Objects and Artifacts

Edward C. Streeter Collection of Weights and Measures

The Edward C. Streeter Collection is one of the most comprehensive study collections of weights and measures in the world in terms of time period and geography. The weights and scales form the most valuable part: Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Islamic, Greek, and Roman; weights issued by different cities, especially those in southern France; gold (money) scales; weights and scales used by apothecaries; Nuremberg nested weights, and over 1,000 European individual money weights. The measures, both linear and bulk, range from an Elizabethan corn-bushel dated 1601 to American yardsticks of the nineteenth century and include calipers, squares, bevels, levels, rules, dividers, and measuring gauges. In-house catalogue sheets were prepared by former curator Bruno Kisch. Kisch's book, Scales and Weights: A Historical Outline (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966, c. 1965) includes much information about the collection. The nested weights have been described in Ellen Zak Danforth, Nesting Weights, Einsatzgewichte and Piles a Godet: A Catalog of Nested Cup Weights in the Edward Clark Streeter Collection of Weights and Measures, Transactions of the Connecticut Society of Arts and Sciences, 50 (March 1988). Copies are still obtainable from the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences ((203) 432-3113).

The International Society of Antique Scale Collectors have photographed and described the Library’s collection.

Medical Instruments

A wide assortment of medical artifacts have been donated to the Library. Most date from the 19th or early 20th century and include surgical kits and individual surgical instruments, obstetric forceps, dissecting kits, microscopes, various diagnostic tools, medicine chests, pharmacy jars, and Chinese medical instruments.