Skip to content


We have extensive collections open to researchers and members of the public. Access is free of charge.

Visit the library

Print shop

Explore science through its visual history with our collection of rare, intriguing and beautiful paintings, drawings and prints.

Purchase high quality prints of your favourite images from our library and archive collections.

Picture library

You can licence high resolution images for editorial and commercial uses.

Search our collections

Search across printed works and archives

Search in:


Search for printed works

Show printed work search

Search for archives

Show archives search

Visitors and researchers

The Library and Archives are open to researchers and members of the public free of charge.

Plan your visit

Opening times

10am - 5pm, Monday to Friday

The Wolfson Foundation at 60

Discover a selection of stories and documents.

Explore the Wolfson archives

Turning the pages

Explore a gallery of high-quality scans of some of the important and beautiful manuscripts in our collection.

View the collection

  • The Davy lamp

    Sir Humphry Davy (1778-1829) was a chemist, but perhaps is best known for inventing the miners’ safety-lamp, a lamp that would not cause explosions when gas was present in mines. 

    Read more

  • A Nobel laureate

    Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin OM FRS (1910-1994) was a leading biochemist and a pioneer in the field of protein crystallography. She received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964, the first British woman to be so honoured.

    Read more

  • Hooke’s micrographia

    This is the world’s first illustrated book of microscopic observations. Robert Hooke investigated many everyday objects through the microscope, including a feather, mould, a razor’s edge, finely woven cloth, and even a full stop printed in a book.

    Read more

  • Principia mathematica

    The manuscript of Sir Isaac Newton’s work, philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (1687, mathematical principles of natural philosophy), is the Royal Society’s greatest treasure and a cornerstone of scientific thought.

    Read more

  • The art and science of Richard Waller

    The paintings of Richard Waller FRS (c. 1660-1715) are technically brilliant and years ahead of their time. His groundbreaking set of botanical watercolours was intended to illustrate a catalogue of plants.

    Read more

  • A view of Vesuvius

    Sir William Hamilton FRS (1731-1803) arrived in Naples in 1764, intent on a systematic study of modern volcanic eruptions. He employed a monk, Antonio Piaggi, to keep daily written observations and pencil sketches of activity at Vesuvius. 

    Read more