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Collections News

Linda Hall Library acquires observation logs from comet hunter David H. Levy

The Linda Hall Library recently acquired 26 observation logs from David H. Levy, one of the most successful comet hunters in history, with 22 comets discovered, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. The logs given to the Linda Hall Library date from 1956 when, at age eight, Levy accidentally saw a shooting star during the summer. He has kept an observation log ever since, totaling 18,000 sessions. Levy also donated an equal number of his personal journals which help explain the information contained within the observation logs. The remainder of Dr. Levy’s observation logs and journals will be donated to the Library after his death. 

American Philosophical Society acquires papers of Richard L. Garwin

The American Philosophical Society recently acquired the papers of twentieth-century physicist and policy consultant Richard L. Garwin. Garwin was instrumental in the development of the hydrogen bomb and spent nearly fifty years addressing policy questions pertaining to its use, as well as the use of other advanced technologies, in addition to a continued and wide-ranging career in both basic and applied physical research. Garwin authored or co-authored many books, including Nuclear Weapons and World Politics (1977) and Science Advice to the President (1980), and more than 500 articles in scientific and popular media. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, among other esteemed organizations, and has held many posts, including as consultant and researcher for IBM and as consultant to the U.S. President’s Science Advisory Committee.Garwin. 

New Exhibition on Science and Fiction in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery

On July 1st, 2015 the exhibition Fantastic Worlds: Science and Fiction, 1780-1910 will debut in the newly refurbished Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery located in the west wing of the National Museum of American History. On display will be some of the very works that exposed an eager and curious public to the wealth of new ideas and inventions of the 19th century, including landmarks of scientific discovery, imaginative fiction, popular science, newspaper hoaxes, dime novels, and more. Showcased alongside selected historical artifacts from Smithsonian museum collections, the books on exhibit will trace the impact of the period’s science on the world of fiction. The exhibition will be featured in an online version as well, accessible here starting June 23

Historical Society of Pennsylvania releases journal issue with contributions from Consortium fellows

The spring 2015 issue of Pennsylvania Legacies, published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, focuses on the history of science and technology in the Keystone State and includes articles from past Consortium fellows Jessica Linker and Matthew White. To learn more about the issues, and access the articles online, visit

American Philosophical Society completes processing of the Herman Goldstine papers

The American Philosophical Society has completed the processing of the Herman Goldstine papers. A mathematician by training, Goldstine is best known for his pioneering work in developing computers, helping to construct both ENIAC and EDVAC systems. Much of his career was spent at IBM and the Institute for Advanced Study. Learn more about the American Philosophical Society’s collections here.

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