Monday, 30 October 2017

ARLG London and South East Visit to the Science Museum Library

I had an interesting visit to the Science Museum Library. The collection concerns the development and history of science, engineering and medicine from the fifteenth century to the present day. The Dana Research Centre and Library is located round the back of the Science Museum itself. We were welcomed by the librarian who told us a bit about the library.

The collection consists of around 6,000 books and journals, with much more located at the Science and Technology Studies Collection stored at Wroughton. Items from this collection, which is made up of over 80,000 books and periodicals, have been collected over the past century or more. There are various collections of rare books and donated archives, including the Patrick Moore Collection, the John Milne Seismological Library, the Comben Collection of works on animal husbandry, and trade pamphlets.

We were taken into the library itself, which is small but bright and airy. The pattern on the window was inspired by the dappled effect of sunlight through trees (reminiscent of Newton's discovery of gravity when an apple fell onto his head), and old-fashioned computer cards. The Library is open to the public, but not everyone can borrow.

Finally we got to look at some of the rare books and archives in the collection, which was fascinating. My favourite was the flight plan for the Apollo 11 moon mission, signed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.