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Microscopes: Overview

An introduction to researching the history of optical microscopes at the Rakow Research Library. More information can be found by searching our online catalog or by contacting a reference librarian through our Ask a Librarian service



Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope, at the Corning Museum of Glass traces the invention and evolution of the microscope from the 17th century through the early 20th century, revealing scientists’ and artists’ explorations of the microscopic world. On view in the Museum’s Rakow Research Library April 23-March 18, 2017, the exhibition features rare books and materials from the Rakow Library, interactive elements designed especially for the show, and historically significant microscopes—including a rare original Antoni van Leeuwenhoek microscope, lent by the Museum Boerhaave in the Netherlands, that has never before been exhibited in the United States.

Revealing the Invisible explores how the evolution of the microscope motivated the development of modern glass science, and the effects of microscopy on science, medicine, and popular culture. The exhibition enables visitors to experience the process of scientific discovery from the time when the microscopic world was unimagined, to important scientific breakthroughs that expanded the known world, to examples of modern inventions that have put microscope technology within everyone’s reach.

“CMoG is the world’s premier institution for the study of glass, so we’re excited to present this exhibition that  illuminates a fascinating and surprising story about the history of science and of glassmaking,” said Dr. Marvin Bolt, CMoG’s curator of science and technology. “Revealing the Invisible leads visitors through nearly 400 years of discovery that helped transform the way we see the world."

Learn more about Revealing the Invisible: The History of Glass and the Microscope.

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Revealing the Invisible blog series

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