Digital Projects

There are a number of useful, interesting, and fun digital projects happening in the history of science. We are building a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of the projects we have found useful. Know of something we don’t? Let us know by sending us a message with the project link and brief description.

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Utah State Libraries

Utah State University

"The History of Science Digital Collection presents some of Utah State University’s most beautiful and significant scientific treasures, many of them from the Merrill-Cazier Library’s recently acquired Peter W. van der Pas history of science collection, a treasure-trove of titles showing the development of scientific thought. Focusing on it's rarest, most exquisitely illustrated books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, this collection offers works by such major figures in the history of scientific inquiry as Otto Brunfels, Charles Darwin, Erasmus Darwin, Carolus Linnaeus Antony van Leeuwenhoek, Jan Swammerdam, James Sowerby, Andreas Vesalius, and others."

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Time to Eat the Dogs

Michael F. Robinson

Time to Eat the Dogs is a blog about science, history, and exploration. A central goal of this blog is to broaden the conversation about science, history, and exploration and expand it beyond the limits of my own discipline, the history of science. Lots of people –explorers, scientists, anthropologists, literary scholars, and historians– have things to say about exploration. The hope is that this blog will not merely be a platform for my ideas but  serve as a clearinghouse of ideas about exploration as it is discussed across its many disciplines.

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Oregon State University Special Collections

Oregon State University

Special Collections and Archives Research

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Alex Wellerstein

We live in a world where nuclear weapons issues are on the front pages of our newspapers on a regular basis, yet most people still have a very bad sense of what an exploding nuclear weapon can actually do. Some people think they destroy everything in the world all that once, some people think they are not very different from conventional bombs. The reality is somewhere in between: nuclear weapons can cause immense destruction and huge losses of life, but the effects are still comprehensible on a human scale. The NUKEMAP is aimed at helping people visualize nuclear weapons on terms they can make sense of — helping them to get a sense of the scale of the bombs. By allowing people to use arbitrarily picked geographical locations, I hope that people will come to understand what a nuclear weapon would do to places they are familiar with, and how the different sizes of nuclear weapons change the results. There are many different political interpretations one can legitimately take away from such results. There is not intended to be a simple political "message" of the NUKEMAP.

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Lady Science

Leila McNeill, Anna Reser

Lady Science is a magazine of the history and popular culture of science. We publish a variety of voices and work on women and gender across the sciences.

We are often asked about the name, Lady Science, that we've chosen for the magazine. Throughout history, women across the sciences have been separated from their male counterparts with the added descriptor 'lady': lady doctors, lady engineers, lady anatomists, and, of course, lady scientists. While this label was often wielded against them pejoratively, lady scientists donned the title proudly. Being a lady scientist didn't mean that she inherently did science differently, but she often was forced to do science differently to work around the systemic barriers meant to keep women out. These barriers were compounded for women of color, poor women, and women with disabilities. In the spirit of the lady scientists of the past, as we work to recover their complex and complicated lives, we investigate, critique, and challenge the oppressive structures of institutionalized science that lady scientists faced in the past and those that persist even today.

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IsisCB Explore

Stephen P. Weldon, project director

IsisCB Explore is a research tool for the history of science, whose core dataset comes from bibliographical citations in the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science. The IsisCB contains over 40 years of curated bibliographical data. The dataset is composed of three main types of records:
  • Citations, bibliographic entries that have been classified and indexed
  • Authorities, identity records for the subject and category tags as well as all authors and contributors, publishers, journals, and thesis granting institutions
  • Relationships, records that link citations and authorities to each other creating a semantic web that powers the search and facet features
IsisCB Explore blends a professionally curated database with social media tools. Curated bibliographical material available to anyone through this open access website. Users can add comments and suggest entries, import citations to a citation management application, and share individual citations via Facebook and Twitter. User participation is encouraged. Please sign-in and provide comments to entries where you see errors and add further information where relevant. Suggest hyperlinks and other material that will be useful for fellow scholars.

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Darwin Online

John van Wyhe

Darwin Online is an online edition of the complete writings of Charles Darwin, containing over 212,000 pages of text and 220,000 images from his published writings and about 20,000 items from Darwin's private papers and manuscripts (about 100,000 images). There is at least one exemplar of all known Darwin publications in their many editions, and that includes the many foreign-language editions that have been published. All are reproduced at very high quality standards, both as searchable text and electronic images of the originals. Most of the sources have been edited and annotated.

The site was developed by the Darwin scholar John van Wyhe (Dept. of Biological Sciences & Tembusu College, National University of Singapore) and is currently supported by Cambridge University Library, the University of Cambridge, the National University of Singapore, and a host of other institutions. It has introductory essays written by fourteen other prominent Darwin scholars. The site itself is produced with the highest quality academic standards, but it seeks to reach a general audience of interested non-specialists as well. The organization of the site is straightforward and easy to follow.

This site is an example of one of the most successful of the early 21st-century primary-source digital publications, having been started as a prototype in 2002 by van Wyhe and achieving world-wide attention when the current site first went public in 2006.

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Darwin Correspondence Project

A team of scholars based at Cambridge University Library and the Cambridge University Department of History and Philosophy of Science

This website provides access to the complete set of known letters written by and to Charles Darwin. It publishes the transcripts alongside contextual notes and articles. The site contains reference to more than 2000 people who are either direct correspondents or individuals mentioned in the letters. The site contains extensive notes and commentary, organized in multiple ways, with a focus on correspondent and topic. It also includes learning resources for all age groups from age 7 to university. It also contains audio and video resources on a wide variety of topics ranging from historical discussions of science and religion or Darwin and women to inside views of working in the archives and editing the letters. The site grew out of the print project begun in 1974, which has, over the years produced 24 volumes (to date) and is expected to produce a total of 30 print volumes. The support of major institutions has made it possible for the project to maintain a consistent level of very high quality work by some of the best scholars in the field.

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Bodleian Library

Oxford University

Archives and Manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. "The collections held in the Western Manuscripts section of the Bodleian Libraries are a vast treasure house of historical records and literary papers from all periods and from across the globe. The purpose of this particular blog is to highlight aspects of the post-medieval historical collections: to share interesting discoveries made during the course of cataloguing or answering enquiries, and to ask for opinions from our users about ‘problem’ items that turn up from time to time. The complexity and extent of archives and manuscripts acquired over 400 years means that there is still a great deal to be discovered among the historical collections that has never found its way into the Bodleian’s catalogues, let alone into the history books."

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Almagest Planetary Model Animations

Dennis Duke, University of Florida

A set of computer animations for those who teach the ancient models of planetary motion, those who want to learn those models, or even those who enjoy simply contemplating just how clever the ancient astronomers were.

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