The Papers of Joseph Henry: Volume 7
January 1847–December 1849, The Smithsonian Years

Editor: Marc Rothenberg
Associate Editor: Paul H. Theerman
Assistant Editor: Kathleen W. Dorman
Assistant Editor: John C. Rumm
Research Assistant: Deborah Y. Jeffries

1996, 707 pp., illustrated, ISBN 1-56098-533-X, $60.00

The Papers of Joseph Henry: Volume 7

Volume 7, The Smithsonian Years: January 1847-December 1849 (Washington, 1996: ISBN 1-56098-533-X) documents the beginning of the most influential period of Henry’s life, his thirty-one years as Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. During these years, Henry strove to ensure that James Smithson’s bequest was used to support original scientific research and publication, rather than to create a national museum or library–notions then advocated by many prominent Americans. Henry’s diary entries and letters attest to his continuing effort to acquire support from the Smithsonian regents, Congress, scientists, and the American public for his program and his vision of a place for science in a democracy. The volume illuminates the challenges Henry faced in implementing his program without national precedents, adequate resources, or an experienced staff.

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