Science history

Gustavianum has a large collection of historical scientific objects, dating from the late Medieval era until the late 20th century. Scientific instruments, scientific collections and scientific machinery bear witness of the scientific revolution in the 17th century, the globalization of 18th century science, the second scientific revolution of measurement in the 19th century and the increasingly technical development towards “big science” in the 20th century. Uppsala University had several world-class scientists in Early Modern natural science. Rudbeck, Linné, Thunberg, Celsius and others have all left us with a rich material heritage, as has our Nobel Laureates, for example The Svedberg and Arne Tiselius. Our science history collections are only partly documented, and we are in the process of digitalizing these collections. There are links to projects that use our science history collections on the left-hand side of this page.

All of the university’s scientific heritage is not in Gustavianum’s collections, but a substantial part of the objects are currently part of different departmental collections. The University collections of mineralogy, botany, zoology and palaeontology is primarily in the care of our sister museum, the university’s Museum of Evolution.