Lady Science on Ada Lovelace Day

We are pleased to share this announcement from Professor Katherine Pandora, about a new email newsletter launching this week: Lady Science, edited by Leila McNeill and Anna Reser:

“Part of this year’s objectives for digital humanities at OU is to recognize the innovative ways in which our graduate students are using digital means to experiment with emerging genres of written and visual communication to engage in scholarship and public humanities through the use of new media, in addition to explorations with new research tools and other innovative forms of digital scholarly inquiry. I am pleased to highlight one such project below, launched on October 14th, Ada Lovelace Day.” 

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Lady Science || edited by Leila McNeill and Anna Reser ]

In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, we’re pleased to announce a monthly email newsletter about women in science and popular culture.

Lady Science is a monthly dose of cultural criticism, usually in the form of two easy-to-swallow essays. We focus on stories about women in science, technology and medicine, both in modern, popular media and in history.

For our first issue, we explore and challenge the representations of women in period medical dramas like BreathlessThe Knick, and Call the Midwife. We came to this topic upon realizing that these shows, with Call the Midwife being the one exception, emphasize the lives of men and de-emphasize the experiences of women, even when obstetrics and gynecology is the medical focus of the entire show or episode. While it is true that there were more male than female doctors and surgeons during the time periods these shows are set, it is, however, incorrect to labor under the misconception that women were not involved in medical decisions regarding their own bodies. Yet, this is the representation we are given in these medical dramas. To use obstetrics and gynecology to tell a story about scientific progress, the writers implicitly frame women’s knowledge and skills as backward, reinforcing the notion that women are irrational and, thus, need to be saved from their own bodies by the knowledge of men.

Subscribe here:

Info and issue descriptions at:
Edited by: 
Leila McNeill
Recently received a MA in History of Science focusing on midwifery, public health, and popular medical texts for women in the nineteenth century.
Contact: @leilasedai,
Anna Reser
Currently completing an MA thesis in History of Technology about the myth, memory and men of the American space program.
Contact: @annanreser,
The first issue will hit inboxes on Friday October 17!
More information about Ada Lovelace Day here:
Interested in writing for Lady Science? Send a brief email with your proposal and a bit of information about yourself to
Posted in Uncategorized

Opening on 4th floor West

Beginning Monday, October 6, the BL5 special collections (Nichols, Bass, Bizzell Bible and the History of Science Collections) will open in the Cable Suite on Bizzell Library’s 4th floor, West side (BL 414). Please direct all inquiries to that location. The phone number is 325-2760. The fifth floor will re-open to the public next year when the renovation is complete.

Posted in In the news

Fall into the History of Science Collections

As Fall begins today with the autumnal equinox, it is a perfect time to remind our readers of the extraordinary astronomical books held in the History of Science Collections at the University of Oklahoma.

Joannes de Sacro Bosco, Sphera volgare (Venice, 1537)

Astronomy in the Collections

Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon (Venice, 1485)The History of Science Collections is known for its significant holdings in the history of astronomy and allied sciences. These holdings include rare and unique treatises by Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton; the first printed editions of astronomical texts from antiquity and the medieval period; textbooks, celestial atlases, and popular astronomy works through the 20th century; and much, much more.

Many of our books are digitized and available in our online gallery of images. Browse this gallery by century, name, and date of published work. Browser beware: we are in the process of migrating all of our images to SHARE OK (the university’s new online archive), and so you may find some broken links as you search.

Resources for Study & Research in the History of Astronomy 

Flammarion-1881-000-coverBeyond our rare books, the collections holds many modern editions, reference books, textbooks, and introductory accounts in the history of astronomy and related topics. Whether you are trying to become more familiar with a new topic, conducting in-depth study, or doing original research, we have the resources you need. For both rare works and modern editions, you can identify items held in the Collections by searching the Discover Local, the online catalog.

