Curiosities and Cabinets: Natural History Museums and Education on the Antebellum Campus

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Discusses the characterization of antebellum college education in the United States as defined by mental discipline, classical curriculum, and piety, and contrasts it with the science curriculum, active field work, and growing natural history museums found at schools such as Dickinson College, Williams College, Harvard College, and Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg. Focuses on the teaching career of Spencer Fullerton Baird at Dickinson College prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian.


  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Dickinson College
  • Harvard College (1780- )
  • Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg
  • United States National Museum
  • Williams College


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

Isis Vol. 79, 298 (Journal)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Education
  • Natural History
  • SI, Early History
  • Museums
  • Museum techniques
  • Natural history

Physical description

pp. 405-26

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