Collections Blog

Explore our museum and library collections and the stories they tell about the history of science.
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.
Glenn Seaborg shaking hands with Lyndon B. Johnson
March 23, 2023

Dr. Seaborg Goes to Washington

And then goes back. And then back again. And back again...
Alchemical painting of a seated scientist looking startled as something is seemingly on fire
March 9, 2023

What Does a Scientist Look Like?

Our oral history collection can help students reframe their images of scientists—and of themselves.
Black and white illustration of 2 figures standing on a cliff looking at the Colorado River
February 23, 2023

Natural Passions

How protected lands inspire scientific pursuits.
A typed letter on blue paper
February 9, 2023

From Peril to Preservation in the Bredig Archives

Chaim Weizmann, Fritz Haber, and a home for Jewish scientists.
University of Leipzig physical chemistry department Christmas party, 1900
January 26, 2023

Who Knew History Could Be So Delicious?

Discovering the history of umami in the Science History Institute’s archives.
Map of the world with green pins
January 12, 2023

Around the World in (Almost!) 80 Collections

Using digitized items and their data to take a global journey.
Colorful books with illustrative covers on display in the library
December 22, 2022

Covering Science

On the appeal of decorative scientific book cloth bindings.
Illustration of a nude male figure standing within a disc. There are illustrated clouds in the background.
December 2, 2022

A Tale of Two Editions

Material evidence for a Frankfurt second edition of ‘Utriusque cosmi maioris.’
Glass vessel with handwritten label that reads "This is not a bong."
November 23, 2022

‘High’ School Science

Most object labels tell us what something is. Why one in our collections tells us what something is not.
A typed letter in German with purple ink
November 10, 2022

Sustaining a Scientific Mission in Exile

The correspondence of Ernst Berl and the Bredig family.
A black and white photo of a man wearing glasses in a suite and tie pointing at a chalk board. There is a counter filled with glass vessels in the foreground.
October 27, 2022

The Power of a Teacher

How chemistry offered an international path to survival.
Yellow hazard tape attached to an orange cone that reads "Caution lead hazard" in all caps.
October 13, 2022

The Legacy of Industrial Lead

Racialized and economically oppressed children are disproportionately poisoned by lead’s remnants in the built environment.
Old postcard with cursive handwriting in black ink.
September 22, 2022

‘Kurrent’ Events

Deciphering Old German Script in the Bredig Archives.
Black and white illustration of a smiling elephant with wings flying. A small smiling person in a dress without shoes and a taller smiling person in a checkered shirt holding a spray can and spraying the elephant.
September 8, 2022

The Price of Gold in a ‘Golden Age’

Two humorous poems illuminate the politics of science funding in the 1950s.
A shiny, reflective CD on top of a plastic sleeve
August 25, 2022

There Are More Fish in the C

The CD drive, that is. Meet some of our newest born-digital collections.
Color print advertisement for Durkee's Homogenized Margarine with hands holding the Stayfresh Foilpak packaging
August 11, 2022

Stomping the Margarine

Life when we had to color our food.