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Webinar: Copernicus to Feynman: Paper and Print in the Caltech Archives from 1500 to Present

Copernicus to Feynman: Paper and Print in the Caltech Archives from 1500 to Present

Caltech’s Archives and Special Collections include rare books from the Scientific Revolution, the correspondence and research notes of Caltech scientists and engineers, and other records of the history of science and technology at Caltech. Our formats include film, magnetic tape, and a variety of digital media—but for this webinar we’ll be focusing on paper and print, to accompany Mark Kurlansky’s history Paper. We’ll look at some books from as early as 1502, only fifty years after the invention of movable type in Europe, including original editions of works by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton. And we’ll look at modern books, from a first edition of The Origin of Species published in 1859 to works by Caltech faculty like Robert Millikan, to see how paper and printing changed as they became industrial, steam-powered operations in the 1800s. Finally, we’ll look at some of our twentieth century scientists’ papers, with an eye towards the technology of paper, typewriting, and computer printing.

About Peter Sachs Collopy, University Archivist and Head, Special Collections

Peter Sachs Collopy is a historian, archivist, and curator of science, technology, and media. As Caltech’s University Archivist, Peter leads a team that organizes and preserves the historical record of research at Caltech to facilitate understanding of the Institute’s role in the history of science and technology. He recently curated the Caltech Archives exhibit “The Mind’s Eye: Richard Feynman in Word and Image.” Peter also researches the history of the networks of people and institutions—from engineers to artists to psychotherapists—that emerged around the new technologies of portable video recording and video synthesis in the 1960s and early 1970s