A Microscopist's Book Collection

by Mike Samworth

Collecting books to help with any hobby is a natural thing to do. Most people interested in microscopy of any kind do the same, and I am certainly no different. Below is a list of some of the books I have acquired over the relatively short time I have been interested in microscopy, with comments on a selected few.

     Edited by Mol Smith 2014    
Many of these books are less suitable for people starting off in the hobby.
Please refer to this reference if you are just starting out or if you have young people you bought a microscope for.

Mol Smith (Founder of Mic-UK and co-founder of Micscape Magazine).


Barron, A.L.E.,Using the microscope,Chapman and Hall,1965

A well written book that covers most subjects well. It is actually a complete re-write of the book by Oliver.

Beck C, The Microscope, R J Beck and Co., 1921

This is a very useful little book, written by a manufacturer of fine instruments. This is a common thing and I have recently seen the equally excellent book by B O Payne who worked for Cooke, Troughton and Simms. I am on the look-out for this title to add to my collection.

Belcher H and Swale E, A beginners guide to the Freshwater Algae, HMSO/ITE 1976

Belcher H and Swale E, An illustrated guide to river phytoplankton, HMSO/ITE 1979

Belcher H and Swale E, Culturing Algae, HMSO/ITE 1982 ,

These last three little booklets contain a lot of useful information and keys, and are inexpensive too.

Boney AD, Phytoplankton, Arnold, 1975 Studies in Biology

Bracegirdle, B.,Modern microscope manufacturers.,Quekett Microscopical Club,1996,

Bracegirdle, B.,Scientific Photomacrography,RMS Handbook 31,Bios,1995,

Bracegirdle, B. & Bradbury, S.,Modern Photomicrography. RMS Handbook 33,Bios,1995,

Bracegirdle,B and Miles,PH,An atlas of Plant structure, Volume 1,Heineman,1971,

Bracegirdle,B and Miles,PH,An atlas of plant structure, Volume 2,Heineman,1973,

Bradbury, S.,Peacock's Elementary Microtechnique.4th Edition.,Arnold,1973,

Bradbury, S. and Evennett, P.J.,Contrast techniques in light microscopy RMS Handbook 34,Biopress

Bracegirdle B ed., Microscopical papers from the Quekett QMC 1989

Bradbury S, An introduction to the Optical Microscope (RMS handbook No.1) Oxford Scientific Publication 1989

Burgess Martin and Taylor, Microcosmos Cambridge 1987

A showcase for the photo-library that one of the authors runs but still a great collection of photomicrographs of all sorts of subjects. Available as a much cheaper paperback under a slightly different title; "Under the microscope".

Canter-Lund, H. & Lund, J.,Freshwater Algae: their microscopic world explored.,Biopress,1995,

Just a wonderful book, full of wonderful photographs. Oh, and the text is worth reading too!

Calkins, G.N.,The smallest living things: Protozoa,,1932,

Clegg CJ, Lower Plants: anatomy and activities of non-flowering plants Murray 1984

Clegg J, Observers' Guide to Pond Life Warne 1967

A classic! Based on the much bigger Warne title below.

Clegg J, Pond and stream life of Europe Blandford 1963

Clegg J, The Freshwater Life of the British Isles 1st Edition Warne 1952

Clegg J, The Freshwater Life of the British Isles 3rd Edition Warne 1965

Cooke MC, Ponds and ditches SPCK 1880

Corliss, J.O.,The ciliated protozoa: characterization, classification and guide to the literature.2nd Edition.,Pergamon,1979,

Cosslett, V. E.,Modern Microscopy,Bell,1966,

Crabtree JH, Freshwater wonders and how to identify them Charles H Kelly

Croft PS, British Freshwater Invertebrates Field Studies Council 1986

Curry Grayson and Hosey, Under the Microscope Blandford 1982

A well written and informative book well suited to the beginner. Unfortunately it went out of print very soon after publication and so is only available second-hand.

Curds, C.R.,British and other Freshwater Ciliated Protozoa. part 1. Ciliophora: Kinetofragminophora.,CUP, Cambridge.,1982, Curtis H, The marvellous animals Heineman 1968

An explanation... this book is about the Protozoa.

Curds, C.R.,British and other Freshwater Ciliated Protozoa. part 1. Ciliophora: Kinetofragminophora.,CUP, Cambridge.,1982,

Delly, J.G.,Photography through the microscope.\n9th Edition.,Kodak,1988,

Dobell, C.,Antony van Leeuwenhoek and his little animals.,Bales,1932,,

The author of this book spent his working life studying the protozoa and his spare time researching the life and times of the father of microscopy.

Dobell, C.,The Amoebae living in man.,Bales,1919,

Dobell, Clifford,The Amoebae living in man.,John Bale, Sons & Danielson,1919

Donner J, Rotifers Warne 1966

A very useful guide to identification of Rotifers. Make sure you get the translated version in English!

Finlay BJ Rogerson A and Cowling AJ,A guide to Collection Isolation Cultivation & Identification of FW Protozoa NERC 1988

Fitter R and Manuel R, Collins Field Guide to Freshwater Life Collins 1986

An excellent and up-to-date guide to all freshwater life, and still in print. It is worth commenting on the lamentable standard of some of the photomicrographs in this book.

Flatters Milborne and McKechnie, Photomicrographs of botanical studies Flatters, Milborne and McKechnie

Ford BJ, Single Lens: The story of the simple microscope Harper and Row 1985

A book that I bought because it was cheap, and looked interesting. Little did I know that it would inspire me and lead to what I think will be a life-long interest in microscopy. An excellent read, though I think that Ford's 1991 book below is even better.

