Joseph Henry Gives Directives for Smithsonian Publications

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Summary

In his annual report for 1848, Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry writes: "The objects of the Smithsonian Institution are not educational." He observes that the country "already teems with elementary works on the different branches of knowledge" and that for the Institution to engage in that sort of publishing would "dissipate [Smithsonian funds] without perceptible effect." He views the Smithsonian reports on the "progress of knowledge" as being useful to teachers. The current topics for reports are: agricultural chemistry; North American forests, their history, uses, and propagation; lightning and the best means of guarding against accidents; current astronomical discoveries; and the use of meteorological instruments.

Subject

  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Smithsonian Institution Press

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Henry's statement can be found at http://biodiversitylibrary.org/page/8896892.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1848. Washington, D.C.: Tippin and Streeper, 1849, p. 18.

Contact information

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

Date

February 19, 1849

Topic

  • Policies
  • Publications
  • Education
  • Secretaries
  • Research

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