1. Um, what little I can see is phenomenal, but it’s only a small handful of pages out of a single notebook as far as I can tell.

2. Er, sorry, now I see my mistakes. There were two links. I had assumed the two were equivalent, except the second would be for those with broadband access. I had gone straight for that, but the first link has much more material behind it.

3. SEF says

Have the creationists and teen cults finally rotted your brain, PZ, or is this merely an experiment in channeling, speaking in tongues or “framing” (to get that target group to look at the link)?

4. Thomas says

Wow, look what I found!

“July. 6. 1664. An expt. was made to Measure the velocity of a sounding string or to Determine how quick the vibrations are in a certaine space of time There was taken a brasse wire of 136 foot long And of 1/32 of an inch diameter & weighing this string extended by a weight by 3 . . . 3 3/4 pounds + 1 pound 10 ounces and being made to vibrate in the middle its vibrations were found to be half seconds then being stoppd in the middle & the half of that made to vibrate in the middle was found twice as swift. or to vibrate quarter seconds. whence the Length & Vibra tions appeard Reciprocall & by measuring how much the line did bend – below a streight Line it was found that the distance was equall to the Length of a pendulum vibrating equall times wth. the string. Reckning that Length from /the streight line to/ the center of grauity of the parabolicall string. then further stopping the wire wthin one foot of the end & striking that short part it was ghessed to giue a note of G. Sol Re vt. which is to be explained by a pipe next Day. soe that it seems that the velocity of the vibrations of a string tuned to G sol re vt is 272 times in a second. The expt. to shew how quicke the vibrations must be to giue a certaine sound; being made, it was tryed wth. the same string wth. what velocity a sound is propagation and found that there is noe perceptible Interuall of time between the stroke of one end of the string, and the hearing of the sound at the other end. It was orderd that the string should be Lengthned for the prosecuting this Experimt.

5. Thomas says

Does anyone know where the page is where first wrote down Hooke’s law (harmonic oscillations)? I’m guessing it’s very close to what I just posted – I think he found it by playing around with music strings?

6. Hooke says

I find it ironic that one must use a plugin to read the “broadband” (I assume that means “high quality”) versions of information that is four centuries old.

7. Chris R. says

Typical materials scientist…can’t read his handwriting for a damn. Good thing they have the option to see the text and image.

8. Carlie says

Wow. Awesome. I felt the same back when the Royal Society let their archives open for free for awhile, and you could read Leeuwenhoek’s papers that were all ‘OMG there’s little things living everywhere!!!!’ This is the kind of thing that really makes the internet priceless.

9. Allin says

Sadly, the “broadband” stuff has been put up in Adobe Director format, which I’m sure is unnecessary, and precludes anyone using free software from reading it. Plugins for this format are available only for M\$ Windoze and Mac.

10. Sceptical Chymist says

How wonderful it is to be able to read these pages. And how stilted it makes our present way of writing up scientific work, with its almost obligatory use of the passive voice. Thomas: I was taught in physics class(in the U.K. well over 60 years ago) that Hooke’s Law was that the extension of a vertical spring was proportional to the weight it was loaded with, and that as a challenge, Hooke first published this as an anagram of “ut tensio sic vis”, the Latin for “as the tension so the force” (we were taught Latin as well as physics). All the vowels were listed first in alphabetical order then the consonants. None of his contemporaries could come up with a solution until Hooke let the cat out of the bag by publishing the plain Latin version.

11. Anonymous Coward says

I second Allin’s (#9) remark about the broadband stuff excluding FOSS. A damn shame, really.

12. says

You’re right, the broadband version is really cool. I thought that the magnifying glass and audio voice-over were a nice touch.

13. says

I looked at this or a similar site several months ago and at that time, when there was a fold-out illustration, they didn’t fold out the page before taking an image. It was frustrating.

14. justpaul, FCD says

OT – I was surprised to find that there is no one named ‘Myers’ on the FCD members list…

15. Bob Dowling says

(I’m going to blow my own institution’s trumpet a bit. Sorry.)

If you want to avoid evil plug-ins, may I redirect you away from Queen Mary’s and towards the University of Cambridge. We can’t offer you Robert Hooke, but can supply Isaac Newton’s manuscripts.

http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/194185

The interface isn’t wonderful (and we’ve just hired a developer to work on it among other problems) but browsing by title will walk you through a stack of his papers (not just those written by him).

How about Principia proposition III in his own hand?

“If a body be attracted towards either focus of any Ellipsis & by that attraction be made to revolve in the Perimeter of the Ellipsis : the attraction shall be reciprocally as the square of the distance of the body from that focus of the Ellipsis”

You read it here first, so to speak.

For the biologists with an interest in Darwin’s sea voyage, the DSpace repository can offer the sketchbooks of Conrad Martens who was the artist who accompanied him on the Beagle.

http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/194347

These are landscape sketches etc. rather than finches’ beaks, but they’re no less gorgeous.

Of course, Cambridge can also offer Darwin’s correspondence:

http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/Departments/Darwin/

and most suitable for Pharyngula is the section of Darwin and Religion, headed by this quote:

I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose.”

Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/content/blogcategory/36/63/

I’m sure the academic libraries of this world are slowly putting more and more primary material on-line. It’s just so frustrating that it’s still so hard to find it all.

16. matthew says

his journals, and others like them, are like art to me

17. justpaul, FCD, said: “OT – I was surprised to find that there is no one named ‘Myers’ on the FCD members list…”

Should look harder, justpaul… PZ joined our ranks a LONG time ago.

18. G. Tingey says

Did you know that one of Hooke’s inventions is still in use in just about every powered vehicle (that isn’t chain-driven) on the planet?

The “Universal Joint” used in car/lorry/railway transmissions is his work.

Amazing.

19. says

“it’s like leafing through the 17th century” – we historians of science do things like regularly. Join our side!

20. says

OH MY GOD!!! I can’t believe I nearly missed this!! Brilliant.