Ford, B.J.,The Leeuwenhoek Legacy.,Biopress/Farrand Press,1991,

Ford, B.J.,The optical microscope manual,David and Charles,1973,

Furneaux W, Life in Ponds and Streams Longmans 1935

Garnett WJ, Freshwater Microscopy Constable 1962

Gosse PH, Evenings at the Microscope SPCK 1874

These last two titles are both excellent guides to freshwater life. Garnett's book in particular is a mine of information. Another similar book is that by Plaskitt.

Griffith JW and Henfrey A, The Micrographic Dictionary 4th Edition Vol 1 & 2 John Van Voorst 1883

I often find myself thumbing through this late at night. The plates are superb and though the text is well out of date it illustrates the massive body of information gleaned from observation by Victorian Scientists.

Grimstone AV, The electron microscope in biology 2nd Edition Arnold 1968 Studies in Biology

Gutherie M, Animals of the surface film Richmond Publishing 1989

Another useful title in the 'Naturalst Handbook' series which is well worth getting a list of. This and the title by Hingley are relevant to microscopists and contain much practical information and tips and suggestions for projects.

Hall CA, How to use the microscope A & C Black 1912

Hartley WG, Teach Yourself Microscopy English Universities Press 1962

Hartley, W.G.,Hartley's Microscopy,Senecio,1979,

Hartley, W.G., The Light Microscope: it's use and development.,Senecio, 1993,

Gilbert Hartley writes with great authority and experience, but also with a sense of humour. The 1993 book is possibly the best modern book on the subject in my opinion.

Hawks E, The Microscope Thomas Nelson 1919

Healey P, Microscopes and Microscopic Life Hamlyn 1969

A small paperback that is just the thing for the beginner. I have bought getting on for a dozen of these over the years and passed them onto friends or youngsters to get them interested.

Hingley M, Microscopic life in Sphagnum Richmond Publishing 1993

Hogg, J.,The microscope: its history and construction.15th Edition,Routledge,1911,

One of the old classics and another book for late at night.

Holden J, Close-up control Crowood 1987

Hurry SW, The microstructure of cells Murray 1965

Izzi and Mezzatesta, The complete manual of Nature Photography Gollancz 1981

Jahn, T.L., Bovee, E.C., & Jahn, F.F.,How to know the Protozoa. 2nd Edition,Wm C. Brown, Dubuque, Iowa.,1979,

A very useful book for the lab bench with its spiral binding, useful keys and helpful diagrams.

Kerr R, Nature through the microscope and camera Religious Tract 1909

Lawson,D.T.,The technique of Photomicrography,Newnes,1960,

Mackinnon, D.L., & Hawes, R.S.J.,An Introduction to the Study of Protozoa.,OUP,1961,

Malies, H.M.,Applied Microscopy and Photomicrography,Fountain Press,1959,

Margulis, L. et al,Illustrated glossary of Protoctista,James and Bartlett,1993,

McAlpine D, The Botanical Atlas Bracken Books 1989

This is a facsimilie of an old publication, containing some delightful plates.

Mellanby H, Animal life in freshwater Methuen 1963

An excellent little book that continues to get well-used. Look out for a second-hand copy for a couple of quid, you won't regret it.

Miall LC, Aquatic Insects MacMillan 1922

Nachtigall, W.,Exploring with the microscope.,Sterling,1995,

You must get this book if you haven't got it, before it goes out of print. Nicely produced it sells microscopy very well.

Nikon, How to use a microscope and take a photomicrograph

Nilsson L, Nature Magnified MacDonald 1984

O'Toole and Preston-Mafham, Insects in Camera Oxford 1985

Oldfield, R.,Light Microscopy: an illustrated guide.,Wolfe,1994,

An excellent modern book that includes activities to test your understanding of the working of the instrument.

Olliver CW, The intelligent use of the microscope Chapman and Hall 1947

Oxlade C, The world of the microscope Usborne 1989

A great little book for youngsters.

Patterson, D.J. & Hedley, S.,An atlas of Free-living freshwater Protozoa.,Wolfe,1992

Plaskitt FJW, Microscopic freshwater life Chapman and Hall 1926

Polaroid,Photomicrography: instant photography through the microscope.,Polaroid,1995,

Pyszkowski, I.S.,The Microscope and a hidden world to explore.,Whitman,1963,

Quigley M, Invertebrates of streams and rivers Arnold 1977

Riley, P.D.,Loooking at microscopes.,Batsford,1985,

Royal Microscopical Society, RMS 150th Anniversary Exhibition Catalogue RMS 1989

Shipley AE, Hunting under the microscope Ernest Benn 1928

Slack HJS, Marvels of Pond Life Newman and Co. 1899

Smith KM, Beyond the microscope Penguin 1943

Spencer, M.,Fundamentals of light microscopy.,CUP,1982,

Sterry P, Pond Watching Hamlyn 1982

Stokes, A.C.,Aquatic Microscopy.,Wiley,1918,

Sykes JB, An illustrated guide to te Diatoms of British Coastal Plankton Field Studies Council 1981

Thompson Coldrey and Bernard, The Pond Collins 1984

Van der Graaff & Crawley,A photographic atlas for the Biology laboratory.,Morton Pub Co.,1996,

Vickerman,K and Cox,FEG,The Protozoa,Murray,1967,

Ward, S,Minute marvels of nature,Isbister,1903,

Wells, T.A.G.,Invertebrate types.,Heineman,1962,

Wells,AL,The Microscope made easy,Warne,

White,W,Photomacrography an introduction,Focal Press,1987,

If any reader wishes to ask about any of the titles above, or to comment, please do get in touch by contacting meComments to the author sent via our contacts page quoting page url plus : ('msamworth','')"> Mike Samworth

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