Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Sir Isaac Newton Collection, 1684-1949
Special Collections M0132  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Sir Isaac Newton Collection,
    Date (inclusive): 1684-1949
    Collection number: Special Collections M0132
    Extent: 2.5 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    The major part of this collection consists of the donations of Frederick E. Brasch who was Chief of the Scientific Collection of the Library of Congress before coming to Stanford where he served as a consultant in bibliography from 1948 to 1967. Several items were purchased from dealers including: William H. Schab of New York, Dawsons of Pall Mall, Ifan Kyrle Fletcher of London, and W. Heffer and Sons Ltd of Cambridge, England. More recent additions include xerox copies of Newton material from the Newton Exhibition in Nottingham, donated by A. Noel Proctor in 1966. Newton manuscript fragment [on church history, etc.], gift of Haskell Norman 1974.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Sir Isaac Newton Collection, M0132, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Scope and Content

    The Newton Collection manuscripts consist of letters, drafts, reports, notes, bound volumes of lecture notes, tables, diagrams, portraits, printed pamphlets and booklets, and photostats by and about some of the leading figures in the history of science. It includes material by or about George Biddell Airy, Jean Baptiste Biot, David Brewster, Albert Einstein, Johann Franz Encke, John Flamsteed, William Rowan Hamilton, George William Hill, Nevil Maskelyne, Albert A. Michelsen, Isaac Newton, Nicholas Saunderson, and John Winthrop. Time span is ca. 1684-1949.
    The collection is particularly strong in the areas of astronomy, physics and mathematics. The Isaac Newton material includes notes on his invention of calculus, geometric notes and diagrams, and some manuscripts concerning alchemy, and in addition, xerox copies of letters and manuscripts relating to his duties as warden of the Royal Mint. There are also bound volumes of lecture notes of Nicholas Saunderson's mathemetics lectures at Cambridge University. The Einstein material includes some early printed booklets in German and some letters dating from both his early years in Germany and his later residence in the United States. The material on astronomy includes several bound volumes of notes on celestial mechanics by Geroge William Hill and William D. Morgan.


    The materials are arranged alphabetically by author, although several subgroups include materials written by other individuals which concern a particular scientist. Thus, grouped under Albert Einstein are letters by Brasch and others relating to Einstein's life and work. Each subgroup is organized according to the different types of material it contains, i.e. letters, manuscripts, bound volumes, etc. Material is organized chronologically where dates are available and by titles where they are not.