St Catharine's Adds to its Rare Books Collection

On what would have been Dmitri Mendeleev’s 184th birthday, St Catharine’s College is excited to announce a new addition to the College Library's rare books collection.

Following a generous donation from Fellow Commoners Peter and Christina Dawson, we have purchased a first edition of Mendeleev's Principles of Chemistry, published in 1869, the first book in which the Periodic Table appears in print. Although written as a textbook, this two-volume publication book is very rare – ours may be the only copy in Britain. Bound in dark green leather, a handwritten note on the endleaf indicates that the first owner was a woman, probably a student studying in St Petersburg in the early 1870s.

The United Nations has proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements. Thanks to the generosity of our members, St Catharine's will be able to play a key part in these celebrations. We'll be displaying the Principles of Chemistry, along with several other important publications obtained as part of this gift, in events throughout the year.