« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
there. In the summer of 1841 he returned to France and immediately presented a third petition to the chambers, referring to his success in America. The report of the Count of Montesquion to the Chamber of peers was sent back to the ministry of foreign affairs and public instruction, but no more was heard from it.
Now, however, Mr. Vattemare commenced the distribution of the objects entrusted to bim for exchange. Some had their destination assigned them, but the distribution of the greater number was left to Mr. Vattemare's discretion. He transmitted the leg. aslative documents to the chamber, elementary books of education, &c., to the min. isters of public instruction, &c.
The cities of Boston, New York, Baltimore, and Washington had presented certain works and documents to the city of Paris. On December 21, 1842, it was resolved to address a letter of thanks to the former and to send them books in exchange for those received from them.
Mr. Vattemare received from the chambers, departments, and those scientific institutions wbich had been included in his first distribution a great number of important works. He also made an appeal to savans, authors, and artists, which received some response.
The sendings to the United States had been gradually growing larger from the year 1842, and on the 1st of January, 1846, 6,000 volumes had passed between France and the United States. The following year their number reached 8,000.
Mr. Vattemare concluded to personally deliver a large amount of exchanges, and he started on May 10, 1847, with sixty-one boxes.
The custom-house charges at New York being very heavy, he addressed the Secretary of the Treasury, explaining to him that the exchanges from the United States were allowed free entry in France, and in reply the same privilege was granted for the French exchanges.
During the second visit to the United States Mr. Vattemare was equally successful; me forwarded in the course of the year 1848 forty-eight cases to France.
On the 26th of Jne of the same year Congress charged the Library Committee with the nomination of an agent to conduct the operations of the exchanges between France and the United States. The committee unanimously designated Mr. Vattemare, who entered upon his duties July 25, 1848. It was also resolved that everything transmitted by this agent should be admitted in this country free of duty.
The French Government failing to give further support to the service of international exchanges, not withstanding the renewed efforts of Mr. Vattemare, its operations ceased at his death, in 1864.
Another movement in our country to effect a system of exchanges (chiefly directed, however, to natural history specimens) was made by the National Institution" orgauized at Washington, D. C., in May, 1840. Early in 1841 the institution addressed a circnlar to the principal scientific institutions of Europe, soliciting their correspondence. A letter to the corresponding secretary from Dr. H. G. Brown, professor in the university of Heidelberg, Germany, proposed, “if acceptable to you I offer an erchange of the petrifactions of your country for those of Germany and the neighboring countries." In September, 1811, the United Statís consul at Lima, Pera, offered to the institution his valuable entomological collections. Almost simultaneously M. Dufresnoy, of the royal school of mines at Paris, wrote that he had delivered to Mr. D. B. Warden (formerly consul of the United States at Paris) a box of specimens of · mineralogy for deposit in the cabinet of the National Institution at Washington, espressing the hope that such transmissions may become frequent.
In December, 1841, Dr. E. Foreman, of Baltimore, proposed to the institution a plan for obtaining conchological specimens from all parts of the country by a system of et change. In pursuance of a resolution of the institution adopted December 13, 1841, a committee appointed to propose a plan of exchanges reported February 14, 1842, first, “that a system of exchanges is of very great importance in the accomplishment of one of the primary objects for which the National Institution has been declared to be formed, viz, the establishment of a national museum of natural history," &c.; and second, " that in exchanges of all kinds the natural productions of our country shall first and always have a decided preference. This method, while it recommends itself to us and our interests, is calculated to extend benefits and encouragement to the societies and naturalists of our country, who will thus have a central depository, from which they may enlarge and vary their own collections; and thus also in due time the duplicates of the exploring expedition may with the greatest advantage be diffissed throughont the land, thereby fulfilling, in the amplest manner, the intentions of those who project and justify the liberality of the government which sanctioned tbat noble project."
And the committee recommended:
*2. That the curator and assistants be directed, for this purpose, to separate all duplicates, except those from the exploring expedition; and that they select and label such specimens as are to be sent to individuals or societies.
“3. That the first step taken be to discharge the obligations of exchange already incurred by the institution.
*4. That a committee be appointed, to whom the curator shall submit all sets of specimens thus set aside for any given exchanges, who shall decide upon the equivalency before said specimens shall be boxed up and sent off.
"3. That in all cases of difficulty which may arise, reference must be made to the president or vice-president of the institution for decision, who will, if they conceive it necessary, submit the question to the institution.
“6. That a book be kept by the curator, subject at all times to the inspection of the committee, in which must be noted the contents of each box or package, lists of the articles for which they are the equivalents, the name and the place of the society or individual to whom one set is to be sent, and from whom the other has been received.”
In July, 1842, the institution adopted the name "National Institute.”
