Babson College's Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton: Manuscripts

Finding aid prepared by Laura R. Rips.
Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-3477
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Descriptive Summary

Title: Babson College's Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton: Manuscripts
Dates: 1660-1750
Date (bulk): (bulk 1660-1726)
Collection Number: mssBAB 1-53
Creator: Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727
Extent: 8 boxes 54 items
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2191
Fax: (626) 449-3477
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
Abstract: Babson College's Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton: Manuscripts contains research notes, correspondence, and documents of Isaac Newton. The collection also includes correspondence and legal documents related to Newton written by his contemporaries.
Language of Material: The records are primarily in English and Latin, with a few items in French.

Administration Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of Item], Babson College's Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Acquisition Information

On long-term loan: Babson College's Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton, November 2006.

Biography

Sir Isaac Newton, an English polymath, is one of the most influential scientists of all time. His Principia Naturalis Principia Mathematica of 1687 set forth a new system of the world based on universal gravitation, and revolutionized the study of physics, mechanics and astronomy. Newton discovered the principles of the calculus before he was 25 years of age (along with co-discoverer Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz). He also made fundamental contributions to optics, including the nature of light and color, and the invention of the first practical reflecting telescope.
Newton devoted an extensive amount of research to theology and the Bible, as well as chemistry and alchemy. He kept most of these studies hidden from his contemporaries, who were largely unaware of his deep interest in these subjects.
Newton was the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge from 1669 to 1702. He also held the office of Master of the Royal Mint from 1669 until his death in 1727. He was President of the Royal Society from 1703 until 1727.

Note

Cataloger's Notes
Babson numbers from the Catalogue of the Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton (1950) and printed supplements (1955; 2002) are located at the end of each item's title in the finding aid's container list.

Scope and Content

Most of the manuscripts in this collection came from Sotheby's 1936 Portsmouth sale of Newton's papers. They include correspondence, research notes, and documents, over 30 of which are in Newton's hand. The collection demonstrates the wide range of Newton's activities: his extensive studies of alchemy and theology, his work for the Royal Mint and the Royal Society, as well as his personal records. Highlights include: "A Treatise or Remarks on Solomon's Temple," with commentary and six sketches of plans and architectural details drawn by Newton, "Praxis," considered one of his most important alchemical manuscripts, and an illustrated alchemical text picturing the Philosopher's Stone. Another notable manuscript is "Lib. Chem," Newton's inventory of over 100 alchemical books in his personal library, with shelf marks.
The collection also contains correspondence and documents written by Newton's contemporaries. Of particular note is a letter from Gottfried Leibniz to Nicolas Bernoulli written in June 1713, in which Leibniz entreats Bernoulli to help justify his claim to priority over Newton in the discovery of the calculus.

Arrangement

The collection maintains the arrangement in which it was received from The Burndy Library at The Dibner Institute for the History of Science. Items are arranged in the following order:
Boxes 1–4: Manuscripts, arranged sequentially according to the Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton catalog numbers.
Boxes 5-7: Oversize Manuscripts, arranged sequentially according to the Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton catalog numbers.
Box 8: A Treatise or Remarks on Solomon's Temple.

Related materials in the Huntington Library

Indexing Terms

Personal Names

Newton, Isaac, 1642-1727
Bernoulli, Nicolas, 1687-1759
Biot, Jean-Baptiste, 1774-1862
Brougham and Vaux, Henry Brougham, Baron, 1778-1868
Castillon, Jean, 1708-1791
De Mairan, Dortous, 1678-1771
Flamsteed, John, 1646-1719
George, Prince, consort of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, 1653-1708
Hevelius, Johannes, 1611-1687
Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703
Jacquier, Francois, 1711-1788
Le Neve, Peter, 1661-1729
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1646-1716
Maupertius, 1698-1759
Menshikov, Alexsandr Danilovich, 1673-1729
Newton, John, 1651-1734
Oldenburg, Henry, approximately 1615-1677

Corporate Names

Great Britain. Royal Mint
Royal Society (Great Britain)

Subjects

Alchemy - Early works to 1800
Coinage - Great Britain - Early works to 1800
Liturgics - Early works to 1800
Metals - Early works to 1800
Minerals - Early works to 1800
Theology, Doctrinal - Early works to 1800

Geographic Names

Great Britain - History - 17th century
Great Britain - History - 18th century

Genre

Correspondence
Documents
Notes
Trade cards (advertising)


Container List

Box 1

Manuscripts

Access Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.
 

