Other Resources

Online Scientific Instrument Videos
A listing of the growing number of online videos involving scientific instruments now exist on the Internet – some didactic, some fun!

Online Scientific Instrument Trade Catalogues
The importance of trade catalogues cannot be underestimated by instrument historians, museum curators and collectors. These catalogues often allow us to recognise instruments, to know their original prices, their technical characteristics, and to have sometimes precious information about their manufacturers. Unfortunately, trade catalogues had been often considered as ephemeral “grey literature” and therefore they had been very often eliminated or forgotten in libraries, observatories, and laboratories, where they can be quite difficult to locate. But in the last years a few important scientific institutions, museums, and private collectors have scanned their collections of catalogues to make them available via the web.

Have you ever tried to read the time in the stars? Or the date from the Sun’s shadows? That’s now easy – with the app BEHIND THE STARS. It combines historical mathematical instruments with modern visualizations to teach the basics of naked-eye astronomy in 20 interactive learning segments.

Available in both German and English, the app is based on digitized versions of four early-modern, princely instruments on display at the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon in Dresden. Click here for more details.

Board of Longitude Project
This project, a partnership between Cambridge University Library, the National Maritime Museum and the AHRC-funded Board of Longitude Project, presents fully digitised versions of the complete archive and associated materials (including instruments), alongside detailed metadata, contextual essays, video, educational resources and hundreds of links through to relevant objects in the National Maritime Museum’s online collections.

A section of the website of the French Bureau des Longitudes is devoted to the detailed presentation, by Frédéric Soulu, of instruments belonging or having belonged to the Bureau des Longitudes during its history. The images and videos illustrating these different presentations were taken by Martina Schiavon and Frédéric Soulu with the kind authorization of the Bureau des Longitudes and the Bibliothèque de l’Observatoire de Paris.

The Transits of Venus Project
A project initiated by the Scientific Instrument Commission. This website describes historical instruments and offers many Transits images.

Double-lens burning apparatus Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, ca. 1690 Photo: Michael Lange © Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden