About me




After 2013: Affiliated Scholar (following retirement) of the 'Leibniz-Archiv / Leibniz Research Center', Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Library, Hannover, Germany: http://www.gwlb.de/Leibniz/Leibnizarchiv/english/introduction/

1987-2013: Research Editor at the 'Leibniz-Archiv' and co-editor of the correspondence of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) in the fields of mathematics, science and technology. Former web page: http://www.gwlb.de/Leibniz/Leibnizarchiv/ehemMitarbeiter/ohara.htm

1984-1987: University of Hamburg, Institute of Social and Economic History (Research: Pre-industrial Technology)

1980-1984: University of Stuttgart, Department of History of Science and Technology (Research: History of Physics)

1982-1983 (Winter Semester): Visiting scholar at the Deutsches Museum, Munich

1979 (Summer Semester): Visiting scholar at the University of Regensburg, Department of History of Science

1977-1979: TU Delft: Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Research Scholar in the Department of Philosophy, Humanities and Social Sciences

1971-1977: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Postgraduate student and research assistant in the Department of History of Science and Technology

1966-1970: University College Cork. Undergraduate in the Department of Electrical Engineering

Degrees: 'Baccalaureatus in Arte Ingeniaria' (B.E. Elec., National University of Ireland, 1970); M.Sc. (1973) and Ph.D. (1979) from the University of Manchester

Areas of expertise

— History of Science, Technology and Medicine (17th-19th century)
— Irish or Anglo-Irish contributions to Science and Technology (17th-19th century)
— Edition of manuscript sources, in particular correspondence of historical personages of science (from Galileo to Einstein)
— Leibniz's correspondence as a treasure-trove of the history of science, technology and medicine
— Linguistic proficiency in Latin, German, Dutch, French, Italian and Hiberno‐English (sub-dialect: Cork English)
— Knowledge of html, css, javascript, script languages (php, MySQL) and database-development techniques


Irish; Anglo-Irish; history of science; history of engineering; history of technology; history of medicine; science; engineering; technology; medicine; edition; editing; seventeenth century; eighteenth century; nineteenth century; manuscript sources; correspondence; database development; Leibniz; Germany; natural philosophy; philosophical; Dublin Philosophical Society

Member Details

Full Name

James Gabriel O'Hara (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian


Committees & Associations

Membership of professional societies:
Member (since 1987) of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society / An Cumann Éire San Ochtú Céad Déag. Long-time member of American, British and European societies for the history of science, technology and medicine



— Co-editor of five volumes of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's Mathematical, Scientific and Technical Correspondence (III,4, III,5, III,6, III,7 and III,8 [published 2015]): http://www.leibnizedition.de/baende/reihe-iii-mathematischer-naturwissenschaftlicher-und-technischer-briefwechsel.html

— Hertz and the Maxwellians: A study and documentation of the discovery of electromagnetic wave radiation, 1873-1894 / James G. O'Hara, Willibald Pricha. Published: London : P. Peregrinus in association with the Science Museum, 1987

Book Chapters

— All publications (Books, Chapters, Articles, Reviews) 1975-1999: http://www.oharas.com/jgoh/publications99.html

— Article "George Johnstone Stoney, F.R.S., and the concept of the electron", in: Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 1975, 29, pp. 265-276. Online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/531468

— Article "The prediction and discovery of conical refraction by William Rowan Hamilton and Humphrey Lloyd (1832-1833)", in: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 1982, 82A, pp. 231-257. PDF file: http://www.oharas.com/jgoh/conicalrefraction.pdf

— Article "Gauss and the Royal Society: The reception of his ideas on magnetism in Britain (1832-1842)", in: Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 1983, 38, pp. 17-78. Online: http://www.jstor.org/stable/531344 or http://royalsocietypublishing.org/content/38/1/17

— Article "Gauss' method for measuring the terrestrial magnetic force in absolute measure: Its invention and introduction in geomagnetic research", in: Centaurus: International Journal of the History of Science and its Cultural Aspects 1984, 27, pp. 121-147. PDF file: http://www.oharas.com/jgoh/gaussmethod.pdf

— Article "Leibniz and the Jacobite War: Reports and reflections on the Battle of the Boyne and events in Ireland, 1689-91", in: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 1991, 91C, pp. 1-20. PDF file: http://www.oharas.com/jgoh/boyne.pdf

— Chapter "George Johnstone Stoney and the conceptual discovery of the electron", in: Stoney and the electron. Papers from a seminar held in the Royal Dublin Society on November 20, 1991 to commemorate the centenary of the naming of the electron by George Johnstone Stoney (1826-1911). Royal Dublin Society: Occasional Papers in Irish Science and Technology, No. 8, 1993, pp. 5-28. PDF file: http://www.oharas.com/jgoh/stoneyrds1991.pdf

— Article "Huygens, Leibniz and the ‘petit demon’. Agreement and dissension in their mathematical Correspondence", in: De zeventiende eeuw, 12 (1996) 1,S. 151-160. Online: http://dbnl.nl/tekst/_zev001199601_01/_zev001199601_01_0015.php

— Chapter " ‘A chaos of jottings that I do not have the leisure to arrange and mark with headings’. Leibniz's Manuscript Papers and their Repository", in: Archives of the Scientific Revolution. The Formation and Exchange of Ideas in Seventeenth-Century Europe. Ed. Michael Hunter. Woodbridge, UK & Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 1998, pp. 159-170

