History of Science

The history of the biological and physical sciences is strongly represented in landmark editions of works by Newton, Galileo, Darwin, Hooke, Leeuwenhoek, Linnaeus, Jussieu, Gessner, and Audubon, among many others.  The collection also includes anatomical works by Vesalius, Harvey, and Fabricius, as well as Renaissance medical herbals, including, Fuchs’ De Historia Stirpium(1542); Hortus Sanitatis (1517); Mattioli’s De Materia Medica (1583); and numerous other beautifully illustrated botanical works.  Special Collections also holds numerous 18th-century scientific periodicals, including long runs of Memoires of the French Academie des sciences and the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

These works complement the University of Missouri’s emphasis on the life sciences, support interdisciplinary research, and provide an important access point for the study of intellectual history and scientific inquiry.

How to Use the Collection

The collection is available to all users in the Special Collections Reading Room (room 401) during regular hours.  Materials do not circulate. Rare books may be used in the Special Collections Reading Room during service hours or by appointment.

With a few exceptions, the collection can be accessed through the MERLIN library catalog.  Advice on using MERLIN to search Special Collections can be found here.

Finding Aids for History of Science

Donald Silver Rare Book Room, J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library

cheyne_digls0021p0001.jpg

The Rare Book Room was given to the library by the Department of Surgery and is dedicated to Dr. Donald Silver, an Emeritus professor of the…

Gary E. and Janet J. Venable Antiquarian Atlas & Map Collection

VenableMap04front-crop.jpg

The Venable Collection documents the history of cartography, geography, and exploration from the sixteenth through the early twentieth century.…

Historic Textbook Collection

steele_digls0016ptitle.jpg

The Education Library of the University Libraries began collecting textbooks in 1968. Donations were solicited and members of the Friends of the…

Rare Book Collection

The_Square_1.jpg

The Rare Book Collection is the default designation for materials in Special Collections that are acquired as individual items. Like Special…

Related Exhibits

150 Years of On the Origin of Species

darwin4.jpg

150 Years of The Origin of Species: The Historical Journey from Specimens to Species to Geneswas a physical exhibit mounted...

Anatomical Illustration

galen.jpg

The 6th annualMU Life Sciences and Society Symposium (March 2010)took as its theme, From Art to Biology and Back Again....

Food Revolutions: Science and Nutrition, 1700-1950

apicius_digls0018p0001.jpg

This exhibition was originally mounted in the Ellis Library Colonnade during March 2012 as part ofFood Sense: The 8th AnnualLife...

Generations

Epigenetics-Rare-Folio-QL-966-.G5514.jpg

Although the scientific study of epigenetics only dates to the middle of the twentieth century, scientists have puzzled over related...

In-Flew-Enza: Spanish Flu in Columbia

nursing_room.jpg

In fall, 1918, an outbreak of epidemic influenza spread across the entire world. Erroneously dubbed "the Spanish Flu," the pandemic...

Leaders and Heroes

Henson Portrait Bust.jpg

Every age, every race, has its leaders and heroes. ~ Ohíye S’a (Charles A. Eastman) Libraries tend to hold those materials that...

Science of Love

00000012.jpg

This exhibit presents the many faces of love as they appear in the literature of antiquity, the Middle Ages, and...

Vesalius at 500

vesalius1555_frontispiece.jpg

Vesalius at 500 showcases materials from the Libraries’ collections that helped to shape Andreas Vesalius’ career, including medieval manuscripts and...

Winds of Change

BCS2_0585.jpg

This exhibition investigates the relationship between weather and time by questioning past perceptions, examining measurement and prediction practices, and surveying...

Selected Items

Browse More Items