Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition

Made:
1998
maker:
Stephen Hawking
Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition

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Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition
Stephen Hawking Estate/Science M
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition
Stephen Hawking Estate/Science M
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Book: A Brief History of Time, 1998 edition
Stephen Hawking Estate/Science M
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

SWH, A brief history of time, Bantam Press, 1998.

There are several exemplars of the book that made Stephen Hawking famous in his office. None of them are the actual original version, but rather later editions he would have received after updating the material. Stephen Hawking received hundreds of different versions of this book from his publishers, in a multiplicity of languages, but the vast majority were not kept in his office.

Stephen Hawking's office contained more than 300 books, all located on the bookshelves above the kitchen counter. They date as early as his student years, and the bulk corresponds to his long professional career from the 1960s to the 2010s. From the 1990s onwards Stephen would have used digital versions increasingly, so the books in his bookcases were a select subset. While some items are rare copies -like the dissertations he advised or book drafts- most of the library contents are rather standard prints. The majority contain significant individual marks, and even for those that do not, the connection to Hawking is evident. Books by friends and colleagues often contain inscriptions and inserts that evidence their relationship. Others remind of places he visited, conferences he attended, or relate to having become a celebrity and inspiration throughout the world. Of the books that he authored, there are usually multiple versions, translations, and occasionally draft versions. A good portion of the books also contain inserts such as notes by the authors or editors, receipts, and occasionally unrelated material that found its way into them around the time of their acquisition. A portion of them has also been bookmarked with post-its by Stephen's assistants pointing to the sections most relevant to show visitors.

Details

Category:
Stephen Hawking Office
Collection:
Stephen Hawking’s Office
Object Number:
2021-561/114
Measurements:
overall: 229 mm x 153 mm x 16 mm, .32 kg
type:
book
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
credit:
Accepted in lieu of Inheritance Tax by H M Government from the Estate of Stephen Hawking and allocated to the Science Museum, 2021