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History of Science & Technology *: Find Books

This guide is intended to help any faculty, graduate, or undergraduate student find resources in the history of science.

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Finding Books

USC libraries have over 10,000 books on the history of science, not including many rare books that are in Special Collections. Use HOMER and type in a scientist, like Newton, Isaac, and click on subject. Almost 150 titles are retrieved. If you want books that Newton wrote, leave Newton, Isaac in the search string, and click on author. Over 130 primary sources are retrieved. If you are dealing with a scientific concept like evolution, just type that concept in the search string and click on subject. Say, for example, you are looking for books on the history of a particular science, like chemistry, just type in chemistry and history in the search string and over 200 books are retrieved.


There are many books on the history of science in general. I can recommend to the novice three recent books that have excellent bibliographies and are well informative.


Fara, Patricia. Science: a four thousand year history. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Doheny and Leavey: Q125.F27 2009


Grant, Edward. A history of natural philosophy: from the ancient world to the nineteenth century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Doheny and Leavey: QC7.G73 2007


Henry, John. The scientific revolution and the origins of modern science. 3rd  Edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Doheny: Q125.H5587 2008

Reference Resources

            The Cambridge history of science. Various editors. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002--    .5 volumes of an 8 volumes series already published. Various libraries have hard copies. [Check HOMER for individual volumes.] Available also in Cambridge Histories Online

            Complete dictionary of scientific biography. Charles Coulston Gillispie, Ed. Detroit: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2008. Available only online in the Gale virtual reference library

            Encyclopedia of the history of Arabic science. Roshdi Rashed, Ed. London: Routledge, 1996. 3 volumes. Reference: Q127.A5E53 1996

            Encyclopedia of the history of science, technology, and medicine in non-western cultures. Helaine Selin, Ed. Boston: Kluwer, 1997.Reference:  Q124.8.E53 1997

            Encyclopedia of the scientific revolution: from Copernicus to Newton. Morris Applebaum, Ed. New York: Garland, 2000. Reference: Q125.E53 2000

            Historical encyclopedia of natural and mathematical sciences. Ari Ben-Menahen, Ed. Berlin: Springer Verlag, 2009. 5 volumes. Available only online through SpringerLink

            Oxford companion to the history of modern science. J.L. Heilbron, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Reference: Q125.O86 2003.

            Science and its times: understanding the social significance of scientific discovery. Neil Schlager, Ed. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 8 volumes. Grand Depository: Q175.46.S35 2000 Also available online in the Gale virtual reference library

            Science in dispute. Neil Schlager, Ed. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 3 volumes. Available only online through the Gale virtual reference library

            Thorndike, Lynn. A history of magic and experimental science. New York: Columbia University Press, 1923-1958.8 volumes. Philosophy: Q125.T45 1923


Head Librarian

Melissa Miller's picture
Melissa Miller
Dr. Melissa L. Miller
Head, Hoose Library of Philosophy / Humanities Librarian
Subject Specialist for: Philosophy, Religion, Anthropology, History of Science and Technology, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature

Office hours: By appointment only