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History of Science Primary Sources

Guide to primary sources in the history of science, technology & medicine

Genre in the Collections

This page provides examples of genre of materials held in the History of Science Collections. Examples of genre of primary sources in History of Science (and other 5th floor Special Collections).

  • Bibles
  • Children's Literature
  • Diaries & Correspondence
  • Dictionaries & Encyclopedias
  • Incunabula
  • Institutional Works & Reports
  • Life Stories
  • Literature
  • Periodicals 
  • Plays and Playbills
  • Reference Works
  • Textbooks
  • Travel Accounts & Guides
  • Treatises & Collected Works (science, philosophy, history, politics, economics, etc.)

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

The Collections holds many different types of dictionaries of encyclopedias, representing changes in these genre from medieval era through the present:  Examples include: printed editions of medieval encyclopedias and compendia by Isidore of Seville and Bernard Angelicus, the Encyclopédie of the French Enlightenment, and multiple editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica (beginning with the first edition).

Incunabula

Dozens of incunabula are held in the History of Science Collections.  Included among these are some of the earliest printed editions of ancient and medieval authors like Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine and Plato. 

Aristotle 1476

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Hyginus 1485

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Plato 1491

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Periodicals

In addition to substantial runs of the earliest scientific journals like the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the Collections holds proceedings and publications of a wide range of disciplinary and geographical scientific societies, groups and organizations, from the 17th through the 20th centuries.