Collection Development Statement

Last updated July 2020


We actively collect in the area of history of science and technology, which reflects both our role as America’s first research university, and the home of the first department dedicated to the history of science and technology.  We have strong primary sources in this area, particularly in the history of chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering, including the papers of Henry Rowland, Ira Remsen, William Keith Brooks, and Abel Wolman.  Over the last twenty years, we have also pursued primary sources related to astronomy and space exploration, like the papers of Arthur Davidson and Gil Levin.

Departments/disciplines/programs subject areas supported

The collections support faculty and students in HoST, as well as the History Department and the History of Medicine program, which is based on the East Baltimore campus.   The department concentrates on science and technology since the Renaissance, and has particular strength in the history of early-modern science, and the history of American science and technology.  Faculty research areas include the history of architecture, the emergence of science cities, the iconography of science, science and exploration, environmentalism, science and religion, and East Asian science and technology.

Formats Selected

We purchase print and e-books as the “essential” and “research recommended level” that support the areas outline above, and actively collect primary sources, particularly faculty papers.  We also purchase rare books to complement our already strong holdings at the John Work Garrett Library in the history of exploration and mapping.

Languages Collected

English, German, Italian, Spanish, Chinese.

Chronological or geographical focus

Early modern, particularly the age of exploration; 20th century, especially the effect of technology on cities and the environment, the emergence of science cities, and East Asian science and technology. 


Students and faculty in the History of Science and Technology work closely with their peers in the History of Medicine department on our East Baltimore campus.  As such we work closely with the curator of the historical collections for the Institute of the History of Medicine.

There are joint appointments with the History department, so we also collaborate with that department.

Subject Librarian

Heather Furnas