The library of the famous English scientist, architect, and polymath Robert Hooke (1635-1703) has been called the first really modern scientific book collection, and the printed catalogue of his library, sold April 29, 1703, is critical to our understanding of Hooke not just as a book collector, but as a revolutionary figure in the history of science and medicine. It was an extraordinary library for its time: quite large, at 3,000 volumes, and devoted mostly to science and medicine—some of respectable age and rarity—at a time when the libraries of most educated men ran heavily to standard contemporary works on law, philosophy, and religion.
The sale drew attention from Hooke's contemporaries for the high proportion of books containing Hooke's own annotations (including the author's copy of his famous Micrographia); and the library as a whole, as recorded in this extremely rare catalogue, gives a "vivid illustration of one of the most brilliant minds England has ever produced.”–H.A. Feisenberger, “Introduction,” Sales Catalogues of Libraries of Eminent Persons, Vol. 11., Scientists (1975), pp. 4-7.