Resource: IsisCB Explore – Open Access version of the Isis Current Bibliography

Accessible to anyone on the web, IsisCB Explore is a completely open access service made possible by the History of Science Society with support from the University of Oklahoma.

IsisCB Explore is a research tool for the history of science, whose core dataset comes from bibliographical citations in the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science. The IsisCB currently contains 40 years of citation data from 1974 to 2014  and includes citations (items from the bibliography that have been classified and indexed) and Authorities (records that include both subject terms that classify citations).

IsisCB is built to work well with social media tools, so that the user community can actively participate in building the resource. After signing in to an account, users can provide comments, add further information, and suggest weblinks and other materials other scholars might find useful.

The resource currently includes:

  • Nearly 200,000 interlinked bibliographic citations to books, chapters, articles, dissertations, and reviews from the Isis Bibliography of the History of Science 1974 to present. It will be annually updated. 
  • An authority index of over 150,000 curated entries. Includes historical concepts, persons, and institutions. Also indexes scholars, publishers, journals, and degree granting institutions. 
  • User accounts with the ability to save searches. 
  • Zotero integration. Allows users to save individual citations as well as collected results. 
Additional features will be added soon. 

There are some instructional videos on the IsisCB Explore YouTube Channel.


Primary Sources: Scientific American Archive (1845-2005) and Scientific American Supplement & Builders Archive Collection

UC Berkeley now has access to both the Scientific American Archive (1845-2005) and Scientific American Supplement & Builders Archive Collection, which were licensed by the California Digital Library. CDL shared this information about the resource:

“Scientific American is the “oldest continually published magazine in the U.S.” Thus, its archive is an amazing resource, providing a wealth of historic information in all areas of science and technology. The coverage, going back to the first four-page issue published in 1845, and the quality of the documents–both text and images–is excellent. The archive is divided into four segments, 2005-1993, 1992-1948, 1947-1910, and 1909-1845, and includes some 133,000 articles. Good-quality PDFs are available for the entire archive; users can even browse an entire issue as a PDF file. There are options for both basic and advanced searching via Nature.com’s interface. Since the coverage goes back more than 160 years, the archive contains interesting articles by or about many noted scientists. For example, a 1955 issue of Scientific American features an interview with Albert Einstein, and there are articles by and about Linus Pauling, Francis Crick, and James Watson, to name a few.


“Additionally, the Supplement & Builders Archive Collection has also been licensed. The recently digitized Scientific American Supplement & Builders Archive Collection provides access to more than 2,500 issues from the Supplement and Builders publications. Together, these five collections provide unique insight into historic breakthroughs in science, technology, medicine and architecture.”


Exhibit: Siméon-Denis Poisson: Mathematics in the Service of Science

Siméon-Denis Poisson: Mathematics in the Service of Science

November 7-December 17, 2014
Siméon-Denis Poisson (1781-1840) was a French mathematician who made important contributions to many areas of mathematics including celestial mechanics, integration, probability theory, and mathematical physics. This exhibition includes original copies and facsimiles of some of Poisson’s works as well as books and articles that illustrate Poisson’s scientific influence, the judgments contemporaries made concerning his role in science, and some of the domains of mathematics and physics where his work has been further developed, making his name familiar to all researchers.
For more information and the exhibit catalog: http://guides.lib.berkeley.edu/poisson-exhibit

Primary Sources: The Bassi Veratti Collection

From Stanford Library’s News Release:

“In the eighteenth century, Laura Bassi was a scientist, professor at the University of Bologna, and member of the Bologna Academy of Sciences. Among the very first female professional scholars, her life (1711-1778) and work can tell us much about the personal and professional lives of early women scientists, their place in Enlightenment intellectual networks, as well as the spread of Newtonian physics in the Italian peninsula. Stanford history professor Paula Findlen is currently completing a scholarly biography on Bassi, while the Stanford University Libraries – in partnership with the Biblioteca comunale dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna and the Istituto per i Beni Artistici, Culturali e Naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna – has brought Bassi’s family archive to the web.”

“The Bassi Veratti Collection web site developed and hosted by Stanford Libraries features high-resolution digital images of the complete contents of the Bassi e famiglia Veratti Archive in a robust discovery and display environment. This remarkable project undertaken by the Digital Library Systems and Services department is notable for the extent of cooperation with colleagues in Bologna. A fully bilingual website, it showcases the way that new technologies have enhanced the traditional print archive. 672 letters, diplomas, poems, and other documents have been digitized, while the richly detailed inventory created by Archiginnasio archivists has been transformed into a bilingual and fully-indexed search engine to the collection. These two components have been seamlessly united in an intuitive and well-designed scholarly website.”