March Featured Collection: The Chymistry of Isaac Newton

18thConnect is pleased to introduce March’s featured collection: The Chymistry of Isaac Newton, provided by Indiana University at Bloomington.

The site boasts an impressive variety of information and resources, including scans and transcriptions of Newton’s original manuscripts, a glossary of alchemical terms, and a multimedia lab.

The site provides over fifty entries for Newton’s hand-written alchemical notes, scanned and transcribed from Keynes MS. 57, held at Kings College Library, Cambridge University. Each entry provides a detailed physical description and custodial history that is based on a physical inspection of the manuscript. The site’s Alchemical Glossary is a fascinating resource that provides over a hundred definitions for alchemical terms such as “ambergris,” “terra figulina,” and “vitriol of venus.” Their multimedia lab is particularly useful for a visualization of the types of experiments that Newton and others in his field conducted. The video for Newton’s “Tree of Diana” reaction, for instance, captures the stunning silver structure formed in a solution of silver and mercury dissolved in nitric acid.

Texts and images from The Chymistry of Isaac Newton are provided for non-commercial, personal, or research use only.