BAB 1 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Ex Lumine de tenebris. ([approx. 1690])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 414

Notes

Includes "Foliation of Babson MS 416, B:1," prepared by James R. (James Robert) Voelkel, 1962–.
 

BAB 2 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Miscellaneous alchemical notes and emblems. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 416

 

BAB 3 "Lib. Chem," an inventory of alchemical works in Newton's private library, with shelf marks. ([approx. 1690-1700])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 418

 

BAB 4 "Notes out of ye Diary of ye Parliamt 1660." (1660)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 423

 

BAB 5 Draft of a testimonial letter to John Flamsteed, 1646–1719, on behalf of Edward Paget. (1682, Apr. 3)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 424

 

BAB 6 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Note to John Grigsby. (1713, Sep. 1)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 425

Notes

Attached to document for Thorpe's catalogue (2 p.).
 

BAB 7 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Note for ₤100 lent to Thomas Ayscough, (1720-1722/23)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 426.

Notes

Note dated October 3, 1720, with memoranda by Newton dated March 16, 1722/23.
 

BAB 8 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Letter to Robert Hooke, 1635–1703, (1678, June 8)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 427

Notes

With wax seal.
 

BAB 9 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Letter to Thomas Mason. (1726, May 10)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 428

Box 2

Manuscripts

Access Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.
 

 HM 76721 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Representation of the gold, and silver coin, upon the lowering Guineas to 21 shi's. (1717, Sept. 21)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 429

 

 BAB 10 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Certificate of ₤300 bail for John Irish, charged with clipping coin. (1696/[97], Jan. 2)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 430

 

 BAB 11 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Summons for Thomas Crawford upon suspicion of counterfeiting coin. (1699, Aug. 27)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 431

 

 BAB 12 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Draft of a letter asking for minerals from Bohemia or Hungary. ([approx. 1669])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 433

 

 BAB 13 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Notes on the chief rulers of ancient synagogues. ([approx. 1709])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 435

Notes

Sealed with red wax.
 

 BAB 14 Draft notes on Athanasian doctrines. ([approx. 1690])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 436

 

 BAB 15 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Notes on 2 Kings 17. ([approx. 1670])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 437

 

 BAB 16 Draft notes on early Church rites and the Creed. ([approx. 1710])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 438

Notes

With remains of red wax seal.
 

 BAB 17 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Newton family pedigrees with genealogical trees. ([approx. 1705])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 439, 440, and 441

 

 BAB 18 Le Neve, Peter, 1661–1729. Letter to Isaac Newton, 1642–1727. (1705, Nov. 24)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 442

Notes

With remains of red wax seal.
 

 BAB 19 [Newton, John, 1651–1734]. Draft of an affidavit (in the hand of Peter Le Neve, 1661–1729). (1705, Nov.)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 443

Box 3

Manuscripts

Access Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.
 

 BAB 20 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Draft of an affidavit (in the hand of Peter Le Neve, 1661–1729, with autograph additions by Newton) drawn up for the College of Heralds. (1705, Nov.)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 444

 

 BAB 21 Menshikov, Alexsandr Danilovich, 1673–1729. Letter in French to Isaac Newton, 1642–1727, asking that he be admitted to the Royal Society. (1714, Aug. 23)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 445

 

 BAB 22 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. First draft of a signed letter in Latin to Alexsandr Danilovich Menshikov, 1673–1729. (1714, Oct. 21)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 446

 

 BAB 23 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Second draft of a signed letter in Latin to Alexsandr Danilovich Menshikov, 1673–1729. (1714, Oct. 24)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 447

 

 BAB 24 Biot, Jean-Baptiste, 1774–1862. Letter to George Peacock, 1791–1858. (1818, Jan. 12)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 449

Notes

With red wax seal. Includes typed English translation.
 

