SIA RU000060, Smithsonian Institution Meteorological Project, Records, 1849-1875, and related records from 1820

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Summary

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution Meteorological Project
Title:
Records, 1849-1875, and related records from 1820
Creator:
Espy, James P
Dates:
1820, 1820-1875, 1849-1875, and related records from 1820
Notes:
Joseph Henry's first major project at the Smithsonian was his plan to obtain weather reports from a countrywide network of voluntary observers; his plan is detailed in the Institution's 1848 Annual Report. Voluminous reports, maps, tables, and charts were prepared and published on all phases of the work -- rainfall, snowfall, temperatures, barometric pressure, storms, meteors, auroras, and other phenomena. In 1869, when Congress established the Weather Bureau of the United States Signal Service, the Smithsonian system of meteorological reportswas turned over to the new bureau. The Smithsonian continued to work on the material collected up to the time of transfer, however, and over the next few years issued reports, tables, and maps. A part of this record unit was published in the 1873 Annual Report, pages 84-140, CLASSIFIED RECORD OF MONTHLY METEOROLOGICAL REPORTS PRESERVED IN THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION; and other segments of this unit were published elsewhere. Incoming and outgoing meteorological correspondence is completely unpublished, however. Correspondents include Lorin Blodget, James Henry Coffin, James Pollard Espy, Arnold Henry Guyot, Joseph Henry, Elias Loomis, and Charles Anthony Schott. These records were created after 1850, but contain meteorological information dating back to 1820.
Topic:
Meteorology
Subjects:
Espy, James P (James Pollard) 1785-1860, Blodget, Lorin, Coffin, James H (James Henry) 1806-1873, Guyot, A (Arnold) 1807-1884, Henry, Joseph 1797-1878, Loomis, Elias 1811-1889, Schott, Charles A (Charles Anthony) 1826-1901, United States Weather Bureau, United States Army Signal Corps
Form/Genre:
Maps, Collection descriptions
Local Number:
SIA RU000060
Physical Description:
9.66 cu. ft. (18 document boxes) (2 half document boxes) (8 microfilm reels)

Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives

Record Unit 60

Smithsonian Institution, Meteorological Project

Records, 1849-1875, and related records from 1820

Repository: Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C. Contact us at osiaref@si.edu.
Creator: Smithsonian Institution, Meteorological Project
Title: Records
Dates: 1849-1875, and related records from 1820
Quantity: 2.5 linear meters.
Collection: Record Unit 60
Language of Materials: English

Descriptive Entry

Joseph Henry's first major project for the Smithsonian was his plan to obtain weather reports from a countrywide network of voluntary observers; his plan is detailed in the 1848 annual report of the Institution. Voluminous reports, maps, tables, and charts were prepared and published on all phases of the work--rainfall, snowfall, temperatures, barometric pressure, storms, meteors, auroras, and other phenomena. In 1869, when Congress established the Weather Bureau of the United States Signal Service, the Smithsonian system of meteorological reports was turned over to the new bureau. The Smithsonian continued to work on the material collected up to the time of transfer, however, and over the next few years issued reports, tables and maps. A part of this record unit was published in the 1873 annual report, pages 84-131, "Classified Record of Monthly Meteorological Reports Preserved in the Smithsonian Institution," and other segments of this unit were published elsewhere. Completely unpublished, however, is meteorological incoming and outgoing correspondence. These records were created after 1850, but contain meteorological information dating back to 1820.

This record unit consists of papers and records regarding the Smithsonian's meteorological observation projects in the eighteen-fifties and analysis and publication of meteorological data in the eighteen-seventies; incoming correspondence to the Smithsonian, circa 1852-1873, from observers and others working on meteorology; another series of correspondence, reports and notes, 1853-1875, and undated; outgoing correspondence, 1853-1854, of Lorin Blodget, an assistant at the Smithsonian for meteorological affairs; a manuscript copy of part of the 1873 Smithsonian Annual Report on meteorological data preserved at the Smithsonian; data on mean temperatures, annual rainfall, and barometric pressures in the United States and other countries of the Americas, mostly for the years 1850 through 1873, and prepared for publication; a small and uneven collection of clippings on meteorology, 1856-1873; records of meteorological observations and loan of instruments, 1856-1873; and miscellaneous and fragmentary original records of meteorological observations.

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Access Restriction

Microfilm copies of incoming correspondence, 1852-1861, 1868, are available.

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This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.

Name

Subject

Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection

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Preferred Citation

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 60, Smithsonian Institution, Meteorological Project, Records

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Container List

Series 1

INCOMING CORRESPONDENCE, 1852-1861, 1868.

Correspondence received by the Smithsonian on meteorological matters, filed chronologically. The following persons important in meteorological work are included among the correspondents: James Henry Coffin, James Pollard Espy, Arnold Henry Guyot, Joseph Henry, Elias Loomis, and Charles Anthony Schott. Each volume is indexed separately. The records are related to records in the National Archives.

