Scientific Instrument Museum
Virtual Museum Guide
The collection and supplemental materials may
be explored on-line as they relate to Humboldt State, or by subject
Humboldt State Collection
The collection has been divided into three periods which correlate
approximately to some major events in the life of science at the
University. To place the instruments in context material is also
presented on how science was taught at Humboldt: what was available,
classes, majors, instructors, etc.
Thematic Groupings with Satellite Exhibits
A variety of instruments in the museum's collection are organized into thematic groups. Selected objects from these groups appear in Satellite exhibits physically displayed near the laboratories/facilities where they were used.
In most cases instruments outside of the museum's collection are also featured. These exhibits are of limited duration, but continue online after they are taken down (e.g. The Chemical Refratometer), the actual dates of the each physical display are given in brackets.
& Apparatus Indexed by Category (August 2010):
a listing of all of the instruments
in the virtual museum as of August 2010, with links to individual instrument pages.
- Contemporary Instrument
Literature: (extracts of books, pamphlets, catalogs etc. providing
information on the use, design, and repair of instruments found
in the collection): Optical character recognition scans
of documents with figures presented as JPEG files. Occasionally
scanned pages are provided to give a "feel" for the
original documents. (May also be accessed via links from instrument
- Essays: Short
essays written to provide additional background on instruments,
manufacturers, etc. (May also be accessed via links from instrument
- References: To increase the usefulness
of this site I have provided an annotated bibliography. These
are works I have found particularly useful regarding the history
and development of 20th century instruments.
- Curator's catalog collection: A variety of instrument catalogs are held by the curator. They are available by appointment on site at HSU.
A listcan be downloaded at: http://humboldt.edu/scimus/Catalogs by Decade.pdf . A reader for pdf documents can be downloaded from: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html
- About the Museum: A little background about the origins and philosophy
of the museum.
Care and Repair: In an effort to aid collectors, specifications and/or
illustrations for parts, references etc. are being assembled
If you have additional information regarding the instruments
you think I could/should include please share that information.
I am particularly interested in additional contemporary catalog
illustrations for the instruments missing that information. I
am also interested in contemporary sources for the use of these
instruments in teaching etc. I may be contacted by e-mail (preferred): firstname.lastname@example.org;
mail: Richard Paselk, Department of Chemistry, Humboldt State
University, CA 95521; or telephone: (707) 826-5719
© R. Paselk
Last modified 4 March 2015