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St Ann’s Hospice auctions rare historical science books

Author: Leila Hawkins
13 September 2017

St Ann’s Hospice is auctioning a selection of rare scientific and medical books, including one by a Nobel-prize winning author.

The auction has around 100 books, some of which are over 200 years old, and covers a variety of subjects including optics, microscopy, photography and cybernetics. There is also a number of notable medical texts on sight testing as well as eye diseases and their treatment. Many of the books have elaborate woodcut illustrations.

One book was written by the Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1902 for his studies on how magnetic fields change the behaviour of light. The book is signed by Zeeman and dedicated to British surgeon D'Arcy Power in 1931.  Zeeman is also known for working alongside Albert Einstein.

The books have been donated to the hospice by the Marton Library Trust, a charity set up in 1980 as a tribute to Harry Marton, a leading figure in the development of optometry in the UK.   The donations were made to Nicola Rust, manager of the St Ann's charity shop at Great Underbank in Stockport town centre, who decided to auction the individual titles on the hospice eBay site.

Nicola began her career selling second-hand books and has worked in the book industry for more than 25 years. Consequently the logging of such a valuable book collection has been a labour of love.

She said:

"These are wonderful historical documents and I am sure there are those who would like to own a piece of scientific heritage. They will be of great interest to anyone involved in science or medicine such as book collectors, librarians who are seeking additions to their archives, universities, hospitals, ophthalmologists and optometrists."

All proceeds from the sales will go directly towards funding the hospice.  The auction runs till September 17 at 7pm. For more information visit St Ann’s Hospice eBay shop

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