« VorigeDoorgaan »
JOHN CRERAR LIBRARY
A LIST OF
BOOKS ON THE HISTORY
PRINTED BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The List of Books on the History of Science, which was issued in 1911, recorded the books available in January of that year, numbering some 1500 titles. Since then, however, a large amount of material on this subject has been received and not a few have been catalogued from the Gerritsen and Senn collections. This addition has been large enough to make it worth while to issue a supplement to the previous list, and it is hereby offered as the twelfth of the Library's bibliographical publications. It contains nearly 800 titles. In 1915 a List of Books on the History of Industry and Industrial Arts, containing about 3300 titles, was issued as the eleventh publication. These three lists bring together a large and important class of books the titles of which are widely scattered through the classed catalogue and not readily available there as a class.
The present list has the same scope and character as the first; it covers the social, physical, natural and medical sciences, while their technical applications are covered in the list on the history of industry. It deals with the history of the sciences; it does not deal with the history of movements or activities. The history of economics, for instance, is included here, while economic history is included in the List of Books on the History of Industry.
In the preface to the earlier volume quotations were made from writings of some historians of science. To this it seems fitting to add, as apropos of the times, two statements by two well known scientists, the one a German, the other a Belgian. The former discusses the comparative value of what is known as general history and the history of science, the second refers in a way that seems almost pathetic, to the relation of science to peace, and of scientists to internationalism.
In one of Julius Pagel's monographs on Henri de Mondeville we read the following:
"Different from the general history of world events is the history of science. There the roads are marked by blood and smoking ruins, here by the quiet mental labor of the peace loving, diligent scholar and investigator; there the macchiavellian arts of the diplomats, fraud and intrigue, here truth, honesty and light; there strife of the bodies with weapons of iron and often the supremacy of brute power, here strife indeed, for without strife and without opposite views no evolution, no progress is possible - but it is a strife of opinions and a manifestation of the free activity of the spirit; there not seldom victory of the unrighteous, here always of the righteous, there often despotism and compulsion, here liberty and inner peace; there hatred and rancor between the nations, here communion of the nations and all civilized countries in noble competition; there secrecy decades, yes centuries pass before the veil of official secretiveness is lifted, showing the purposes and origins of actions of state,- here full publicity, for only in the
light of general publicity can the fruits of science thrive and ripen; there, the value of political events for the happiness and welfare of the people is problematic and doubtful; here each new discovery, each newly-found fact not only has an indirect value as a step in the progress of knowledge, but is of direct, positive and material value for the whole of humanity."
In the introductory paper of the ill-fated Belgian journal Isis: revue consacrée à l'histoire de la science, the editor, M. George Sarton, says:
"Science is the great peace maker; it is the cement which unites the most elevated and world-embracing spirits of all nations and races, of all creeds. Every nation profits directly by all the discoveries made by other nations. But, alas! while science is essentially international, scientists are not always so. Too often the generous aspirations with which science tries to imbue them are smothered by their jingoistic and nationalistic tendencies."
The examination of the previous list, and this supplement will show that while the literature of the history of science, both general and specific, is very large, there is at present no brief text-book on the subject in English. This gap will, however, soon be filled by two such works, M. Sarton's recent lectures at the Lowell Institute, and a work that has been long in preparation and will shortly be issued, by Professors William T. Sedgwick and Harry W. Tyler of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.