History and Theory Reading Group: Paper Tools

This term the History and Theory Reading Group will be grappling with ‘paper tools’ in the sciences, starting on October 17th with readings by David Kaiser and Ursula Klein.
Meetings will take place in the new Seminar Room 3, and will run every other Friday, 2.30–4pm. See below for the full Michaelmas schedule. Readings will be available in a file in the Whipple Library and online via Dropbox.
Convenor: Boris Jardine — bj210@cam.ac.uk.


17 October

  1. David Kaiser, ‘Making tools travel: pedagogy and the transfer of skills in postwar theoretical physics’, in David Kaiser (ed.), Pedagogy and the Practice of Science (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005), pp. 41–74
  2. Ursula Klein, ‘Paper Tools in Experimental Cultures’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 32 (2001), pp. 265–302


  • Andrew Warwick, ‘A mathematical world on paper: written examinations in early 19th century Cambridge’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (1998), 295–319

31 October

  1. Lisa Gitelman, Introduction and Chapter 3 in Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014)


  • Markus Krajewski, Paper Machines: About Cards and Catalogues, 1548–1929, translated by Peter Krapp (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011)

14 November

  1. Ben Kafka, ‘Paperwork: the state of the discipline’, Book History 12 (2009), pp. 340–53
  2. Ann Blair, Chapters 1 and 2 in Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010)


  • Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton, ‘”Studied for Action”: How Gabriel Harvey Read His Livy’, Past & Present 129 (1990), pp. 30–78
  • Jeffrey Todd Knight, ‘”Furnished” for Action: Renaissance Books as Furniture’, Book History 12 (2009), pp. 37–73

28 November

  1. Nick Hopwood, Simon Schaffer and Jim Secord, ‘Seriality and scientific objects in the nineteenth century’, History of Science 48 (2010), pp. 251–85
  2. James Delbourgo and Staffan Müller-Wille, ‘Introduction: Listmania’, Isis 103 (2012), pp. 710–15


  • Papers in both special issues, especially Volker Hess and J. Andrew Mendelsohn, ‘Case and Series: medical knowledge and paper technology 1600–1900’, History of Science 48 (2010), pp. 287–314

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