Use our Guide to Resources to identify introductory works, modern critical editions, and reference sources that can assist you with your work. Some of these materials may be held in the History of Science Collections, or in Bizzell or a branch library, or, they may be available online.

  • See the page on the guide featuring introductory works in the history of astronomy.
  • See the page on the guide featuring tips on searching for scientists’ writings. It lists examples of modern critical editions of astronomy works from antiquity through the modern period (scroll down the page to get to the links of catalog records of works by Cleomedes, Ptolemy, Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī’, Kepler, Newton).

Beyond these select items, the following list illustrates the range of scholarly resources and research materials available for the study of the history of astronomy in the Collections: Astronomy Across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Astronnomy; The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories; The History of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics: A Selected, Annotated Bibliography; New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought; Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the Astronomical Sublime; A Reexamination of Caroline Herschel: Eighteenth-Century Astronomy and the Herschel Family EconomyPlurality of Worlds: The Origins of the Extraterrestrial Life Debate from Democritus to Kant; The Moon and the Western Imagination.

Campus Connections

Several Faculty Members in the Department of the History of Science publish in area of history of astronomy; see the Faculty Book page on our resource guide, which includes books by current as well as former faculty, visiting scholars, and alumni of the program.

 Margaret Bryan's Compendious System of Astronomy - Frontispiece

Interested in doing work in the history of astronomy at OU? See the Department of the History of Science page to learn more about graduate and undergraduate study.

Use the search box on the top right side of this page to find more posts relating to the history of astronomy at OU and beyond, including information on exhibits relating to OU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.




Image | Posted on by

Celebrating Constitution Day at OU

IACH Constitution Day Lecture and Government Documents Open House, Wednesday, September 17

cosntCelebrate Constitution Day by attending the annual lecture sponsored by OU’s Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage (IACH). This year Professor Carl Richard of the University of Louisiana will speak on “The American Founders and Mixed Government Theory” at 4:30 in Meacham Auditorium, OMU. For more details see the IACH website.

You are also invited to celebrate the 121st anniversary of Government Documents at their Open House, 2pm-4pm, on the 4th floor of Bizzell Memorial Library. The first 100 attendees will receive complimentary mini-Constitutions. Punch and refreshments will be served.

Greeks, Romans, and American founders in OU’s Special Collections

Explore the connections between Ancient Greece and the American founders with rare books and materials held in the special collections on the 5th floor of Bizzell Memorial Library: Bass Business History Collection, Bizzell Bible Collection, History of Science Collections, and the John and Mary Nichols Collections. While tours and class visits are not possible as we undergo renovation in preparation for the Galileo’s World exhibit (scheduled for the 2015-16 academic year), researchers continue to have access to the books.

For a glimpse into our holdings in the areas of American culture and history, government, and the classical tradition, take a look at the following links to recent exhibits and online guides:



Using Special Collections Materials for Teaching and Research

In addition to rare books and primary source materials, the Collections have significant holdings in non-rare materials: modern scholarly works, critical editions and facsimiles, introductory texts, and reference books. For more info, browse Guide to Resources in History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Both rare books and recent works held in the special collections are included in OU library’s online catalog.

Interested in using Collections materials for teaching or research? Need help identifying items to use for a class assignment, capstone project, thesis or dissertation topic? Please contact our staff for assistance (405) 325-2741.

See the Collections blog for more information on resources, activities, and events relating to OU’s 5th floor special collection libraries.

Beyond the Collections

Want to dig deeper into these topics? See the following online guides to resources beyond the 5th floor special collections:

Images from The Laws of the United States of America, 1796, held in the History of Science Collections.

Posted in Uncategorized

OU Lynx

Announcing a new collaboration between the History of Science Collections and K12 educators: The OU Academy of the Lynx.

Lincei-TransparentCheck out the blog, follow oulynx tweets, join the Galileo-L listserv, and explore the OU Lynx Educator Workspace.

