Review of The Papers of Joseph Henry, Volume 11: January 1866–May 1878: The SmithsonianbYears. Edited by Marc Rothenberg; Kathleen W. Dorman, Associate Editor; Frank R. Millikan, Assistant Editor; Deborah Y. Jeffries and Sarah Shoenfeld, Research Assistants.
Date of this Version
Documentary Editing: Journal of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 31: 2010 ISSN 0196-7134
This volume brings to an end a forty-year project that is both a tremendous contribution to the content and practice of the history of American science and a monument to the talents, commitment, and perseverance of its editors. The list of sponsoring institutions provides some indication of the perceived value of this project across a range of academic disciplines: the Smithsonian Institution, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences. Twelve volumes in all including the index, the series traces the life of Joseph Henry (1797–1878) from his education and early academic employment in Albany, New York, through his years on the faculty at Princeton, and then to his efforts, as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, to shape the nature and future of that institution when many did not share his vision. Henry struggled throughout his career to continue to conduct scientific research and to influence the nature and practice of science in the United States. In both his own research and his ideals for American scientific practice and institutions, Henry sought to build a scientific reputation that would be recognized and respected far beyond the boundaries of the United States.