(A division of SI Archives)

Arts and Industries 2188
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C. 20560
(202) 357-2787 ext. 18

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):

Aeronautics -- 60 documents (1809-1895)
Meteorology -- 8,019 documents (1824-1895)
Smithsonian meteorological project -- 1,448 documents (1847-1878)

Selected names:

Cleveland Abbe -- 100 documents (1859-1878)
Lorin Blodget -- 410 documents (1849-1878)
James P. Espy -- 488 documents (1834-1873)
William Ferrel -- 16 documents (1857-1876)
Arnold Guyot -- 279 documents (1848-1878)
William Redfield -- 59 documents (1837-1871)
Other relevant entries: Académie Royale des Sciences, AAAS, A.D. Bache, C.H.D. Buys Ballot, James Henry Coffin, John F. Daniell, John Dalton, Increase Allen Lapham, Matthew F. Maury, Meteorological Society of London, Meteorological Society of Scotland, Albert James Myer, Royal Society of London.

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.

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