Teachers and students from New Jersey have been taking a special interest in the Special Collections of the Samuel C. Williams Library. Two groups last week toured the library and specifically were able to engage in the library’s Lieb Collection of works by Leonardo Da Vinci.
The first was a group of elementary school teachers in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program. They were led by Archives and Special Collections Librarian, Leah Loscutoff. Many of the teachers were able to flip through the facsimiles of anatomical drawings by Da Vinci. The teachers were also fascinated with the De Divina Proportione, a famous book on mathematics written by Luca Pacioli. The Library’s copy is from 1509 with illustrations by Da Vinci.
The second tour in the week was with a group of STEM students from Morristown High School. The students and their teachers were invited on campus by Pinar Akcora, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, as part of outreach activity for a National Science Foundation Grant. Before the students visited the library they were given information about mechanical engineering, chemical engineering and nanotechnology as well as taken to some of the innovative labs here at Stevens.
Once at the library the students were excited about seeing the Da Vinci collection. One student Patrick Bauer put it best:
“Leonardo Da Vinci is the most fascinating man of the Renaissance, and it was a rare opportunity to see his own work in front of my own eyes, and not on a TV screen. I walked in knowing that Leonardo was a genius in many ways, from art to engineering, and to see his work and replicas of it was fascinating. I walked out with memories of a multi-barrel cannon, a machine that would have dominated on the battlefield, and wondered where he could have such inspiration and imagination.
While I am not a biology person, the fact that Leonardo had interest in the human body before modern medicine had even been invented was strange, what he could do with that information was incredible. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity to experience the labs and library at Stevens Tech.”
The Library is dedicated to engaging the Stevens campus and outside communities to the wonderful history contained within our walls. If you would like a tour of the library’s Special Collection, please go here.