About Alembic Rare Books

We specialise in rare science books dating from the late Middle Ages to the 20th century, including first editions, signed copies, manuscripts, objects, and ephemera. We have particular expertise in natural history, genetics and evolution, anatomy, nuclear physics and the Manhattan Project, early computing, and women in science. We also carry books related to women's history and literature.

Sign up to receive email catalogues and occasional shop news:

Latest Blog Post

I Sold That! The Chicken in Trousers Manuscript

October 17, 2018

One of the delights of being a bookseller is that occasionally something you work on strikes a chord with the general public and goes a little viral. Recently I sold what may go down in history as the "Chicken in Trousers Manuscript"  a wonderful mathematical workbook by an 18th-century boy named Richard Beale, who seems to have spent as much time doodling as completing his homework. It was a real pleasure to link the manuscript with the rest of the family's papers at the Museum of English Rural Life at the University of Reading, which was then able to purchase it with the help of a generous donor.

I wasn't online much last week, and was pleasantly surprised when the Museum got in touch about all the press attention their tweets generated, including some love from JK Rowling! The day-to-day work that booksellers do in researching stock and placing it with the right clients is often hidden, so I was thrilled that the Museum kindly gave me permission to highlight my association with the notebook. Read on for my cataloguing and some of my favourite doodles.

Continue Reading →

Tweets