Mary Somerville papers, [ca. 1781-ca. 1877]


Date: Circa 1781-1877 | Size: 19 microfilm_reel(s)


This microfilm of Somerville's papers was compiled by Elizabeth C. Patterson for her book, "Mary Somerville and the Cultivation of Science, 1815-1840" (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983). It includes Somerville's scientific writings, personal writings, "letters from celebrities," family papers, genealogy, and photographs. Subjects of some of her writings include astronomy, Halley's comet, effects of light, and physical geography.

Background note

Mary Somerville was a writer on various branches of science, including astronomy and physical geography.

Collection Information

Physical description

19 microfilm reels.


17 reels purchased from Elizabeth C. Patterson ($120.00) and accessioned, 11/11/1970 (1970 1648mf).

Location of originals:

Originals in Bodleian Library, Oxford, England.

Early American History Note

This is a microfilm of an early American collection that may be of interest to researchers at the APS and may complement an original manuscript collection at the APS.

Indexing Terms

Family Name(s)

  • Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers, -- c

Geographic Name(s)

  • Halley's comet.

Personal Name(s)

  • Babbage, Charles, 1791-1871
  • Greig, Woronzow
  • Herschel, John F. W., Sir (John Frederick William), 1792-1871
  • Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, Marquis de, 1757-1834
  • Lubbock, J. W. (John William), 1803-1865
  • Lyell, Charles, Sir, 1797-1875
  • Smyth, W. H. (William Henry), 1788-1865
  • Somerville, Martha C.
  • Somerville, Mary (1780-1872)
  • Somerville, William, 1771-1860


  • Astronomy.
  • Light -- Physiological effect.
  • Physical geography.
  • Science -- Great Britain.
  • Women scientists -- Germany.