Prof. Pamela H. Smith

Pronouns: she/her

Seth Low Professor of History, Center for Science and Society, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Director, Center for Science and Society

Founding Director, Making and Knowing Project, Columbia University
A pedagogical and research initiative that explores the intersections of craft making and scientific knowing.

Founding Chair, Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience, Columbia University,

605 Fayerweather Hall
1180 Amsterdam Avenue
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027



Pamela H. Smith, From Lived Experience to the Written Word: Reconstructing Practical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2022).

Pamela H. Smith, The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004; Paperback 2005; new paperback edition 2018). Winner of the 2005 Leo Gershoy Prize for early modern European History awarded by the American Historical Association.

Pamela H. Smith, The Business of Alchemy: Science and Culture in the Holy Roman Empire (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994; paperback, 1996; new paperback edition with a new foreword, 2016). Winner of the 1995 Pfizer Prize for best book in the history of science awarded by the History of Science Society.

Critical Edition:

Making and Knowing Project, Pamela H. Smith, Naomi Rosenkranz, Tianna Helena Uchacz, Tillmann Taape, Clément Godbarge, Sophie Pitman, Jenny Boulboullé, Joel Klein, Donna Bilak, Marc Smith, and Terry Catapano, eds., Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France. A Digital Critical Edition and English Translation of BnF Ms. Fr. 640 (New York: The Making and Knowing Project, 2020),

2019 Winner of the Eugene S. Ferguson award from the Society for the History of Technology, as “a reference work that supports future scholarship in the history of technology.” 2022 Digital Innovation Award, Renaissance Society of America. For additional information on the Project, see

The Making and Knowing Sandbox:

Edited volumes:

Pamela H. Smith, ed., Entangled Itineraries of Materials, Practices, and Knowledges Across Eurasia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019).

Christy Anderson, Anne Dunlop, and Pamela H. Smith, eds., The Matter of Art: Materials, Practices, Cultural Logics, c. 1250-1750 (Manchester University Press, 2015; paperback 2016).

Pamela H. Smith, Amy R. W. Meyers, and Harold J. Cook, eds., Ways of Making and Knowing: The Material Culture of Empirical Knowledge (Bard Graduate Center/University of Michigan Press, 2014; new paperback edition, University of Chicago Press, 2017).

Pamela H. Smith and Benjamin Schmidt, eds., Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008). 

Pamela H. Smith and Paula Findlen, Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science and Art in Early Modern Europe (New York: Routledge, 2002).  

Recent Articles:

Andrew Lacey and Pamela H. Smith, “Thinking through Molds: Metal Flow and Visualizing the Unseen,” Special issue on Metalwork, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, edited by Caspar Meyer and Ittai Weinryb, Volume 28, Number 2, Fall–Winter 2021: 259-68.

Pamela H. Smith, “Hands-on History: The Making and Knowing Project,” in Marta Ajmar and Catherine Speight, eds., Hands-On Learning and Making: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Embodied Engagement (UCL Press in partnership with the V&A, 2022).

Pamela H. Smith and Isabella Lores-Chavez, “Counterfeiting Materials, Imitating Nature,” in Marjolijn Bol and Emma Spary, eds., The Matter of Mimesis (Leiden: Brill, 2022).

Pamela H. Smith, “Lifecasting,” in Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France. A Digital Critical Edition and English Translation of BnF Ms. Fr. 640, ed. Making and Knowing Project, et al. (New York: Making and Knowing Project, 2020),

Tillmann Taape, Tianna Helena Uchacz, and Pamela H. Smith, “Schooling the Eye and Hand: performative methods of research and pedagogy in the Making and Knowing Project,” Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 43 (2020): 323-40.

Pamela H. Smith, Tianna Helena Uchacz, Naomi Rosenkranz, and Claire Conklin Sabel, “The Making of Empirical Knowledge: Recipes, Craft, and Scholarly Communication,” in Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access, ed. Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2020), pp. 125-144,