St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, is holding an exhibition Celebrating the Periodic Table from 12 March to 5 April 2019. Among other historic versions of the famous chart is a first edition of Dmitri Mendeleev’s textbook, which contains the first published formulation of his periodic table.

We spoke to Peter Wothers, director of chemistry studies at St Catharine’s, and Colin Higgins, the college librarian, about the significance of this book in the history of chemistry.

The exhibition also contains a later edition of Mendeleev’s textbook, with an updated version of the table. Higgins told us about the first owners of these books and what they tell us about the environment in which Mendeleev was writing.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry