Instrument links

This page is a collection of links that might be useful for the scientific instrument collector. It is subdivided in collector web sites, museums, societies and groups, scientific instrument dealers, replica makers, other instrument related links, historic sites, Astronomy fora and miscellaneous links of interest.


With more than a thousand antique objects, many of them of museum quality, often very rare and each with its own history, the Zuylenburgh Collection is one of the most surprising private collections in the Netherlands. Its emphasis is on clocks, astronomy, microscopes, telescopes and other old instruments.

MM Instruments has been collecting 18th and 19th century scientific instruments for over 30 years. They collect instruments from most science disciplines and occasionally do restoration or preservation of rare instruments that we are not likely to find again.

Web site of a befriended Dutch collector, focussing on surveying, drawing and calculating instruments.

After having worked for 40 years in the geodetic field Greg Bennett started this great web site with mainly Wild instruments.

A collector's web site from down under. A collection of surveying instruments, compasses and early text books.

This is the virtual museum of collector Michael Popp in Germany with mainly Carl Zeiss instruments.

Web site of Russian collector Stanislaw Istahow from Kostroma, Russia. The site is in Russian, but translates quite well when using Google Chrome web browser. The site is worth visiting for all those interested in Russian geodetic instruments of which Stanislaw has several superb examples.

The theodolite club in Moscow displays a wide range of Russian geodetic instruments and literature. The site is bilingual in Russian and English.


The Netherlands Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The Maritime Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The Maritime Museum in Vlissingen, the Netherlands.

Museum Boerhaave in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK, consisting of the British National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, the Queen's House, and the Cutty Sark.

The Louwman Collection of Historic Telescopes of befriended collector Peter Louwman is on permanent exhibition in the Louwman Museum. It comes with a profusely illustrated and well introduced catalogue of his telescopes and binoculars: P.J.K. Louwman, H.J. Zuidervaart, A Certain Instrument for Seeing Far, (Wassenaar, 2013).

Epact is an electronic catalogue of medieval and renaissance scientific instruments from four European museums.

MHS houses an unrivalled collection of early scientific instruments in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building, the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street, Oxford.

The Museo Galileo is heir to a tradition of five centuries of scientific collecting, which has its origins in the central importance assigned to scientists and scientific instruments by the Medici and Lorraine families.

The site of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, USA, currently features a selection of over 300 museum objects relating to surveying and geodesy.

The virtual archive of Wild Heerbrugg. Includes a 'How old is my instrument?' page for Wild Heerbrugg instruments.

After over 170 years the company Kern & Co. Ltd. closed. A valuable collection of historical instruments and equipment, business and development files, drawing sets, production and advertising material was passed to the City Museum Schlössli in Aarau.

The Virtual Museum of Surveying. Includes a 'How old is my instrument?' page for land surveying instruments.

The virtual museum of a large Geodetic Supply company in Moscow featuring a wide range of international items. The site in in Russian, but using a browser like Google Chrome it translates quite well.

The virtual museum of the Portuguese Instituto Geográfico Portugues, the Portuguese Authority for Geodesy and Cartography. Their origins date to the 1780´s and they have a collection of scientific and geodetic related instruments.

The web site of Géomusée, a land surveyors museum in France with a nice collection of 19th and 20th century instruments.

The virtual compass museum with any type of magnetic compass you can imagine.

The Museum of HP Calculators displays and describes Hewlett-Packard calculators introduced from 1968 to 1986 plus a few interesting later models. There are also sections on calculating machines and slide rules as well as sections for buying and selling HP calculators, an HP timeline, collecting information and a software library.

The International Tool Catalog Library includes manufacturer's catalogs and related literature of tools of all trades. The emphasis is on hand tools, portable power tools, and tool-making. It also contains catalogues of surveying instruments manufacturers like Buff & Buff, Keuffel & Esser, Lufkin, Rabone, Stanley, Tardy, etc.


The Scientific Instrument Society (SIS) was formed in April 1983 to bring together people with a specialist interest in scientific instruments, ranging from precious antiques to electronic devices only recently out of production.

The Scientific Instrument Commission seeks to encourage scholarly research on the history of scientific instruments, and the preservation and documentation of collections of instruments, as well as their use within the wider discipline of the history of science.

The Gewichten en Maten Verzamelaars Vereniging (Weights and Measures Collectors Society or in short GMVV) is a Dutch society mainly dealing with weights, capacity measures (both dry and liquid), linear measures, scales and coin weights.

Society dedicated to the preservation and history of slide rules and other calculating instruments.

Society for the history of Geodesy in Switzerland.


Rete is a mailing list devoted to the history of scientific instruments. It is open to all interested parties - curators, historians, students, collectors, and dealers alike.

The Antique Telescope Society is an international society, aimed to unite colleagues interested in antique astronomical telescopes, binoculars and related items and to promote the interests in astronomical history & discovery, the history of optics and the preservation and use of these instruments.

Sextants is a discussion group on Yahoo for exchanging information on sextants and other instruments for measuring visual dihedral angles at sea, aloft, or in the field.

SurveyHistory is a discussion group on Yahoo for the general discussion of the history of the science of surveying.

SurveyorsStuff is a place for those who appreciate that great old technology and the tools that were used by Surveyors and Engineers in the past.

Original instruments

Charles Miller is a former Head of Department at Christie’s South Kensington and now sells Maritime Models, Artefacts, Collectables and Navigation and Scientific Instruments.

Maritime Art (MA) Gallery. Navigational and geodetic instruments of the highest quality.

Proantic is Dedicated to Bringing you Genuine Products.
Copies are made for money and thus have no soul. Next to furniture, paintings and sculptures Proantic also sells nice quality scientific instruments.

Very nice maritime items.

Good quality instruments from a wide range of sciences.

Good quality American antiques and collectibles related to Tools and Technology, Scientific Antiques, and Patented and Mechanical Antiques and Collectibles.

Site dedicated to the preservation and restoration of surveying instrumentation. Includes good quality instruments, a digital manual library and an overview of instrument makers.

Not much of a friendly web site, but the choice in good and great quality instruments (and parts) is unparalleled! Go there and you will be busy for an hour... at least!


German site about creating and restauration of scientific instruments.

Site about the Swiss astrolabe maker and his instruments.

Other instruments

Sundials on the Internet
Largest collection of sundial links on the internet.

Cardboard models of a wide variety of historical instruments.


Websters' Instrument Makers Database at the Adler planetarium in Chicago, USA, with signatures of many historical instrument makers.

A historical overview of Dutch instrument makers, initiated by Maria Rooseboom (1909-1978) in 1950, and continued on-line by the Dutch Huygens ING, part of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences).

This Russian site is dedicated to the history of astronomy, and in particular - an ancient astronomical instrument - the astrolabe. The author of the site - Sergey Maslikov - lives and works in Novosibirsk. If opened in Google Chrome the site is automatically translated.

Astronomy fora

Forum hosted by the manufacturer for discussions about 10Micron mounts.

Forum of Main Sequence Software, the manufacturer of Sequence Generator Pro, the software I use for planning and recording astronomical data with InFINNity Deck.

Forum of the Dutch astrophotography society.

Site of the Dutch society for astrophotography.

Stargazers Lounge - the liveliest place in the Internet to discuss all aspects of astronomy, share pictures and observing reports, and find out what there is to see in the night sky.


Nautical instruments on stamps
Nautical part of German site on mathematical stamps

If you have any questions and/or remarks please let me know.

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