Subtitled `A Study of Bibliography and the Book Trade in Relation to the History of Science.'
In the 25 years since the last edition of Thornton and Tully's Scientific Books, Libraries and Collectors was published, scientific publishing has mushroomed, developed new forms, and the academic discipline and popular appreciation of the history of science have grown apace. This fourth edition discusses these changes and ponders the implications of developments in publishing at the end of the twentieth century, while concentrating its gaze upon the dissemination of scientific ideas and knowledge from Antiquity to the industrial age. In this shift of focus it departs from previous editions, and for the first time a chapter on Islamic science is included.
Recurrent themes in several of the ten essays in the present volume are the definition of `science' itself, and its transmutation by publishing media and the social context. Two essays on the collecting of scientific books provide a counterpoint, and the book is grounded on a rigorous chapter on bibliographies. The timely publication of Scientific Books, Libraries and Collectors comes at the coincidence of the advent of electronic publishing and the millennium, a dramatic moment at which to take stock.