The Hooke Folio
October 15, 2007 9:14 PM   Subscribe

The Hooke Folio : A digitized version of Robert Hooke's minutes of the Royal Society.
posted by dhruva (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Hooke's Micrographia.
"The most ingenious booke that ever I read in my life."
- Samuel Pepys
posted by nasreddin at 9:36 PM on October 15, 2007

Good grief! that page turning is annoying. The page often gets half-way and falls back down as well as crashing my browser every now and then. The link to the blog is interesting though, so thanks dhruva.
posted by tellurian at 10:52 PM on October 15, 2007

Yeah the site itself was acting up yesterday, took forever to load. But they have transcriptions, which are a hell of a lot easier to (try to) read.
posted by dhruva at 11:00 PM on October 15, 2007

Wow, I love this. I like the ability to look at the manuscript - the transcript and magnifier work well. Now I admit these page turning flash things can be a bit on the fussy side as tellurian points out, but I didn't have any trouble and I very much liked being able to see the book. Bookmarked to explore further next rainy day - thanks, dhruva!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:01 PM on October 15, 2007

Thanks dhruva. I think Hooke is one of the most amazing (and undeservedly not so well known) characters from history. His list of accomplishments is remarkable, from physics to architecture to microscopy and beyond. If anyone's passing through here and can recommend a biography, please do so.

[strange how the wikipedia article retains a portrait known not to have been of Hooke. Kind of like: "here is the person who is not Hooke". You could put up a picture of John Cleese and say: "this too is not Robert Hooke".]
posted by peacay at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2007

The Royal Society's podcast about this (linked from that blog somewhere and downloadable from here) was awesome. I've been enjoying their podcasts in general actually.
posted by shelleycat at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2007

Newton's famous line "if I have seen farther than other men, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" comes from a letter written to Hooke, and was intended primarily as a swipe at the ill-favored Hooke, who was variously described by contemporaries as a 'dwarf.'
posted by jamjam at 7:05 PM on October 16, 2007

The TTP version hosted on the Royal Society website only seems to include a few selected pages from the Hooke Folio, not the whole manuscript. The full version (without the irritating turning-the-pages gimmick) can be found here, and very interesting it is too, though there are a few errors in the transcription.

In answer to your question, peacay, the best book on Hooke is probably London's Leonardo (a collection of four biographical studies of Hooke from different angles, by Jim Bennett, Michael Cooper, Michael Hunter and Lisa Jardine). Lisa Jardine's biography, The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, is a competent piece of work, well worth reading, but I don't always trust Jardine to get to the heart of the matter.
posted by verstegan at 4:01 AM on October 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

Whoa! That's good verstegan.
posted by tellurian at 5:27 PM on October 17, 2007

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