HistoryofScience.com BlogNews Archives: 2005

December 2005

Jeremy wrote the Introduction to Andras Gedeon’s book, Science and Technology in Medicine issued by Springer in December 2005

August 10, 2005

Picassos? Warhols? No, This Multimillion-Dollar Collection Stars the Science of DNA, Nicholas Wade’s article on the sale of the Jeremy Norman Collection in Molecular Biology to the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md., was published in the New York Times issue of August 10, 2005. Another article on the sale appeared in the Washington Business Journal on the same date.

July 2005

Jeremy appraised portions of the Agilent Company Archives for Agilent Technologies. This included the papers of William Hewlett and David Packard, and other material documenting the origins of Silicon Valley.


“Genius on the Block,” Stephen Cass’s review of the Origins of Cyberspace auction, was published in the July 2005 issue of IEEE Spectrum.

June 2005

Jeremy participated in “Majestic Conversations 2005: Understanding Google,” sponsored by Majestic Research, an independent research firm providing specialized services to institutional investors in e-commerce and related fields. Jeremy was one of a panel of 25 experts in e-commerce, search engines and Internet advertising; the panel brought together a number of Google’s key constituents in order to “share data and insights on the company specifically and on the Internet landscape at large.” Jeremy gave a talk on “Historical search strategies from Homer and Boole to Von Neumann and Google.”

March 2005

The Scientific Instrument Society Bulletin no. 84 (March 2005) contained an article on two related items we sold to the Bakken Library and Museum roughly 25 years apart: “L’Expérience sur l’Électricité,” a large 18th-century engraving after the painting by Charles Amédée Philippe Vanloo (b. 1719); and the original gridded pencil outline drawing from which the engraving was made. The engraving is featured on the cover of this issue of the SIS Bulletin. The Bakken purchased the engraving from us in April 2004; we sold them the original drawing over 25 years ago. Our thanks to Bakken librarian Elizabeth Ihrig for drawing our attention to the article.

February 2005

In February 2005, Christie’s in New York sold Jeremy’s Origins of Cyberspace Library. This library on the history of computing, networking, and telecommunications documented the scientific and technological foundations of the Internet. What made the Origins of Cyberspace so special is that it went to the very beginning of the developments that led to the modern digital world. The goal of collectors in the history of science and technology has always been to collect the key documents that represent epochal discoveries. That is what Jeremy achieved with this library.

The auction catalogue condensed the 1411 items in Origins of Cyberspace to about 250 lots. Among the contents of the Origin of Cyberspace library were key founding documents concerning the following:

  • The first programmable computer
  • The first electronic computer
  • Origins of the stored-program concept
  • The first software
  • The mathematical theory of communications
  • The mathematical theory of data communications
  • The origins of neurocomputing
  • The origins of artificial intelligence
  • Landmarks in the history of mathematical logic as they apply to computing
  • The history of the computer business
  • The foundation of the world—s first electronic computer company
  • The origins of bioinformatics
  • The origins of telecommunications
  • The beginnings of electronic computing in the United States and England, and to a lesser extent, in France, Italy, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Japan

The Origins of Cyberspace sale was reported by news organizations and bloggers in many countries. The sale was reviewed by Eric A.Weiss in the “Events and Sightings” section of IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 27, no. 2 (April-June 2005): 80-81.

Notices on the Web re the Origins of Cyberspace auction:

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