 BAB 25 Brougham and Vaux, Henry Brougham, Baron, 1778–1868. Letter to M. Ward. (1838, Dec. 12)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 450

 

 BAB 26 George, Prince, consort of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, 1653–1708. "A Coppy of His late Royall Highness Warrt. to pay to Francis Roberts Esqur. & otherns not exceeding 1000 pounds. Paid in pt. to Sr Isaac Newton 384.7.6.." (1705, Nov. 30)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 451

 

 BAB 27 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm, Freiherr von, 1646–1716. Letter to Nicolas Bernoulli, 1687–1759. (1713, June 28)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 452

 

 BAB 28 Engraved trade card of "James Simons, at Sir Isaac Newton's Head." ([between 1771 and 1790])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 455

 

 BAB 29 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Notes on Church history, drawn mainly from the Annales of Baronius. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 704

 

 BAB 30 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Experiments of refining Gold with Antimony, made by Dr. Jonathan Goddard." ([undated])  

Babson Catalog No: Babson 725

Box 4

Manuscripts

Access Information

RESTRICTED. Available with curatorial approval. Requires extended retrieval and delivery time.
 

 BAB 31 Grindall, William. Bill for household goods to Isaac Newton, 1642–1727. (1712/13, Feb.)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 734

 

 BAB 32 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Fragment of a table possibly relating to time differences. ([approx. 1699])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 737

 

 BAB 33 Oldenburg, Henry, approximately 1615–1677. Letter to Johannes Hevelius, 1611–1687, informing him of Newton's invention of the Reflecting Telescope. (1672/[73], Mar. 18)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 826

 

 BAB 34 Maupertius, 1698–1759. Letter signed "Jeudy" at top, regarding critics of Freiherr von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646–1716, and Jacob Hermann, 1678-1733. ([approx. 1750])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 827

 

 BAB 35 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Table of time variations in various European cities. ([after 1687])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 919

Notes

With typed transcription.
 

 BAB 36 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Notes on Biblical chronology. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 1029

 

 BAB 37 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Loca difficilia in Novo Lumine Chymico explicata." ([approx. 1668])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 925

 

 BAB 38 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Letter to an unnamed friend regarding Woolsthorpe Manor. (1687/88, Jan. 11)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 1000

Notes

Previously thought to be in Newton's hand (probably is not).
 

 BAB 39 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Fragments of calculations. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 1030

Box 5

Oversize Manuscripts

Access Information

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 BAB 40 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Notes "Ex Rosario Magno." ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 415

 

 BAB 41 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Operationum Ordo, etc.," including a large compilation of alchemical citations. ([approx. 1690])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 417

 

 BAB 42 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Of Chemicall Authors & their writings." ([between 1670 and 1675])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 419

Notes

Also includes foliation mock-up prepared by James R. (James Robert) Voelkel, 1962–.
 

 BAB 43 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Praxis," an alchemical treatise, with notes and an earlier draft. ([1690s?])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 420

Box 6

Oversize Manuscripts

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 BAB 44 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Three sets of miscellaneous chemical and alchemical notes. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 421

 

 BAB 45 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Henricus Sextus." ([approx. 1661])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 422

Notes

Not in Newton's hand.
 

 BAB 46 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Receipt in coinage duty from John Smith. (1723, July)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 432

 

 BAB 47 Castillon, Jean, 1708-1791. Letter to the Secretary of the Royal Society. (1748)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 453

Notes

With printed title page of Opera Omnia by Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, edited by Castillon.
 

 BAB 48 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "Miscellanea," Latin notes on experiments, chiefly from Codicillus and Testamentum by Ramon Llull, 1232?-1316, and the Theatrum Chemicum of Lazarus Zetzner, –1616. ([before 1695])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 747

Box 7

Oversize Manuscripts

Access Information

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 BAB 49 Jacquier, François, 1711-1788. Letter to Dortous de Mairan, 1678-1771. (1740, Oct. 1)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 766

 

 BAB 50 Great Britain. Royal Mint. Indenture pertaining to Isaac Newton's role as Master of the Mint. (1700, Dec. 23)

Babson Catalog No: Babson 860

 

 BAB 51 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. "An Argument perswading yt ye Queens Majtie ought to have in Conscience a great care of ye safety of her own Person." ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 920

Notes

Not in Newton's hand.
 

 BAB 52 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. Series of Latin anagrams and list of authors cited in the Ludus Puerorum, Scala Philosophorum, and Rosarium Magnum, and draft of a letter presumably to the Treasury. ([undated])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 1006

Box 8

A Treatise or Remarks on Solomon's Temple

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 BAB 53 Newton, Isaac, 1642–1727. A treatise or remarks on Solomon's Temple. "Prolegomena ad lexici prophetic partem secundam in quibus agitur De forma sancturaii Judaici…Commentarium." ([after 1690])

Babson Catalog No: Babson 434