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Collections News

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.

University of Toronto’s Fischer Library acquires rare book and manuscript

The University of Toronto’s Fisher Library recently acquired (separately and fortuitously) paired items, print and manuscript, which document the ongoing life of a text: a first edition of the magnificent 1542 folio edition of Leonhart Fuchs’s De Historia Stirpium Commentarii Insignes and an unusual bound volume, in octavo, entitled Traité de botanique, containing the full page illustrations probably from a sixteenth century Basel edition of Fuchs, interleaved with notes and additional hand-drawn illustrations dating to about 1740.  The drawings appear to have been done from nature and the volume is attributed to a reader with a keen botanical interest who has signed his name D.C. de S. Vincent, but about whom nothing further is yet known. Learn more about the University of Toronto’s collections here

Historical Society of Pennsylvania processes diaries of Deforest P. Willard and records of the American Society for Testing Materials

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has recently processed the diaries of Deforest P. Willard, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon from Philadelphia who served in the U.S. Army during World War I in Britain and France, and the records of the American Society for Testing Materials, an organization founded in 1898 that helped to develop industry standards for steel used in rail construction. More information can be found here

Kislak Center (UPenn) acquires rare manuscripts in alchemy, astrology, Cabbala, Tarot, and more

The Kislak Center recently acquired 58 manuscript codices from the library of the Duke of Northumberland. The manuscripts were originally collected by General Charles Rainsford (1728-1809), an 18th century gentleman scientist, and cover subjects such as alchemy, astrology, Cabbala and Tarot. Notable items include an illustrated book on summoning demons, an astrological horoscope of King George III, a manual by Rainsford on judicial astrology, and several alchemical notebooks used by Rainsford for commonplacing, or note-taking, on useful information and discoveries.

New Acquisitions and Digitized Archives at Drexel University

Drexel University acquired and processed several important collections in 2014. New acquisitions include, among other, the complete records of the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia, 1899-2012; sketches of animals and prehistoric subjects by the paleoartist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins; and the papers of the nutritionist Corinne H. Robison. Newly processed collections include the Academic Affairs records of Hahnemann University, 1848-2009 and the papers of the physiologist Stella Yates Botelho (1923-1987). The University also recently produced a searchable, digitized edition of Thomas S. Bradford’s biographies of homeopathic physicians compiled from 1896 to 1916.

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