Catalogue Record: NATP00001
Pierpont Morgan Notebook
Location: Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, USA
Pocket memorandum notebook covering the end of Newton's schooldays and the beginning of his university career.
On the first leaf (in Newton's hand): 'Isacus Newton hunc librum possidet teste Edwardo Secker pret: 2d ob. 1659'. Contains technical advice on drawing, various medical recipes, instructions for performing conjuring tricks, astronomical charts, accounts of Copernican astronomy and 'Drebles Motion' [i.e. the supposed perpetual motion machine of Cornelius Drebbel], mathematical exercises, notes on universal character, and several lists of words, under assorted subject headings, beginning with the same letter.
One of four notebooks, with those in Trinity College Library, Cambridge University Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum, which supply the main source of evidence about Newton's interests and activities during his early years at Cambridge.
Described and partially published (as far as the conjuring tricks), with selected facsimiles of the later pages, in D.E. Smith, 'Two Unpublished Documents of Isaac Newton', 16-31. One very brief shorthand entry ('A remedy for a Ague') is deciphered in Westfall, 'Short Writing', 13. The word-lists are based on Francis Gregory's school text-book Nomenclatura brevis anglo-Latinis (1654), though with some interesting and (debatably) suggestive additions and variants: see Manuel, Portrait, 11-12, 27, 30, 34, 37, 69-70, 397-8.