The History of Science Collections, founded in 1949 with an initial gift from Everette Lee DeGolyer, is a premier research collection. Its holdings include nearly 100,000 print volumes and current publications in the field. The Collections supports multidisciplinary research in every chronological period, geographic region, and subject area of science, technology, and medicine. Among the oldest items are a cuneiform brick (ca. 1300 BCE), a small number of medieval and early modern manuscripts, and the Collections’ oldest printed book, Hrabanus Maurus, Opus de universo (1467). Astronomy, physics, natural history, geology, technology, and science and religion are traditional areas of strength for the print holdings. Areas of recent concentration include women in science, Islamic science, star maps, and science and technology in Asia. Archives support research in the history of geology, meteorology, technology, and physics, among other topics.
Collection materials do not circulate and are made available for use in the Duane H.D. Roller Reading Room at the Fifth Floor Special Research Collections. For information about viewing materials, support for research and instruction, tours, and details about sources and services, see the 5th Floor Special Research Collections page.
See The First 50 Years of the History of Science Collections for background and history.
The History of Science Collections is primarily comprised of printed books, from the 15th century through present time. Holdings document the development of science, medicine and technology in cultural, historical and philosophical context. Over 100,000 published volumes are supplemented by manuscript materials, artifacts and instruments.
In addition to rare books and primary source materials, the Collections comprise substantial holdings of secondary sources and materials to aid research in the study of history of science, technology and medicine.
History of Science Research Guides
Guide to primary source materials in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
This guide will help you use the OU library website for research and study in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.
This guide highlights materials that can be used for research and study in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (search by topics).
This guide highlights materials that can be used for research and study in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (search by type of resource: introductory works, reference books, advanced texts)
Browse this Guide for information about 5th floor Special Collections Exhibits