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The Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of History of Science & Technology stewards and researches a collection of approximately 15,000 items from over 500 years of history. The collection includes a wide range of scientific instruments and technological devices related to radiotelegraphy, transportation, entertainment, warfare, and the textile industry, among many other fields. It also includes awards and personal belongings associated with specific scientists, historical images and publications, and various specimens.
The History of Science & Technology collection tells inspiring and meaningful stories about centuries of research and teaching in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It also sheds light on the history of everyday life, business and industry, entertainment and fashion, the visual and performing arts, and global conflicts and oppression. These stories include how people and communities have been involved in, excluded from, and affected by science and technology.
The Division’s collection has grown over the centuries through acquisitions from Yale schools and departments, donations from private collectors and practitioners, and transfers from other institutions. Because of the collection’s own history, most of the objects are from Europe and North America. However, many artifacts connect to the histories of colonialism, capitalism, technology transfer, cross-cultural encounters, scientific exchanges, and other global themes.
The Division welcomes researchers, loan requests, and other collaborations. It considers donations related to the history of science and technology from any time period or part of the world.
The collections are available to researchers for scholarly use. Loans are issued to responsible individuals at established institutions. Loans and access to the collection can be arranged through the collections manager.
Research in the History of Science & Technology Collections
The Peabody’s curatorial divisions are governed by the Museum’s collections policies and best practices document. Collections are available to researchers for scholarly use and loans are issued to individuals at established institutions. Loans and access can be arranged through the curatorial division’s collections manager.
The Division of History of Science & Technology is committed to providing access to and engagement with the collection for people at Yale and beyond. The Division supports teaching at Yale by assisting students in course research, offering object sessions and collection visits for classes, and producing multimedia and other creative components for asynchronous learning. Collection-based support is also available to researchers and students beyond Yale.
The Division organizes collection-based events and tours open to everyone and responds to public questions whenever possible. It works with Peabody staff to fulfill requests for digital assets, facilitate exhibition loans, and collaborate with other institutions. The data encoded in the objects in the History of Science & Technology collection is used in scientific research today. Thanks to the range of its holdings, the Division has also provided support and inspiration to scientists, historians, filmmakers, photographers, artists, poets, architects, and engineers.
The Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, publishes original research in the natural science disciplines represented by the collections of the Yale Peabody Museum’s curatorial divisions.