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Adopt a Book

Support the Niels Bohr Library & Archives

Books in the Niels Bohr Library & Archives rare books collection contain a broad spectrum of topics related to the history of the physical sciences, as well as offering compelling visuals.

You can support library maintenance, conservation, and care of these fascinating titles by adopting one of the books below.

You or your family will be commemorated as the official adopter of the book in the online catalog as well as on a bookmark inside the volume. Your gift will help to preserve these vital works of science history.

Isaac Newton

Editio novissima. Lausannae & Geneva, Marci-Michaelis Bousquet & Sociorum, 1740

Adoption amount:
$1500.00

4to. [ii], xxxii, 363, [1] pp. 12 engraved folding plates, title vignette of 4 cherubs and a female figure, each using an optical instrument, representing learning optics/perspective (drawn by Delamoncein and engraved by Daudet), head & tail pieces and woodcut initial letters drawn by Papillon, index; lacks portrait included in some copies. Contemporary full vellum, gilt-stamped spine. Inscribed “S.Ma. Novella, 9163.” Title with oval rubber stamp of “Bibliotec: Se.me.novelle,” inscribed at foot, “Bibliothécae Lanetae Mariae Novellae, Do suit ex annuo … Frugoni Biblioth.

Charles-Eugene Delaunay

Paris: Faculte des Sciences, 1846.

Adoption amount:
$1500.00

Manuscript in ink on paper. 234 pp. These notes appear to be written by Emile Bede, a Belgian engineering student. The quality of the notes is highest at the beginning of the course.

Isaac Vossius

Amsterdam, 1662

Adoption amount:
$1500.00

A scarce first edition, this book discusses the research of Snell and Descartes on the law of refraction and accuses Descartes – incorrectly – of plagiarizing from a Snell manuscript. Anyone working in optics at the time – including Newton and Hooke – would have known this work.

Oliver Heaviside

New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1893-[1899]

Adoption amount:
$1000.00

Two Volumes. 8vo. Xxi, 466; xvi, 542 pp. illus. with figures and diagrams, appendices. Original blind doubled and gilt-stamped plum cloth, all edges speckled; faded spine, chipped, inner hinges repaired with Japanese Kozo paper. Ex-library copy [Dominion Astronomical Observatory, Ottawa, Canada] as evidenced by stamps and glue remains on endpapers.

Bernhardus Varenius

Amsterdam: Elzevirium, 1650

Adoption amount:
$1000.00

This first edition of a classic 17th-century geography was donated to the Niels Bohr Library by Thomas W. Sills. This text developed a new geography based on empirical discovery and measurement. It connected geography to physical principles -- subjects now part of geophysics. 

Jordanus de Nemore

Venice, 1565. 62 pp

Adoption amount:
$1000.00

With this small book, Tartaglia contributed to the revival of the knowledge of weight and mechanics, especially by making the work of Jordanus better known.

Friedrich Magnus Schwerd

Mannheim: Schwan and Goetz, 1835

Adoption amount:
$1000.00

This is an early work on the diffraction of light, built on Fresnel’s fundamental contributions to the wave theory, but also on the experimental work of Fraunhofer.

Antoine Henri Becquerel

Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1888.

Adoption amount:
$500.00

First edition. Becquerel's doctoral thesis on the absorption of light in crystals.

William Leybourne

London: Thomas Basset, Benjamin Tooke, Thomas Sawbridge, Awnsham and John Churchill, 1690.

Adoption amount:
$500.00

A classic summation of the knowledge and practice of spherical geometry and trigonometry, celestial position measurement, and land surveying and navigation. This book epitomizes practical astronomy, just three years after the publication of Isaac Newton’s Principia mathematica.

John Abercrombie

Edinburgh: Waugh and Innes, 1830

Adoption amount:
$500.00

A combined psychology of discovery and philosophy of science, this book became popular and went through many editions. This first edition, as indicated by the bookstamp, was part of the library of John Herschel.

John F.W. Herschel

Pierre François Verhulst et Adolphe Quetelet. Paris,:Mahler, 1829-33. 2 vols.

Adoption amount:
$500.00

This French translation of “On Light,” which John Herschel wrote for the Encyclopedia Metropolitana, quickly followed the English edition. This treatise is the summation of optical research up to and including Fresnel, with strong concentration on polarized light, interference, and diffraction. It also provides an insider’s view of the fascinating – and amazingly useful – corpuscular theory of light, on the eve of its demise.

Percival Lowell

New York: Macmillan, 1906

Adoption amount:
$500.00

Lowell starts with complete confidence that the canals on Mars were built by an advanced civilization. The first chapters review primarily the discoveries of Schiaparelli and Lowell and discuss “Natural Features.” Parts 2, 3, and 4, however, concern “Non-Natural Features” – especially canals.