries. Following this, all but one category is based on the cultural perspectives on the history of medicine (indigenous cultures, Mesopotamian, ancient Egyptian, traditional Chinese, traditional Indian, classical Islamic, and western Biomedicine) subdivided by era. The final category is on history of disease. The collection of general history of biomedicine links alone make this a site worth visiting, but the collection of sites by culture is invaluable.
Images from the History of Medicine
Author: History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Not stated
Review: Images from the History of Medicine is a collection of over 60,000 images provided by the National Library of Medicine's History of Medicine Division. According to the website, the collection includes "portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine." Images may be accessed by keyword search (including artist, title, and description), expert search, or by browsing indexes to the collection. The browse function actually involves initially typing a term and selecting a field to browse. The user is then placed in the index at the point where the term appears (or would appear). Images may be downloaded (or high quality print reproductions may be ordered), and any copyright or acknowledgment requirements are noted. Some images have diagonal lines through them, presumably because of restricted or questionable copyright, although the reason is not stated on the site.
Medical History on the Internet
[Note: Broken link removed 3/5/01 by ald. Note
from web page: THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE....SORRY....DUE TO TECHNICAL
DIFFICULTIES, I HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO ACCESS THIS PAGE TO UPDATE IT SINCE APRIL,
2000...IN ATTEMPTING TO FIX THE PROBLEM, I HAVE DESTROYED THE LATEST VERSION....IF
YOU HAVE OR KNOW OF A CACHED VERSION OF THIS PAGE PLEASE CONTACT A.J. WRIGHT
Author: A.J. Wright, Department of Anesthesia Library, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated December 16, 1998
Review: Despite the author's claim that this site is "known to be just a pitiful reflection of the medical history resources available on the Internet," Medical History on the Internet provides an lengthy and interesting list of links to explore. The site was originally created as a handout for an Anesthesia History Association meeting, but has since grown in size. Links are arranged by subject, with subjects arranged alphabetically on one long page. Links are generally unannotated, but seem to be well-selected.
Author: Anton Skorucak
Updates as of Jan. 15, 1999: Last updated 1999 [Note: Link moved; URL changed 1/3/03 by email@example.com]
Review: While there are quite a few websites providing information on specific aspects of the history of physics, the history section of PhysicsLINK.com is one of the few sites that provides a general listing of resources. The list of sites here is divided into several sections: history of physics, history of astronomy and space exploration, history of mathematics, online museums and exhibits, and giants of the past and present. While the list of links is not overwhelmingly long, it is, along with the physics section of the WWW Virtual Library for the History of Science, the best place on the web for beginners in the history of science to look.
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