Henry Papers Database
These documents, including correspondence between Henry and such figures as Alexander Dallas Bache and Michael Faraday, provide a wealth of information on the 19th century scientific community. They also shed light on science as a broad social and cultural phenomenon in American life. They document life in the nation's capital in the 19th century as well, including the impact of the Civil War on the fledgling Smithsonian. Because Henry was Secretary of the Smithsonian from its founding in 1846 until his death in 1878, the documents are also a rich resource for understanding the early history of the Institution and its influence on the development of a variety of disciplines.
To access this material, the project developed a document database that allows researchers to conduct searches by subject, name, and date. The database provides access to historical documentation on the following disciplines, among others:
The database includes more than fifteen thousand names. Some of the more prominent cultural, political, and scientific figures include: Louis Agassiz, Alexander Dallas Bache, Spencer F. Baird, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, Jefferson Davis, Dorothea L. Dix, James A. Garfield, Asa Gray, Henry James, Sr., Matthew F. Maury, Maria Mitchell, Lewis Henry Morgan, Samuel F. B. Morse, Titian Ramsey Peale, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, William Tecumseh Sherman, Benjamin Silliman, Sr., John Torrey, and Thomas U. Walter.
Researchers interested in making use of this database, which is available at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, should e-mail SIHistory@si.edu, or call 202-633-5910. Note that the database contains citations to documents from many repositories. Smithsonian Institution Archives can provide copies of documents from the Smithsonian itself, but the researcher should contact other repositories for copies of their documents.
Selected edited documents from the Henry Papers Database can be found in print in The Papers of Joseph Henry, volumes 1-12. Volumes 1-11 contain documents tracing Joseph Henry's life and career as a scientist and administrator. Volume 12 is a cumulative index to volumes 1-11. Copies of the volumes are available from Science History Publications.
The Model Editions Partnership
Historical Editions in the Digital Age
The Model Editions Partnership explored ways of creating editions of historical documents which meet the standards scholars traditionally use in preparing printed editions and made these materials more widely available via the Web. The MEP Sampler includes samples from the participating projects which can be browsed or searched, information for documentary editors, and technical information for people who need to look `under the hood'. To explore the sample Joseph Henry documents online, visit The Papers of Joseph Henry. To learn more about the MEP and see other Model Editions samplers, visit http://modeleditions.blackmesatech.com/mep/.