In 1619, German astronomer Johannes Kepler wrote “Harmonices Mundi” (“Harmony of the Worlds”), a book that tried to understand the mystery of the polyhedral designs of viruses. Four centuries later, the same designs are seen in the building blocks of COVID-19. The Library has copies of Kepler's work in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
The Library's Geography and Map Division has several 19th-century maps that show how malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases spread across the nation. Produced long before current map-making technology, they still show how diseases spread across the landscape.