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Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library

2B60 Kroch Library Cornell University Library
Ithaca, New York 14853-5302
United States
David Corson, Curator of the History of Science Collections
(607) 255-3530
1 607-255-3530
Fax: (607) 255-9524

The history of science collection within the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections focuses on the physical and biological sciences, medicine (excluding clinical medicine), and technology in Europe from the 16th 19th centuries. It is primarily a rare book collection, but includes some modern reference books and some manuscript material. Sub-collections include the Adelmann Collection on anatomy, embryology, and physiology; the Robert Boyle Collection, consisting of the works of English chemist Robert Boyle; the Theodore Cooper Collection, consisting of letters and engineering drawings of American railroad bridges; the Hill Ornithology Collection, which focuses on North American ornithology; the Hollister Collection on civil engineering; the Lavoisier Collection, consisting of works by and about French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier; the Medical Dissertations, mainly German works written from the 1580's to the 1850's; and a large core collection. SERVICES: Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the reading room. Reference service is available, as is limited photocopying, depending on the condition of the material. Microfilming and scanning can be arranged. Hours: Monday Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., with additional hours on Saturdays during the academic year, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Holdings consist of about 35,000 volumes, including about 500 incunabula, with the greatest concentration of material in the 17th and 18th centuries. Core collection: over 20,000 volumes; Adelmann Collection: over 5,000 volumes; Boyle Collection: about 160 volumes; Hill Ornithology Collection: about 300 volumes; Hollister Collection: about 300 volumes; Lavoisier Collection: about 2,000 volumes; Medical Dissertations: about 6,200 theses; Manuscripts: Lavoisier Manuscript Collection: about 525 items; Theodore Cooper Collection: about 194 items; other manuscript collections (unprocessed): about 6,200 items. Prints: Theodore Cooper Collection: about 150 items. Cataloging records for books and for manuscripts appear in RLIN Books file and RLIN AMC file, respectively, for material cataloged since 1973; book records also appear in OCLC. About 85% of the collection is represented online.

Subject Strengths:
History of Anatomy; History of Medicine; History of Physiology
Last Updated:
01 Feb 2010