Ex Libris Universum

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

A guest post from Sally Newcomb

We are so pleased to welcome geosciences historian Sally Newcomb back to Ex Libris Universum! Her excitement about the Wenner Collection is gratifying and contagious to us librarians who are processing it. See her first post about the book in the Collection published in 1799 that discusses the new metric system and the possibility of black holes here.


Kelvin, Wenner, and the Ages of the Sun and the Earth

Friday, 25 January 2019


How did we humans develop our current understanding of the modern world?  How did we get to the point of being able to even conceive of such a thing as Nobel prize-winning laser tweezers?!1

Monday, 7 January 2019

This time it won't end at Mount Doom

Libraries do a lot of amazing things these days, but when you distill a library down to its most essential and simple functions it’s a) to collect resources, b) know what resources we have, c) and make those resources available to people. We spend most of our time on the second and third parts: knowing what we have and making it accessible to the public.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

How to leave no trace...

What allows a book to last for 500 years? A variety of factors come into play, but one of the most crucial for librarians (other than the ever fraught temperature, light, and humidity) is handling.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Get Ready for the Makeover Montage...

Space is always an issue for libraries and archives and we’re very lucky to have the support of AIP and our building, the American Center for Physics, in our endeavor to convert a former server room into a state of the art archival vault. Not only will this space hold some of our rarest archival material, it will also be the future home of this blog’s very own Wenner Collection.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Personal Library vs. Institutional Library

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a lot of books lying around at home. Do you ever think about how you keep your books organized? If you’re like me and you think about organization a lot at work, then you probably enjoy not thinking about it at home. But some people swear by one organizational system or another, whether it’s author’s last name, genre, or even color.


Monday, 5 November 2018

A guest post from Sally Newcomb

In the serene quiet of the Niels Bohr Library it seems like a conversation with Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749–1827) --his ideas come off the page as though freshly thought. From the Wenner collection of more than 3,800 volumes on the history of physics I was privileged to look at a volume before the books were properly cataloged and accessioned: 1799, Exposition du Systême du Monde, second edition. Like most of the volumes it has been attractively bound, but not as recently as some of the other Wenner books.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Short answer...a lot!

So what's actually in the Wenner Collection? Check out this awesome infographic to find out!

Friday, 12 October 2018

How Did We Get Here?

In The Big Move, you learned about the journey of a collection of rare books as they traveled from the Florida home of a collector to the stacks of the Niels Bohr Library & Archives. But what exactly is this collection? How did we get here, and what does this collection mean to the NBL&A?