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Highlights among the collections for history of science in Special Collections include the Thordarson Collection of rare science and illustrated natural history books, the Duveen and Cole collections of alchemy and chemistry, the Schadewald Collection on Pseudo-Science, the Science and Religion Collection, and the Albert Collection on optics and ophthalmology. In addition to the named collections below, the Department includes other important holdings on science, technology, natural history, and related fields (especially works published before 1801). Check for subjects or authors in the Library Catalog and the card catalog in Special Collections.
Named collections for history of science
Robert Schadewald Collection on Pseudo-Science. Donated by Wendy Schadewald in 2001. Containing nearly 900 titles collected by Robert Schadewald on a variety of pseudo-science topics, including creationism, cult activity, UFOs, and theories on Earth’s size, shape, age and density. Printed works are cataloged separately with call numbers beginning CA 15700 no. 1. Raymond Bernard, The hollow earth. From the Schadewald Collection on Pseudo-Science, Department of Special Collections, Memorial Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison.The collection also includes extensive archival materials, for which an inventory is available in Special Collections.
Thordarson Collection. As built by Chester H. Thordarson, immigrant from Iceland and noted electrical engineer. The collection contains several thousand volumes, with particular strengths in illustrated natural history and English science, as well as English literature and Icelandic history and literature. Titles are cataloged individually with call numbers beginning Thordarson T. Some aspects of the Thordarson collection are described in the Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, v. 23 (1930) and 44 (1950). More information from J. Christian Bay about the formation and contents of the Thordarson Collection is available in manuscript form in Special Collections (call number MS 7).