Through the instruments that make up the Collection, its library of often one of a kind source material, and the knowledge of our seasoned curatorial staff, the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments is a resource that can make for rich research experiences. Over the years, scholars and students in medicine, the natural and physical sciences, work and industry, political history, home and community life, culture, design, and technology have utilized the CHSI in ways that have fostered exceptionally creative exploration in their respective fields.
Collection Research & Exhibition Advisory
During the Cabot Library renovation project in the Science Center, the Putnam and Special Exhibition Galleries will remain OPEN. The Harvard Mark I installation will be inaccessible for the duration of the renovation project, but will be back on view later this spring.
The CHSI will remain closed to research and teaching until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Harvard faculty, students, and museum professionals are highly encouraged to fill-in the online inquiry form provided on our website. The CHSI’s Curator or Director of Administration will get back to you promptly. It is also recommended to first take a look at our online database, Waywiser, before requesting information about specific instruments. Arrangements to study the instruments on site are possible and made on a case-by-case basis.
The CHSI library is open by appointment only. Please contact our Collection Manager for more information on how and when to visit.
While we welcome researchers to CHSI by appointment, beginning an inquiry by consulting Waywiser, our online database, can often save time by determining whether there is material in our collections relevant to your interests. Should more in-depth assistance be required, please use this form to provide us with as much detail as possible. Please be patient as our investigations on your behalf can take up to a week. We will contact you to with our results, and schedule a visit, if need be.