American Institute of Physics

To support global, digital access to the Wenner Collection on the history of physics via detailed cataloging, description, online availability, and initial outreach

  • Amount $646,697
  • City College Park, MD
  • Investigator Melanie Mueller
  • Year 2018
  • Program Digital Technology
  • Sub-program Universal Access to Knowledge

This grant supports efforts by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) to catalog and digitize the Wenner Collection, a unique collection of 3,800 rare books and documents that cover the early development of physics and astronomy. The collection was carefully assembled and annotated by David Wenner, a wealthy, philanthropic science aficionado, and contains works—some more than five centuries old—by Ptolemy, Galileo, Huygens, Halley, Newton, Laplace, and many early-19th-century natural philosophers. AIP will scrupulously organize, classify, and catalog the entire collection in accordance with international and national library standards. Grant funds will support the hiring of a rare book cataloger to make decisions about priorities, storage facilities for the materials that will preserve Wenner’s original ordering and grouping, and the hiring of a digital assessment specialist to facilitate efficient, high-quality digitization of the collection. Additional funds will support various outreach activities to facilitate user engagement with the collection.

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