An outstanding sketch capturing basic features of a sea port with clouds, mountains and trees on the top front and buildings in a V shaped island, a bridge on the connecting the town on the left and ships floating near the harbour.

A woodcut illustration (cropped) of optical phenomena from the Latin translation of Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham’s Kitab al-manazir (Opticae Thesaurus), published in Basel (Basileae) in the sixteenth century.

The IIS’s Ismaili Special Collections Unit (ISCU) is taking part in History Day 2022, on 17 November. Its participation is part of ISCU’s continuing initiatives to educate various audiences about heritage material at the IIS and facilitate access to these collections.

History Day, as well as the History Collections website, is a collaborative initiative of the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House Library and members of the History Research Libraries Committee.

The one-day event brings together students, researchers and anyone with an interest in history with information professionals from history organisations, archives, museums and libraries from across the UK and beyond, with the aim of sharing collections and resources online.

This year’s History Day is focused on the theme of Human Discovery: Experiencing Science. It aims to explore collections on the history of science and technology in its broadest sense, including the everyday experiences and impacts of science and technology on ordinary people.

To reflect the theme, Naureen Ali, ISCU Cataloguer and Adlib Officer, has written a blog for the History Collections website exploring some of the rare printed materials and manuscripts in our collections that capture scientific discoveries and their influence on human lives.

Topics covered in her blog, which you can read here, include medicine, optics and the printing of the Qur’an. Extracts will also feature on a History Day padlet dedicated to scientific discoveries.

Through its participation, ISCU hopes to connect more researchers and students with the wealth of heritage materials housed at the IIS.

Read the blog


Explore History Day