Koger History of Science Collection
Bookplate of the Koger Collection
he Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Koger History of Science Collection, established in 1963, includes approximately 1,000 titles and 1,400 volumes. Primarily scientific literature of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, it was acquired to support the research needs of the university. Mrs. Koger, an early settler of Lubbock County, funded the collection with a gift of $62,000.
This amount, equivalent in today’s money to nearly $500,000, was well spent, for it has provided Texas Tech University with some of its most important and rare items. Significant works include the second edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ On the Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres. (De Revolvtionibus Orbium Cślestium. Basileae: Ex Officina Henricpetrina, 1566), the first edition in English of Isaac Newton's Principia (The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. London: for Benjamin Motte, 1729), and the first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species (London: J. Murray, 1859).
The Koger Collection also contains three incunables, which are books printed before 1501: a 1488 edition of Arithmetic by Boethius (Arithmetica Boetii. Augsburg: E. Ratdolt, 1488), a 1489 edition of Saint Augustine’s City of God (Augustinus De Ciuitate Dei. Venice: O. Scoti, 1489), and a 1492 edition of Saint John Climacus’ Ladder to Paradise, (Sancto Iouanni Climacho Altrimenti Scala Paradisi. Venice: da Mandelo, 1492).
All the books in the Koger Collection have the book plate shown above. The stylistic floral drawing evokes the Desert Rose Farm, the Koger residence in Lubbock County.
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