ECHO Content ECHO Technology ECHO Network ECHO Policy
Search Anthropology Archaeology Art and Optics Bibliotheca Polyglotta Buddhism Chinese Sources Copperplates Cuneiform Tablets Folk Religion Greek Science 1600-1821 Historical Maps Historical Travel Guides History of Architecture History of Chemistry History of Cosmology History of Demography History of Mathematics History of Mechanics History of Modern Physics History of Optical Drawing Instruments History of Pre-Modern Physics History of Science History of Ship Construction Intuitive Physics Islamic Sciences Jesuit Sciences Legal History Life Sciences Literature and Popular Science Music History Natural History Opere di Alessandro Volta Philosophy Pratolino Garden Reference Works Scientific Revolution Scientific Voyages Sign Languages Spatial Concepts

Digital Research Library for the Study of Long-Term Developments in the History of Mechanics


The collection of historical sources on the history of mechanics deals with the entire tradition of mechanical knowledge. It is a proof-of-concept endeavor for an open digital research library in the history of science that proposes to combine research and dissemination in a new way. It closely integrates scholarly work and technical developments.

Collection of Historical Sources on Mechanics

This collection is part of the digital repository of historical sources on the history of science. The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (MPIWG) and its collaboration partners have made available a collection of rare books concerning the history of mechanics, statics, optics, mathematics, geometry, architecture and other thematic fields, that represent the corpus of source texts which are actually in the focus of the research activities of the MPIWG.

Database Machine Drawings

The "database machine drawings" (DMD) is part of the research project "The Relation of Practical Experience and Conceptual Structures in the Emergence of Science: Mental Models in the History of Mechanics," a project pursued by Department I of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Berlin. In its context, a large number of original sources concerning the history of mechanics have been made available on the Internet as a digital research library, the "Archimedes Project." In this broader context the database DMD is especially devoted to studying the practical knowledge of early modern engineers.

Leonardo da Vinci, Codex Madrid I (Digital Edition)

A project by the Historisches Institut der RWTH Aachen, preliminary version 20.12.2013.
Partner institutions and contributors:

Manuscript Collection of the Biblioteca degli Intronati di Siena

In cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, the Biblioteca degli Intronati di Siena has made available some of their rare manuscripts on the history of mechanics.

The Antikythera Mechanism (virtual exhbition)

The Antikythera Mechanism exhibition, held at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin is realized in the frame of the Excellence Cluster TOPOI.
On Easter Tuesday, 1900, sponge divers from the island of Symi discovered a Roman shipwreck near the coast of the small island of Antikythera. A few months later, the Greek State organized the very first major underwater archaeology expedition, with the sponge divers, assisted by the Greek Royal Navy.
The wreck is dated ca 80 - 60 BCE while much of its rich cargo dates from before the second century BCE; among the superb findings was an object containing gears, dials and inscriptions, also dated during the second half of this century.
This particular object is now called the “Antikythera Mechanism” and is on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Since its discovery, speculation on its use has run from an astronomical device, an astrolabe, planetarium or navigational device, to a combination of various devices.

The Collection Browser of the Archimedes Project

The Archimedes Project is the digital library component of a major research project of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science dealing with mental models in the history of mechanics. The library contains key primary sources documenting the development from ancient to early modern mechanics. The collection browser of the project coordinates images and text and links the texts by means of language technology to dictionaries.
The project would not have been possible without the tight collaboration of American and European partners who have not only invested previous experience in this project, but who also share a commitment to open access without which the vision of an open digital research library would be impossible to accomplish.
Ongoing research at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin on the long-term development of mental models of mechanical thinking and their manifestation in technical terminologies, inferences of practitioners, engineers, and scientists plays an important role in the testbed design. The testbed also requires a powerful, linguistically based information technology for handling the variety of languages occurring in the source materials. Source documents are being prepared with tools such as automatic morphological analysis of Latin, Greek and Italian, and semantic linking of sources to general and technical, modern and historical dictionaries and reference works.

More info about
the Archimedes Project (2002-2004) - Introduction and institutional context

   CONTACT   IMPRESSUM   Last Update: October 2014