Novvelle invention de lever l'eav plvs havt qve sa source: avec qvelqves machines movvantes par le moyen de l'eav, et vn discovrs de la condvit d'icelle. Par Isaac de Cavs

Collection History

The engineering collection grew from the holdings of the Astor Library, which focused on practical knowledge and included a significant number of useful works such as trade catalogs and business journals not collected by academic institutions. After the creation of The New York Public Library in 1895, the Astor holding provided the core for continuing contemporary acquisitions of new titles in each of the major divisions of the engineering discipline including civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Images included in the digital library collection reflect the unique nature of much of these materials.

A major gift to NYPL was the collection of William Barclay Parsons who served on the Board of the Library from 1911 until his death in 1932. General Parsons was also the chief engineer of the New York City subway system and a great many volumes in the collection deal with civil engineering projects and transportation engineering, dating from the 15th to the 20th century. In addition, the Parsons collection contains a significant number of volumes relating to military engineering projects during World War 1 when General Parsons served as a senior army engineer. In 1995, NYPL acquired the rare book collection of the Engineering Societies library, which supplements the Parsons gift.


Unlike academic institutions whose libraries' collections are curriculum-driven, NYPL operates as a major research center for the public, assembling and preserving such ordinary and practical resources as trade catalogs and journals, professional conference proceedings, blueprints, government documents, and numerous other items relating to engineering in the broadest sense.

Significant to the value of the collection is its comprehensiveness and global nature. Engineering titles from every corner of the world continue to be collected, including engineering related to specific world events such as war and advances in technology.

Related Resources

Chrimes, Mike. Civil Engineering. (1992)

Cressy, Edward. A Hundred Years of Mechanical Engineering. (1937)

Greeves, Ivan S. London Docks. (1980)

Herkimer, Herbert. Engineers' Illustrated Thesaurus. (1952)

Hubert, Paur, ed. Dictionnaire biographique des inventeurs, ingenieurs & constructeurs... (1904)

Parsons, William Barclay. Engineers and Engineering in the Renaissance. (1939)

Sellers, George Esco. Early Engineering Reminiscences, 1815-40. (1965)

Smiles, Samuel. Lives of the Engineers. (1862-68)

Stapleton, Darwin H. The History of Civil Engineering Since 1600: An Annotated Bibliography. (1986)

Watson, Sara Ruth. Famous Engineers. (1950)

Collection Data

Based on Salomon de Caus' "Les raisons des forces movvantes auec diuerses machines," Francfort, 1615. Includes descriptions and illustrations of various musical automata and a hydraulic barrel-organ.
Caus, Salomon de, d. 1626 (Bibliographic antecedent)
Caus, Isaac de, 1590-1648 (Author)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1644
Place: Londres
Library locations
Rare Book Division
Shelf locator: (Parsons) VDCP+ (Caus. Novvelle invention de lever l'eav plvs havlt que sa source)
Hydraulic engineering
Pumping machinery
Machine theory
Engineering drawings
Ownership: Parsons Collection
Content: Added printed t.-p., without imprint, wrongly bound between p. 16 and 17.
Content: Engraved t.-p. with architectural border. Caption and running title, p. 4-16: Theoriqve de la condvite des eaux. Running title, p. 17-32: Forces movvantes.
Statement of responsibility: Published by Moxon.--cf. Brunet, v. 1, col. 1692.
Content: Title captions taken from pages 17-32.
Physical Description
Extent: 2 p.l., 32 p. illus., 26 plates. 33 cm
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: 2717831
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b13756888
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 735ae030-c6bd-012f-e850-58d385a7bc34
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