Category: History of Science

“A Want of Dignity Wholly Unworthy of the Government”: James Smithson, the Annual Report, and the Question: “Should the Federal Government Participate in Scientific Investigation?”
04 June 2019 by Grayson Van Beuren


“A Want of Dignity Wholly Unworthy of the Government”: James Smithson, the Annual Report, and the Question: “Should the Federal Government Participate in Scientific Investigation?”

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC recently named Lonnie G. Bunch III as its fourteenth Secretary, the first African American to hold the position. In celebration of this occasion, let’s explore the beginnings of the Smithsonian.   The Smithsonian Institution is a remarkable institution. Founded in 1846 and sometimes called “the nation’s attic,” the institution brings millions of visitors in contact with science and history each year. Scholars (read more)




“The Entire Collection Could Have Been Held by a Four-Shelf Bookcase”: Dr. John Shaw Billings and the Surgeon General Office’s Library
16 May 2019 by Grayson Van Beuren


“The Entire Collection Could Have Been Held by a Four-Shelf Bookcase”: Dr. John Shaw Billings and the Surgeon General Office’s Library

We recently augmented 19th Century Masterfile with data from the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office. This index—and the library that spawned it—were largely the work of one incredible surgeon and bibliophile: Dr. John Shaw Billings.   We’ve all, while researching, thought to ourselves, “I sure wish the library had this particular book,” or lamented, “It sure would be great if this library’s collection was (read more)




"A Profitable, Elevating, and Attractive Profession”: Bettering Farming through the Farmers' Bulletin
12 July 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


"A Profitable, Elevating, and Attractive Profession”: Bettering Farming through the Farmers

Exploring the Farmers’ Bulletin… Our “Exploring” series continues with the Farmers’ Bulletin, a publication from the United States Department of Agriculture that first appeared in 1889. For over a century, the Bulletin has disseminated the latest research out of Agricultural Experiment Stations across the country with the aim of leading farmers to bigger crop yields and more rewarding home lives. Persuit of this goal has sometimes led the Bulletin to publish (read more)




“A Trifling Return…for the Great Service”
06 June 2018 by Grayson Van Beuren


“A Trifling Return…for the Great Service”

Exploring the Industrial Arts Index... Continuing with our “Exploring” blog series, today we will look at the Industrial Arts Index. Before the current-day crowd of scientific and engineering online discovery services existed, staying up-to-date in one’s field involved visiting the reference section of the local library and using their subject indexes. The Industrial Arts Index was one such tool, designed to make it easy to find the most widely-used and useful articles in (read more)




New Major Science and Technology Content from IGI Global
30 March 2017 by Paratext Editorial


New Major Science and Technology Content from IGI Global

IGI Global is a leading international academic reference publisher in information science, business science, medical information science and engineering science. This week, Paratext added more than 270 additional Major Reference Works, with an emphasis on IGI Global’s contributions to STEM studies, to the vast introductory metadata of Reference Universe: 1975-2017. This new addition of nearly 16,000 article level links to the 273 most (read more)




Largest Repository for History of Science Periodicals Now Online
30 November 2016 by Paratext Editorial


Largest Repository for History of Science Periodicals Now Online

356 years after The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge held their first 'learned society' meeting in 1660, Paratext announces the addition of The Society's International Catalogue of Scientific Literature, 1901-1914 to 19th Century Masterfile: 1106-1930. This is the continuation of the monumental Catalogue of Scientific Papers 1800-1900, which Paratext deployed in 2012.   The International Catalogue is the largest single editorial (read more)




New Elsevier Content in Reference Universe
17 November 2016 by Paratext Editorial


New Elsevier Content in Reference Universe

Elsevier remains one of the world’s leading providers in science, health, and technology discoveries. In conjunction with the efforts of Elsevier, Reference Universe: 1975-2017 aims to provide researchers with the most current, introductory works of today. With that in mind, Paratext has enhanced the Elsevier profile in Reference Universe with an additional 12,000 article level links to 257 new Elsevier major reference titles. The (read more)




Links to Royal Society Full-Text Journals' Now in 19th Century Masterfile
31 January 2012 by Paratext Editorial


Links to Royal Society Full-Text Journals

The Royal Society is the oldest scientific academy still in existence, having begun in the 17th century with the regular meetings of natural philosophers interested in promoting knowledge of the natural world through observation and experiment. Paratext is pleased to announce that more than 6,000 links to the full text of the Royal Society Journals are now included in 19th Century Masterfile. The journals make up part of the more than 1,500 titles indexed within (read more)




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