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Welcome to Waywiser, the new online database of Harvard's Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments!


Fellow with WaywiserSearching the Online Collection

To browse the entire online collection, click on the fellow with the waywiser, or the much less exciting Browse button in the navigation bar on the left. More instrument records will be added to Waywiser frequently, so visit often to view new object descriptions and weekly updates!

To perform your own search in Waywiser, you can either enter a term in the Quick Search engine at the top of the navigation bar (which searches multiple fields simultaneously), or click on the Search button. This allows you to perform a more advanced search in a specific field (such as "maker", "description", "inscription", etc.).


Creating Your Own Study Collections

Waywiser can aid your research by giving you the opportunity to create and manage your own study collections of instruments. To take advantage of this feature, simply Sign on and follow the instructions. NOTE: You don't need to sign on to be granted access to Waywiser! You are free to browse and search the online database without creating your own collections.


Featured Searches

Our curators will on occasion assemble a group of records pertaining to current exhibitions and special collections. These may be found via the Exhibitions & Special Collections button on the left.



Some technical points...


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