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ILAB Library - All You Need To Know About Rare Books and the Antiquarian Book Trade

  • [+] More You Cataracts and Hurricanoes! - A Treatise on Meteorology: From the Encyclopedia Metropolitana 


    You Cataracts and Hurricanoes! - A Treatise on Meteorology: From the Encyclopedia Metropolitana
    Published since 26 Nov 2014

    I focus not on a reference book but on a single entry today — still, it's large enough to be published as a substantial book in its own right. This is George Harvey's entry on meteorology for the Encyclopedia Metropolitana — what Tom McArthur calls "the grand but ill-fated Encyclopaedia Metropolitana." Samuel Taylor Coleridge was involved in the planning, though he backed out as soon as it began appearing in 1818, as did most of the others who started it. A total of thirty quarto volumes, stretching to more than 22,000 pages and 565 plates, appeared over the next twenty-eight years.

  • [+] More Voices of Science - The lives of British scientists recorded in a new British Library oral history archive 


    Voices of Science - The lives of British scientists recorded in a new British Library oral history archive
    Published since 06 Dec 2013

    “Voices of Science” tells the stories of some of the most remarkable scientific and engineering discoveries of the past century. The scientists talk about their motivations, frustrations and triumphs, as well as their colleagues, families and childhoods, and the social, economic and political circumstances under which their researches, inventions and discoveries took place. Additional information is given by personal biographies, photographs and links which provide the context for each scientist’s life and work.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Admirable Artifice: John Napier’s Mirifici logarithmorum 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Admirable Artifice: John Napier’s Mirifici logarithmorum
    Published since 26 Aug 2013
    John Napier discovered the logarithm — at least, he was one of several in the early seventeenth century to understand the principles behind logarithms, and the first to publish the fruits of his research in Mirifici logarithmorum.
  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Astronomy, Astrology, Potato, Po-tah-to? 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Astronomy, Astrology, Potato, Po-tah-to?
    Published since 23 Jul 2013

    Since the Neolithic age, humans have attempted to track lunar cycles and understand their relationship with natural phenomena like the changing tides. From these rudimentary attempts, the fields of astrology and astronomy were eventually born. The two disciplines evolved together, but our changing understanding of the universe has relegated astrology to the world of superstition and folklore. The world of rare books offers an interesting glimpse into these parallel studies.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Space Travel and The Private Library 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Space Travel and The Private Library
    Published since 04 Jun 2013

    In 1813, British mathematician William Moore published Treatise on the Motion of Rockets, the first exposition of rocket mechanics based on Newton's Third Law of Motion.  But it was not until the early 20th century that this literature really can be said to have properly begun.  It has its roots in the work of three men: Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard.  Each of these pioneers of astronautics appear to have independently developed similar theories about the possibility of rockets escaping earth's gravitational pull, and their earliest expositions of such theories are the core of any private library purporting to cover space travel.

  • [+] More Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Reference Book of the Day: Minsheu, Ductor in Linguas 


    Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Reference Book of the Day: Minsheu, Ductor in Linguas
    Published since 28 Nov 2011

    Oh, how I love extravagant sixteenth- and seventeenth-century displays of over-the-top erudition. Things like the Dictionarium Græcolatinum (1568), Ortelius's Thesaurus geographicus (1578), Raleigh's History of the World (1614), Alsted's seven-volumeCompendium philosophicum stretching to 2,404 folio pages (1626), Brian Walton's polyglot Bible in six huge folios (1654–57), and Chauvin's Lexicon rationale (1692). These are books that Tony Grafton was reading in his crib, but to the rest of us they're insane compendia of obscure learning that we'll never hope to master.

  • [+] More Marie Curie - A Woman of Firsts 


    Marie Curie - A Woman of Firsts
    Published since 23 Aug 2011
    Marie Sklodowska Curie, the chemist and physicist famous for her pioneering work on radioactivity, was the first person awarded two Nobel Prizes (for chemistry and physics); the first female professor at the Sorbonne; and the first woman to be entombed in the Paris Panthéon for herself.
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