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British Science Week 2024 – the Science Libraries of Jisc Library Hub Discover

British Science week logo
Copyright: British Science Week

We have a very special post this month as it forms part of British Science Week 2024. This exciting event is a ten day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths in the UK. British Science Week is coordinated by the British Science Association and is funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and this year’s theme is celebrating the diverse people and careers in science and engineering.

We will be focusing on the incredible science libraries which contribute to Jisc Library Hub Discover and exploring the resources and collections they have to offer.

The Geological Society Library

The Geological Society Library is one of the largest geological libraries in the world and collects geoscience literature and current material in all the main fields of Earth sciences. It holds books and serials going back to the 16th century. Its map collection is of national importance and comprises over 40,000 items dating from the beginning of geological mapping through to the present. The Library also maintains the Society’s archives, modern records and a number of special collections. Collection highlights include Women and Geology in the 19th Century which explores the contributions of women to the science of geology.

Geological Society library
Copyright: The Geological Society

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover

The Linnean Society Library

The library at the Linnean Society holds outstanding historical works of natural history and is a major repository for information on plant and animal classification, as well as the life and work of Carl Linnaeus. The collection of printed books covers the literature of biology from 1483 to date, with especially strong collections of eighteenth and nineteenth century titles in all languages, including works by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Portraits of the first female Fellows of the Society can be seen on display in the Library, as part of their exhibitions. Through their Digitised Collections you can explore their priceless collections of specimens, manuscripts, letters, books and artwork.

The Linnean Society library
Copyright: The Linnean Society

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover

Rothamsted Research Library

Rothamsted Library is one of the oldest specialist agricultural collections in the UK. The Library reflects the Institute’s research interests, with comprehensive collections of books and journals in soil science, plant sciences, agronomy, entomology (including apiculture), nematology, pesticide science, plant diseases, mycology and biomathematics. The library archive contains material relating to events in Rothamsted’s history, including large amounts of experimental data. It also holds a collection of prints and paintings of British farm livestock 1780-1910.

Photograph showing archival storage area at Rothamsted Research Library
Copyright: Rothamstead Research

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

Royal Astronomical Society Library

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) was founded in 1820 and encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The Library was founded at the inception of the Society and is now one of the most comprehensive collections of astronomical and geophysical works. The library holds books dating from 1472 to the present day, including 53 incunables, and key works by Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Kepler. The RAS archives contain institutional and membership records dating back to 1820, as well as the working papers of leading 19th- and 20th-century astronomers. The library also contains collections of journals, paintings, photographs and a small collection of instruments. Highlights of their collections can be seen in their Treasures of the RAS series of videos and articles.

Royal Astronomical Society library
Copyright: The Royal Astronomical Society

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh Library

The Royal Observatory Edinburgh library possesses one of the most comprehensive collections of astronomical literature and includes rich comprehensive material on astronomy and physics, including works on mathematics and optical engineering. The Main Library holds 20th and 21st century material on astronomy. The Crawford Collection contains books, pamphlets and manuscripts dating from the 13th to the 19th century on the history of astronomy and related fields. The Archives of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh consists of correspondence and scientific and administrative papers and notebooks of the former Astronomical Institution of Edinburgh, the Astronomers Royal for Scotland and the 26th Earl of Crawford.

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

 Royal Society Library

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists. Founded in 1660, the Society is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

The Royal Society Library contains titles from all branches of science, published from the 1470s to the present day. From its foundation in 1660 to the mid-19th century, the policy of the Library was to acquire every important scientific publication. The retention of more than 360 years’ worth of scientific activity, from manuscripts and books to paintings and museum objects, has created an extraordinarily rich resource for the study of the history of science. The archive catalogue contains records documenting the activities of the Society and its Fellows. The Picture library  features paintings, drawings and prints. Explore Science in the Making which provides access to Royal Society manuscripts. Or search the Philosophical Transactions, the world’s first and longest-running scientific journal. Highlights of the collections can be found in the Turning the Pages gallery.

The Royal Society
Copyright: The Royal Society

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

SASA (Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture)

The library at SASA focuses on agricultural science and includes historical material. SASA’s primary role is to provide scientific services and advice in support of Scotland’s agriculture and wider environment. It was formerly the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency and is currently a division of the Scottish Government’s Agriculture & Rural Economy Directorate.

Find out more about the library and explore on Discover.

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