Collections Blog

Explore our museum and library collections and the stories they tell about the history of science.

Here Be Dragons

Hit-type subminiture camera
February 8, 2024

I Spy a Tiny Camera Mystery

What happens when an archivist finds film in an old camera?

Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society
January 25, 2024

Subscribing to Science

On the globe- and time-spanning journals of the Othmer Library collection.

group of women standing around a lab table with periodic table in background
January 11, 2024

Ladies Who Lab: Lesser-Known Women in Science, 1920–1970

Highlighting the work of 20th-century female scientists in our library collection.

side view of a Varian A-60 spectrometer
December 14, 2023

Buttons, Buttons Everywhere, and Not a Thing to Touch

On the goals and utilities of museum handling collections.

illustration of children playing
November 9, 2023

The Kids Are Alright

Understanding past attitudes toward science and medicine through children’s books.

old computer hardware and software on shelves
October 26, 2023

It Came from the Technology Graveyard!

At Halloween, consider what haunts digital archivists the most: technological obsolescence.

October 12, 2023

The Faces of the American Chemical Society

Celebrate National Chemistry Week with a look at five trailblazing ACS presidents.

handwritten notes and diagrams in a book
October 5, 2023

Her Booke

What marginalia can tell us about a book’s former owners.

illustration of a pigeon
September 14, 2023

A Pigeon, a Cow, and a Book Detective

Investigating the origins of two early-20th-century Italian “flap anatomy” books.

DuPont display at a 1973 conference
August 24, 2023

Collecting the Ecosystems of Science

A dispatch from PITTCON by our curator of instruments and artifacts.

Musaeum metallicum in libros IIII distributum
August 10, 2023

There’s a Class(ification) for That!

My trip to Rare Book School, or, how I spent (part of) my summer.

People at a picnic reaching into Coca-Cola coolers filled with ice
July 24, 2023

A Chilling History

On the science and technology of portable coolers.

rare book spine
July 13, 2023

How to Judge a Book by Its Cover

What book bindings teach us about readers of the past.

$10 bill from the Smog board game
June 22, 2023

Money Talks

Applying numismatics to environmental board games.

grid image of immigrant scientists
June 8, 2023

Navigating the Oral Histories of Immigration and Innovation Collection Online

Learn how Center for Oral History staff are working to shed light on the experiences of immigrant scientists.

colorful brochure
May 19, 2023

Scientists, Engineers, and the End of the Vietnam War

On the big politics of the Small Business Innovation Research Program.

illustration of two people playing Ping-Pong
April 27, 2023

Periodic Table Tennis

On scientists with a passion for Ping-Pong.

An offset lithograph depicting an atomic model floating above the Earth with the text "Peace Forever" heading the illustration.
April 13, 2023

The Power of Perspective

How contrasting stories found in our collections help us embrace the complexity of the history of science.