— Congress presentation (2001) " 'Leibnutz's Universal Principle in Optics'. William Molyneux's translation and interpretation of Leibniz's Unicum opticae", in: Nihil Sine Ratione. Mensch, Natur und Technik im Wirken von G.W. Leibniz, VII. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongreß. Vorträge 2. Teil, Ed. Hans Poser et al., Berlin, 10.-14. September 2001, pp. 915-919. Online: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/optics.html

— Article concerning Robert Molesworth (1656-1725) "Leibniz and ‘la liberté des Anglois’ ", in: 2000. The European Journal/ Die Europäische Zeitschrift/ La Revue Européenne/ Rivista Europea, Anno III Nr. 1 (June 2002), pp. 1-3. Online: http://www.europeanjournal.it/storia.html

— Chapter "The Mathematician as Engineer in the Seventeenth Century: Leibniz and Engineering Hydraulics", in: Engineers and Engineering: Proceedings of the XXth International Congress of History of Science. Vol. XVII, pp. 77-89. Ed. Michael Ciaran Duffy. Turnhout: Brepols Publishers n.v., Belgium, 2002

— Four chapters "Humphrey Lloyd 1800-1881", "James MacCullagh 1809-1847", "George Johnstone Stoney 1826-1911", "Frederick Thomas Trouton 1863-1922" in: Physicists of Ireland – Passion and Precision (Ed. Mark McCartney and Andrew Whitaker), Bristol and Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 2003

— Biographical articles in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (first published 2004; online edn 2008) on the following: Sir Henry Piers (1628-1691), John Keogh (c.1650-1725), William Molyneux (1656-1698) , Nicholas Joseph Callan (1799-1864), Humphrey Lloyd (1800-1881), James MacCullagh (1809-1847), Richard Townsend (1821-1884), George Johnstone Stoney (1826-1911), Frederick Thomas Trouton (1863-1922). Online:

— Congress presentation (2006) " 'Eine Schwebefahrt zu vielerleyen Nutzen in so mancherley Gestalt'. Leibniz's reaction to the pedagogical methods and to the school reform project of his former mathematics professor Erhard Weigel (1625-1699)", in: Einheit in der Vielheit, VIII. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongreß. Vorträge 2. Teil, Ed. Herbert Breger et al., Hannover, 24.-29. Juli 2006, pp. 737-742. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/ohara.pdf

— Article "A 'Horrible Conflict with Theory' in Heinrich Hertz's Experiments on Electromagnetic Waves", in: European Review, Vol. 15 (2007), No. 4, pp. 545-559. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Hertz/OHARA.pdf
Reprinted in: Denis Weaire (Ed.): George Francis Fitzgerald, Vienna: Living Edition, 2009, pp.44-59

— Chapter "Hertz's dilemma of the different velocities of transmission of electromagnetic waves", pp. 330-345 in: Gudrun Wolfschmidt (Ed.), Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894) and the Development of Communication. Hamburg; Nuncius Hamburgensis – Beiträge zur Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften, Vol. 10, Norderstedt bei Hamburg, 2008. PDF file of book: http://oharas.com/Hertz/hertz-symp07.pdf

— Review of: Claus Zittel / Gisela Engel / Romano Nanni et al. (eds.): Philosophies of Technology, in: Sehepunkte, Ausgabe 9 (2009), Nr. 12. Online: http://www.sehepunkte.de/2009/12/15483.html

— Congress presentation (2011) "The Irish elephant, the whale penis and the child born with two heads. Animal and human autopsies in Leibniz’s correspondence", in: Natur und Subjekt, IX. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongreß. Vorträge 2. Teil, Ed. Herbert Breger et al., Hannover, 26. September – 1. Oktober 2011, pp. 777-783. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/OHARA.pdf

— Chapter "Science not Metaphysical. Leibniz als Naturwissenschaftler in der Nachfolge von Galilei", pp. 33-56 in: Michael Kempe (Ed.), Der Philosoph im U-Boot. Praktische Wissenschaft und Technik im Kontext von Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Hannover: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek – Forschung 1 (Vol. 1), 2015. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/F1_O%20Hara.pdf

— Chapter "J'aime mieux un Leewenhoek qui me dit ce qu'il voit, qu'un Cartesien qui me dit ce qu'il pense." Leibniz, Leeuwenhoek und die Entwicklung der experimentellen Naturwissenschaft, pp. 145-175 in: Michael Kempe (Ed.), 1716 – Leibniz' Letztes Lebensjahr. Unbekanntes zu einem bekannten Universalgelehrten. Hannover: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Bibliothek – Forschung 2 (Vol. 2), 2016. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/OHara.pdf

— Congress presentation (2016) “ova vel semina … foecundare”. Sexual Reproduction in Leibniz’s Scientific Correspondence, Published in: “Für unser Glück oder das Glück anderer”. Vorträge des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, Hannover, 18. – 23. Juli 2016 (Ed. Wenchao Li, together with Ute Beckmann et. al.), 5 vols, Hildesheim, Zürich, New York: Georg Olms, 2016. Cf. Vol. II, pp. 431-448. PDF file: http://oharas.com/Leibniz/Ohara-Leibniz-Kongress.pdf

— Chapter (in German) "Agnoscimus omnes quantus Vir fuerit Robertus Boilius" – kritische Anmerkungen über BOYLE in LEIBNIZ’ Korrespondenz (Critical Remarks about Boyle in Leibniz's Correspondence), pp. 319-332, in:
Berthold Heinecke, Ingrid Kästner (Hgg.), Wettstreit der Künste. Der Aufstieg des praktischen Wissens zwischen Reformation und Aufklärung (= Europäische Wissenschaftsbeziehungen, Band 17), Aachen: Shaker Verlag, 2018: