As a college librarian, I often hear stressed-out students searching for primary sources say, "I'll take anything." Don't settle for just anything. There is a treasury of primary source material available electronically. Peruse my selection of 200-plus primary source sites by conducting a keyword search, exploring the tag cloud at left, or browsing by historical era. You can also visit my Delicious and Diigo sites to review my bookmarks. Here's hoping you find what you're looking for.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sir Isaac Newton and the Philosopher's Stone

On this day in 1727, Sir Isaac Newton died in London . There is a wealth of material available electronically that relates to his contributions to science and mathematics. Look around, and you can also find information about his efforts to create the philosopher’s stone – a fabled substance believed to have the power to turn base metals into gold, cure ills and – perhaps – allow one to achieve immortality. In addition to being a mathematician, physicist and astronomer, Newton was an alchemist. The Chymistry of Isaac Newton gives visitors to the site access to transcriptions of Newton’s alchemical manuscripts including, among other things, his lab notebooks and indices to alchemical substances. The project is the work of William R. Newman, a professor of the History of Science at Indiana University and the IU Digital Library program.

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