Dr David McOmish

Library Fellow

Dr David McOmish


Library Fellow, September 2019 - February 2020

project: Mapping Dk.7.29: the unknown source of teaching in the new sciences at Edinburgh University in the 17th Century

David was lead researcher on the ‘Bridging the Continental Divide’ Project at the University of Glasgow (2012-2015), where he translated and critically assessed the Latin texts of a series of prominent educationalists from 16th and 17th century Scotland. During fellowships at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Innsbruck, Austria (2016) and the Moore Institute, NUI, Galway (2019), he developed his work on European universities, especially the ways in which early modern scientific and philosophical culture was exported from Europe’s continental intellectual hubs across its confessional and national divides to its peripheries. He recently published the first major revision of the progress of the Scientific Revolution in Scotland (‘The Scientific Revolution in Scotland revisited: the new sciences in Edinburgh’, History of Universities 31.2 (2018), 153-172).

David’s project at IASH will focus upon Dk7.29, an early modern manuscript held in the Centre for Research Collections at the University of Edinburgh. It was written by Adam King, Edinburgh native and long-time professor of mathematics and philosophy at the University of Paris (1584-1595). The manuscript contains a large commentary on cosmology and mathematics. David’s research over the last 5 years has established that this manuscript was used by the regents (lecturers) at Edinburgh from 1608-1660 to teach cosmology, mathematics, and natural philosophy more generally. It is a comprehensive overview of ancient and modern science and philosophy. At IASH, David will transcribe Dk.7.29, producing a bibliography of all texts cited and quoted in the commentary, providing a detailed bibliographical account of how the new sciences developed in Edinburgh on the eve of the Enlightenment.