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Microscopes: Optics and Lens Making

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

Optics, Glass Making and Lens Making - Books included in the Exhibition

Chérubin d'Orléans, père. La dioptrique oculaire; ou, La theorique, la positive, et la mechanique, de l'oculaire dioptrique en toutes ses especes ... Paris: Chez Thomas Jolly ..., & Simon Benard ..., 1671 (De l'Imprimerie de Jean Cusson, 1670). [48], 419, [33] p., 60 [i.e. 57] leaves of plates (some folded) : ill. (engravings). Notes: "A 17th century treatise describing the effect on the eye of various kinds of glasses. The author explains a machine for making glasses. There are descriptions of microscopes and telescopes, which are illustrated with may full-page designs of the completed instruments and diagrams of the separate parts. The adaptation of convex and concave lenses to optical apparatus is described and the combination of lenses in microscopes and telescopes. The author comments on the observation of the stars through telescopes and the elementary principles of astronomy"--British Optical Association Library's Library and museum catalogue, p. 40. Digital book: d’ Orléans:

   Location: Secured Stacks - Rare Books (Oversized) RE925 .C52 1671 O * 

Neri, Antonio. The art of glass: wherein are shown the wayes to make and colour glass, pastes, enamels, lakes, and other curiosities, written in Italian by Antonio Neri, and translated into English, with some observations on the author [by C. M., i.e. Christopher Merret]. Whereunto is added an account of the glass drops made by the Royal Society, meeting at Gresham College. [Arte vetraria distinta in libri sette. English. 1662]. London: Printed by A.W. for O. Pulleyn, 1662. [20], 362, [4] p.  Notes: CMGL c. 1 originally owned by King Charles II. Original leather embossed in gold with his insignia. Digital book: Neri:

   Location: Secured Stacks - Rare Books TP856 .N44e 1662 * 

Newton, Isaac. Opticks, or, a treatise of the reflexions, refractions, inflexions and colours of light; also two treatises of the species and magnitude of curvilinear figures. London: Printed for Sam. Smith, and Benj. Walford, printers to the Royal Society ... , 1704. [4], 144, 211 [i.e. 213], [1] p., [19] folded leaves of plates. Digital book: Newton:

   Location: Secured Stacks - Rare Books  QC353 .N56 1704 * / Microforms F-3289 

Hooke, Robert, and John Martyn. Micrographia, or, Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses, with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon /. London: Printed for John Martyn, 1667. Digital book: 

Location: Special and Rare Books QH271 .H78 1667 *  

Displayed in the exhibition titled 'Revealing the Invisible: the History of Glass and the Microscope', held at the Rakow Research Library, April 23, 2016-March 19, 2017.

Micrographia (London, 1665), Robert Hooke (Cork)