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Collections News

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.

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

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