Einstein moves to Swindon
Over 26 kilometres, and half a million, of the Science Museum Library's finest heads to Swindon...
It boasts nearly 26 kilometres of shelving, over half a million books, journals and periodicals and some of the most iconic original editions by Einstein, Galileo, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin that have until recently been held in the Science Museum's Library and Archive in London…
Science Museum Library & Archives in Swindon
It was back at the beginning of December that the new Science Museum Library building in Swindon was finally complete and ready for the transfer of almost 85% of the Science Museum Library's rare collection in London.
Now three months on and Swindon's new climate controlled science library has opened up its doors to the public and is ready for business.
Based at the Science Museum Wroughton's airfield site, the new state-of-the-art building not only houses a reading room, that can accommodate 30 readers at a time, but almost 26 kilometres of shelving with over 10,000 journals, 100,000 books (the earliest dating from 1486) and 1.25 million plus British patents from 1617 onwards.
Plus some of the most fascinating scientific gems ever written...
Albert Einstein's relativity Theory
Gems such as: a signed copy of Albert Einstein's 'Special and General relativity Theory'; 'The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S Beagle' with an illustration of the Tanagra Darwini named after Charles Darwin and 'Tresor des Tresors' which features The Phoenix by Alchemist Nicolas Flamel dated from 1700.
The collection also includes notable works by Nicolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and manuscripts of scientists and engineers from Charles Babbage and Barnes Wallis to Charles Wheatstone.
Alongside these iconic items, the new library also houses a fascinating collection of books, journals, letters, personal papers, technical drawings, patents and trade catalogues tracking the history of science and engineering from 1486 onwards.
And you don't have to be a researcher to access this amazing collection, and book some library time:
Tresor des Tresors - Alchemist Nicolas Flamel
"It's open to everyone," says Rupert Williams, Head of Library and Archives, "from people tracing their family history through their trades to specialist societies from school pupils studying for GCSESs to the general public.
"The facility is open to anybody and book-able a day or so in advance.”
And should you bring your own white gloves?
"White gloves are supplied, where appropriate," says Rupert, "and we'll of course show people how to handle some of the very rare items in the collection."
So if you'd like to dip into this fascinating collection you can book a visit to the new Science Museum Library in Swindon by calling 01793 846 222.
And to give you a taster of what to expect here's the top five items in the Science Museum Library Collection:
last updated: 03/12/2008 at 14:59