Newton’s Lost Copy of Mede, Revealed

The Huntington’s library collection comprises nearly 9 million manuscripts, books, photographs and other works in such fields as American and British history, literature, art, and the history of science. Because of the sheer volume of materials—with each item having to be analyzed by hand and carefully studied—it’s possible for things … Continue reading

“Several kinds of hairy mouldy spots”

The book had a sheepskin cover, and mold was growing on the sheepskin. Robert Hooke, a pioneering microbiologist, slid the cover under one of the world’s first microscopes. Mold, he discovered, consists of “nothing else but several kinds of small and variously figur’d Mushroms.” He described the mushrooms in his … Continue reading

LECTURES | Shedding New Light on Old Manuscripts

With their high-tech lighting equipment and software, Greg Bearman and Ken Boydston can reveal hidden text in old, darkened manuscripts. Called spectral imaging (or sometimes multi-spectral imaging), the technique bounces different wavelengths of light off objects to increase the contrast between ink and parchment, rendering the invisible visible. “Instead of … Continue reading