Our aim with the Lynx is to foster collaboration between OU and educators — including K12 teachers, amateur astronomers, docents, and museum professionals — in the development and implementation of the Galileo’s World exhibition, set to open in August 2015. Start here!

Posted in Exhibits and events, Learning resources, Who we are


We have begun a year-long renovation that will prepare us to launch a major exhibition in August, 2015, entitled Galileo’s World.

Because of the renovation and preparations for Galileo’s World, we will not be able to offer tours or class visits until August, 2015. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope a year from now everyone will agree that the wait was worthwhile.

Researchers and students are still welcome and will be accommodated, although there will be more motion and noise than usual.

Check the Contact Us – Visit page for more information.

Rendering of new lobby for the History of Science Collections, coming summer 2015
Coming soon!

Posted in In the news | 2 Comments

“From the Vault” video resources

by Kerry Magruder, Curator

A series of “From the vault” videos is now available on OU’s Janux platform and at the Janux site on YouTube. These short videos, filmed on location by NextThought in the OU History of Science Collections, show rare treasures for a given topic along with a concisely-worded comment or story. Think of them as behind-the-scenes moments in a tour of the rare book vaults. Most are only 5-10 minutes long. They are not recorded lectures; rather than offering comprehensive information about a subject, they are designed to appeal to the imagination, to awaken interest in the history of science by conveying something of the physical presence of the rare books themselves. For this reason, they may be useful as auxiliary instructional resources for other courses across the various natural sciences including physics, astronomy, medicine, biology, geology, meteorology, chemistry, mathematics and engineering, as well as in humanities disciplines such as history, art, literature and the history of science.

To find the videos on YouTube, go to the Janux section (where videos from many courses are posted) and find the History of Science Online playlist.

Camille Flammarion, L'Atmosphere: Météorologie Populaire (Paris, 1888), p. 163.  Colorized by Susanna J. Magruder. Courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries.To access the videos on the Janux platform, go to, and look in the Archive section for the History of Science to the Age of Newton course (HSCI 3013). As noted here previously, the course was offered in the 2014 spring semester, but the videos are still accessible to anyone by registering for the free version of the course. (The course icon, “Boldly go…,” may help you spot it quickly.) Within the course in the Janux platform, click the Lessons tab to view course content arranged week by week. The outline below will help you quickly find the videos of interest to you.

Have an iPad? A Janux app makes accessing the videos a breeze.

The numbers in the outline below are discontinuous; only the “From the Vault” videos (FTV) for each weekly unit are included. Not listed below (but equally accessible) are companion videos, filmed in a studio setting, which for each week’s topic invite students to consider what they know of the cultural context (“Starting Assumptions”) and to engage thought-provoking points of view (“Interpretations”).

  1. Week 1, Exploring the Past
  2. Week 2, Origins of Ancient Astronomy
  3. Week 3, Science in Ancient Egypt and the Aegean
  4. Week 4, Ancient Greek science
  5. Week 5, Hellenistic science
  6. Week 6, Roman science
  7. Week 7, Islamic and Early Medieval science
  8. Week 8, 14th-century science
  9. Week 9, 15th-century science
  10. Week 10, 16th-century Life sciences
  11. Week 11, 16th-century Astronomy
    • 11.2 Astronomy before Copernicus (see Dive Deeper instructions)
    • 11.2 Astronomy after Copernicus (see Dive Deeper instructions)
  12. Week 12, Science in Asia
  13. Week 13, Galileo
  14. Week 14, 17th-century science
    • 14.2 Competing paradigms (FTV not yet available)
    • 14.3 The Meaning of science (FTV not yet available)
  15. Week 15, Newton
    • 15.2 Newton’s works (FTV not yet available)
    • 15.3 Janus faces (FTV not yet available)

In addition to the above “From the Vault” videos for each week, there are also videos for “Starting Assumptions” and “Interpretations.” Watch these on Janux at YouTube or on the Janux platform.

Send questions or comments about the videos to

Posted in Class aids, Digital projects, Learning resources