The staff of the Joseph Henry Papers at the
Smithsonian Institution collect, transcribe, edit, annotate, and
publish the manuscripts of Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of
the Smithsonian Institution. They also supervise the Bell-Henry
Library comprising the personal libraries of Alexander Graham
Bell and Joseph Henry. To date, the editors have published five
volumes of The Papers of Joseph Henry (Washington, D.C.:
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972-1985), a select, letterpress
edition of Henry's correspondence, notebooks, diaries, and related
manuscripts. Ten additional letterpress volumes and a complete
microform edition of the manuscripts are planned.
This project forms a center for research in the history of science in nineteenth-century America. Particular strengths include American intellectual and cultural history, the history of the physical sciences -- including meteorology, and Federal policy in science.
Collection: approximately 90,000 items related
to Joseph Henry from over 300 depositories -- photocopied and
on microfilm. Computer index is available by name, subject, date,
and control number. Each index entry contains coded information
which provides the document control number, microfilm or photocopy
location, original depository location, transcription status,
date, and names of the author, recipient, and other names and
subjects mentioned in the document.
Selected subjects -- number of documents (& dates of coverage):
An index of authors and titles is also available for the books and pamphlets in the Bell-Henry Library. The index reveals 83 titles on "meteorology" dated between 1824 and 1878 and 25 titles on "storms" dated 1830 to 1862. Of particular note is Henry's personal collection of pamphlets and reprints -- many on meteorological topics, and some with marginalia. William Reid's Progress of the Development of the Law of Storms and of Variable Winds (London, 1849) is inscribed as a gift from William Redfield and contains marginalia attributed to James Espy. Espy's Philosophy of Storms (Boston, 1841) contains annotations in Espy's hand. The library also contains the manuscript copy of Robert Hare's "On the suppositious travelling whirlwinds called Cyclones," ca. 1854.