Pamela O. Long, an independent historian of late medieval and Renaissance history and the history of science and technology, was recently awarded the prestigious MacArthur “genius grant.” The MacArthur Fellowship is an annual award to “talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.” Long performed research as a Dibner Library Resident Scholar from February-April 1993. Her research topic was Openness, Secrecy, Authorship, Intellectual Property, and Studies in the Technical, Practical, and Military Traditions of Pre-modern Europe, which led to the published Power, Patronage, and the Authorship of Ars: From Mechanical Know-how to Mechanical Knowledge in the Last Scribal Age (March 1997).
Tag: Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology
Now that the time of harvesting grapes for wine in the Northern Hemisphere is coming to a close, let’s raise an appreciative glass and toast John Adlum, known to a few as the “Father of American Viticulture.” The history of wine making in the United States is involved, to say the least (see Pinney’s magisterial work on the subject*) but it was Adlum who nurtured the first commercially viable vine in this country. And he did so, surprisingly but not incidentally, in the nation’s capital.
Sébastien Vauban (1633-1707) was the premier military engineer of his age and revolutionized siege warfare. Vauban was a Marshal of France as well as a Marquis. He is best known for his engineering and theoretical approach to fortifications, both on the design and attack fronts. One of his fascinating manuscripts on the fortification of cities was recently uploaded to the Smithsonian Transcription Center where you can help uncover its secrets.