The semester is off to a bang in Special Collections. Last week, history of science professor Darin Hayton, brought his class on “The Scientific Revolution” to visit and introduced them to a range of primary sources and the types of questions one should ask when confronted with such a text. Texts discussed during the visit included Nicolaus Copernicus’s De revolutionibus orbium caelestium (1543), Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (1686), and Ralph Cudworth’s The true intellectual system of the universe (1678). In an upcoming assignment, students will be asked to select, describe and analyze a text from our collection (or Bryn Mawr’s) that falls between 1500 and 1700, roughly the dates covered in the course. In preparing for supporting this assignment bibliographers Ann Upton and Margaret Schaus have uncovered a rich trove of scientific literature within our rare book stacks.
Students in professor of art history Carol Solomon’s course on “Art, Politics, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Europe” have been spending quality time with editions of the works of William Blake. This week students picked illustrations from such works as The Songs of Innocence and Experience, America, a Prophecy, The Book of Urizen, Vala or The Four Zoas, and The Book of Job, and presented on the works within the political, social and cultural contexts of the period.
Next week we’re expecting a visit by professor Kaye Edwards and her class on “Quaker Social Witness.” They will be learning about our print, manuscript, and online resources on Quakerism from librarians Diana Peterson, Ann Upton and Anne Moore. During the semester students will have several assignments that will make use of materials from the Quaker Collection. Three research papers will include an exploration of a specific Quaker testimony and its relationship to social action; an examination of a historical figure from the Religious Society of Friends; and an analysis of a current Quaker project toward social justice. Additionally, students in the course will be attending parts of the upcoming conference on Quakers and Slavery, co-hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College and Haverford College.