Mailing list (Rete)

45747 Detail from rete of Astrolabe by Muhammad Muqim al Yazdi, Persian, 1647/8

Rete is a mailing list devoted to the history of scientific instruments

Who can join Rete?

It is open to all interested parties – curators, historians, students, collectors, and dealers – at all levels of experience and expertise.

How does it work?

The mailing list is hosted by the University of Oxford and managed by the History of Science Museum as a service to the historical instrument community.

Subscribers can use it to:

  • ask questions about particular instruments or types of instrument
  • announce exhibitions, meetings and conferences
  • draw attention to printed or electronic publications

and so on.

The list should not, however, be used for commercial purposes, such as announcing instruments for sale.

The list is an inclusive one, with members drawn from all over the world. When posting messages, contributors are expected to keep comments professional and respectful, and to maintain the list’s established reputation as a welcoming and helpful resource.

Can I post attachments or images?

In order to minimise server storage and network bandwidth, it is configured to reject messages sent with attachments.

Subscribers who wish to make an image available to the list should upload to one of the many third-party image hosting websites and then include the URL in their message to the list.

How do I subscribe?

To join the mailing list manually, simply send a blank email to:

from the email account at which you wish to receive messages.

Once subscribed, you can send messages to the list using the address

You will receive further instructions on Rete when your subscription is successful.

How do I unsubscribe?

If you wish to unsubscribe, simply send a blank email to:

from your subscribed email address.

Can I access archive issues of Rete?

The archives of the list are available online without subscription (covering the period June 2003 onwards).