Box 1

1852-1853

Box 1 of 20

Box 2

1852-1853

Box 2 of 20

1855-1856

Box 2 of 20

Box 3

1857-1858

Box 3 of 20

1858

Box 3 of 20

Box 4

1858-1859

Box 4 of 20

1859

Box 4 of 20

Box 5

1859-1860

Box 5 of 20

1860

Box 5 of 20

Box 6

1860-1861

Box 6 of 20

1868

Box 6 of 20

Series 2

MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE, NOTES, REPORTS, 1853-1875, CIRCA 400 PIECES, SOME WITH NOTATIONS BY JOSEPH HENRY.

Box 7

Notes for annual report and fragments and extracts of letters, no date

Box 7 of 20

1857, copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1858, copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1859, copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1860, copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1868, originals and copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1869, originals and copies of letters

Box 7 of 20

1871, copy of letter

Box 7 of 20

1872, original letters

Box 7 of 20

1873, originals and copies of letters, notes for reports, other data

Box 7 of 20

1874, copy of letter

Box 7 of 20

1875, copy of letter

Box 7 of 20

Lightning, 1853-1875, originals and copies of letters, notes for reports

Box 7 of 20

Storms and Tornadoes, 1856-1873, same as above

Box 7 of 20

Aurora, 1856, 1872, same as above

Box 7 of 20

Dark Day Report, copies of letters, 1873

Box 7 of 20

Series 3

LORIN BLODGET'S OUTGOING CORRESPONDENCE, 1853-1854.

Correspondence sent from the Smithsonian by Lorin Blodget, an employee assigned to meteorological work.

Box 8

1 volume, 1853-1854

Box 8 of 20

Series 4

MANUSCRIPT FOR "CLASSIFIED RECORD OF MONTHLY METEOROLOGICAL REPORTS PRESERVED IN THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION," ANNUAL REPORT, 1873.

Boxes 9-11

"Classified Record of Monthly Meteorological Reports Preserved in the Smithsonian Institution"

Boxes 9-11 of 20

Series 5

RECORDS RELATING TO STUDIES OF MONTHLY AND ANNUAL MEAN TEMPERATURES IN THE UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE IN THE AMERICAS, DATA FROM EIGHTEEN TWENTIES THROUGH EIGHTEEN SEVENTIES.

Box 12

Alabama-New Mexico

Box 12 of 20

Box 13

New York-Wyoming, Central and South America

Box 13 of 20

Box 14

Different configuration of data for locations in the United States, apparently texts used for tabulations or printing

Box 14 of 20

Series 6

RECORDS RELATING TO STUDIES OF MONTHLY AND ANNUAL RAINFALL IN THE UNITED STATES AND ELSEWHERE IN THE AMERICAS, DATA FROM THE EIGHTEEN TWENTIES THROUGH THE EIGHTEEN SEVENTIES.

Box 15

Alabama-New Jersey

Box 15 of 20

Box 16

North Carolina-Wyoming, other areas in the Americas

Box 16 of 20

Box 17

Consolidated Tables of Precipitation and other records used in tabulations

Box 17 of 20

Series 7

RECORDS RELATING TO ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE, DATA FROM EIGHTEEN FIFTIES THROUGH ABOUT 1875.

Box 18

Collected data on atmospheric pressure, arranged alphabetically by state.

Box 18 of 20

Series 8

RECORDS OF OBSERVERS AND USE OF SMITHSONIAN INSTRUMENTS,1850-1873.

Box 19

Meteorological Instruments Loaned, 1850-1870, 1 volume, arranged by states with an alphabetical index to persons.

Box 19 of 20

Meteorological Records, 1859-1860, 1 volume, combined list of observers and instruments loaned, arranged alphabetically by state or other area.

Box 19 of 20

Records of Meteorological Observers, 1868-1873, 1 volume, arranged alphabetically by name of state and indexed by name of observer.

Box 19 of 20

Rain Gages Sent Out, 1868-1870, listed by date sent, 1 volume.

Box 19 of 20

List of Barometer Stations, 1861, loose.

Box 19 of 20

List of Books and Pamphlets in the Smithsonian Institution Library on Meteorology.

Box 19 of 20

Series 9

CLIPPINGS ON METEOROLOGY, 1853, 1855, 1857, 1858, 1867, 1872, 1873.

Box 20

Clippings (7 folders)

Box 20 of 20

Series 10

MISCELLANEOUS METEOROLOGICAL RECORDS, 1849-1875.

Box 20

Meteorological Observations in Nicaragua, 1849

Box 20 of 20

Meteors, a list and description of meteors observed during years 1849-1867

Box 20 of 20

Temperature Reading in Jackson, Ohio, 1851-1852

Box 20 of 20

Barometer Reading in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1870

Box 20 of 20

Meteorological Observations in New York and New London, Connecticut, 1873, 1875

Box 20 of 20

Publications

Box 20 of 20

Letter - John F. Posey to E.S. Glover (3/21/1857) re: meteorological materials.

Box 20 of 20

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