Records management

When Leeuwenhoek began making and using lenses he had, of course, no idea what they would reveal or where his observations would lead him.

Before long, he had to develop what today are called laboratory management skills.

  • tools and equipment to work metal, make screws, and polish lenses
  • instruments
  • specimens
  • notes
  • drawings
  • manuscripts
  • translations
  • plates for self-published volumes
  • reference materials, mostly books
  • correspondence

He needed shelves, drawers, cabinets, and tables. He writes very little about these concerns. In his letter of October 9, 1676 [AB 26], he writes:

My Study stands toward the North east, in my Antichamber, and is very close joyned together with Wainscot, having no other opening than one hole of an inch and a half broad, and 8 inches long, through which the wooden spring of my lathe passes towards the street furnisht with 4 windows, of which the two lowermost open inwards, and by night are closed with two wooden Shuts; so that there comes in but little Air from without, unless it be that I use a candle in making my Observations, in which case I open a little Casement, that the candle may not offend me; but yet drawing a Curtain at that time over almost all the windows.