Around 100 specialist books have been donated to us 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 books, some of which are over 200 years old, cover a variety of subjects such as vision science, optics, microscopy, photography and cybernetics. The donation also includes 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.
Included in the auction is a book written by the Dutch physicist Pieter Zeeman. He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1902 for his studies on how magnetic fields change the behaviour of light. The text was signed by Zeeman and dedicated to British surgeon D’Arcy Power in 1931 on a visit to this country to mark the Michael Faraday celebrations. Zeeman worked alongside Albert Einstein, the German physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics.
The donations were made to Nicola Rust, manager of our charity shop at Great Underbank in Stockport town centre. She is auctioning individual titles on our St Ann’s 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.
Nicola said: “We’re extremely grateful for this kind donation from a charitable trust which has passed the books on to us after its closure. They are beautiful books in excellent condition with fascinating illustrations, some of which are coloured plates. We’re excited to put them on sale.
“All proceeds from the online sales will go directly towards funding care for our patients.
“These are wonderful historical documents and I’m sure there are those who’d like to own a piece of scientific heritage.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.”