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Classificaton System
Classification System

Principles: Deconstruct disciplinary boundaries, Overcome geographical or temporal limitations — a universally applicable classification Good neighbour (Aby Warburg).


Our classification system

Understand what we collect and how we map them


Library map

Explore our classification with this interactive guidebook

Special Collections
Special Collections

While the main collections of the History of Science Library are online, we also have physical Special Collections of rare books and manuscripts. The History of Science Library’s Special Collections were founded in 2022, based on the private library of Xinyi Wen, founder of the HSL. Our collection is not large at the moment, but it is under systematic development.

The Special Collections of the History of Science Library currently focus on early modern natural history, medicine, and occult sciences, particularly books with unique annotations or enhancements. Our collection includes one of the surviving less than ten copies of Wolfgang Ambrosius Fabricius’s treatise on the doctrine of signatures, Ἀπορημα βοτανικον: de signaturis plantarum (1653), a copy of the first edition of Levinus Lemnius’s book on the herbal allegories in the Bible, Similitudinum ac parabolarum (1568).

We also have several books with interesting provenance stories. In our collection, you will find an eighteenth-century Moleskine: a copy of the popular almanac Rider's British Merlin (1729) bound with parchment pockets, filled with the owner’s memoranda, bills, and recipes. Our most recent acquisition was an author-corrected copy of Histoire des plantes vénéneuses de la Suisse (1776), given to the author Philippe Rodolphe Vicat by the publisher and botanist Joseph-Ferdinand Lex, a friend of the renowned Swiss physician Albrecht von Haller.

As a library dedicated to Open Research, we aim to make our collections fully digitised and open access. We have already digitised some of our featured collections, which you can view at All our digitised images are licensed under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 International License.


View Our Special Collections Catalogue

Our Special Collections are catalogued in our main Zotero library, under the category of Special Collections.

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Visit Our Digitised Special Collections

Our digitised collections are freely available on Omeka.


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Re-classifying history of technics: Air, Water, Fire, Earth


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Library of New Media Studies


User Guides
User Guides

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Recent Updates
Recent Updates

31 March 2022


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20 February 2022


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15 January 2022


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20 December 2021


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29 July 2021


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18 January 2021


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About HistSciLib

An overview of the library and our collection



The website, the Zotero group library, and SNS presence

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