It will thus be seen that the efforis of the National Institute towards the establishment of a system of exchanges were mainly intended to enrich its cabinet of natural history, although the exchange of books was not excluded. In this way its museum obtained many valuable additions during the succeeding years, but the financial condition of the institute prohibited a vigorons execution of the system. Notwithstanding several appeals to Congress for aid, of which the last one was made on December 16, 1845, nothing was done toward giving the desired relief, and on the 25th of November, 1846, the following “notice to the members of the National Institute” was published, which will give a fair insight into its condition:
**A reference to the last memorial to Congress,” which was presented to the Senate by the Hon. Lewis Cass and to the House of Representatives by the venerable John Quincy Adams, will afford the members some idea of the present condition of the National Institute. Notwithstanding that renewed appeal, Congress has again omitted to grant relief. More than a thousand boxes, barrels, trunks, &c., embracing collections of value and rarity in literature, in the arts, and in natural history, remain on hand unopened, the liberal contributions of members at home and abroad, of governments, of learned and scientific societies and institutions, of foreign countries and of our own, and of munificent friends and patrons in every part of the world. The worth, extent, and American interests of these collections may be understood, though imperfectly, by a perusal of the four bulletins which are now before the public. For the preservation, reception, and display of these the institute has neither funds nor a suitable depository. The usual meetings of the members have been suspended for a considerable period. Hence the regular proceedings have been interrupted, and hence the present volume (which has been published by the subscription of a few members and others, a subscription so limited as to have rendered it indispensably necessary to abridge the publication within the narrowest possible compass), instead of presenting in the usual form the proceedings of the institute, gives a mere and meagre abstract of a voluminous and valuable correspondence, and an imperfect account of donations and contributions to its library and cabinet."
And thus with the year 1846 virtually ceased the activity of the National Institute in that direction.
From this sketch it will be seen that the system introduced by the two early scientific institutions of our country had in view mainly the interchange of their own transactions for those of foreign societies, for their own benetit and extension of their own reputation, and that the system introduced in France had in view mainly the interchange among public libraries of their superfluous duplicates and of government publications. The Smithsonian Institution, commencing with the same method, at a very early date in its history inangurated the original enterprise of furthering the mutual interchange of scientific transactions and publications throughout the world, withont reference to any direct benefit to itself by reason of such exchanges.
SMITHSONIAN EXCHANGES. Among the definite lines of policy adopted by the Institution at the commencement of its operations was a diffusion of its publications, resulting in a system of exchange not limited to the distribution of unused duplicate volumes accumulated in libraries, bnt comprehending a full interchange of the intellectual products of the two hemispheres.
In the original programme of organization” presented to the Board of Regents by Prof. Joseph Henry, December 8, 1847, this object was set forth, and in the explanations and illustrations of the programme the consideration was urged that the publications of a series of volumes of original memoirs would afford the Smithsonian Institution the most ready means of entering into friendly relations and correspondence with all the learned societies in the world and of enriching its library with their current transactions and proceedings.
A committee of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences appointed to consider the plan proposed for the organization of the Smithsonian Institation reported, December 7, 1847, on this feature, that
“It can scarcely be doubted that an important impulse would be given by the Smithsonian Institntion in this way to the cultivation of scientific pursuits, while the extensive and widely ramified system of distribution and exchange, by which the publications are to be distributed throughout the United States and the world, would insure them a circulation which works of science could scarcely attain in any other way.”
The first volume of the Smithsonian “Contributions to Knowledge," a memoir on the ancient monuments of the Mississippi Valley (by Messrs. Squier & Davis), was published in 360 quarto pages in 1848, and during the followinz year was distributed to learned societies in the following countries : In Central and Southern America :
No. of societies Cuba, Havana
1 Colombia, Bogota
1 Venezuela, Caracas.
1 Brazil, Rio Janeiro. In Africa: Egypt, Cairo......
1 In Asia: China, Hong-Kong
1 India, Allahabad, Bombay, Ceylon, and Madras. Java, Batavia..
1 Philippine Islands, Manila
1 In Europe:
6 Spain. Sweden
7 Turkey ... In addition, the volume was liberally distributed to distinguished savans interested its subject, and to numerous institutions throughout our own country. This was the starting point of a project for the diffusion, by a universal exchange, of scientific thought and its records as freely as the resources of the Institution should be able to procure it, and as widely as the cultivation of knowledge should extend.
At the commencement of its system of exchanges the Institution wås much trammelled by the great delays and considerable expenses attendant on custom-house reqnirements, but by earnest efforts and proper representation to Congress, the United States Gorernment adopted the enlightened policy of admitting through our custom-honses, duty free, all scientific publications from foreign countries addressed to the Smithsonian Institution, whether for its own use or as presents to learned societies and individuals in any part of our country.
The efforts of the Institution were then directed to the procurement from foreign governments of the reciprocal favor of a similar liberality on their part. The following extract from the Secretary's report for 1851 will sufficiently indicate the steps first taken:
“ The promotion of knowledge is much retarded by the difficulties experienced in the way of a free intercourse between scientific and literary societies in different parts of the world. In carrying on the exchange of the Smithsonian volumes, it was necessary to appoint a number of agents. Some of these are American cousals, and other responsible individuals, who have undertaken in inost cases to transact the business free of all charge, and in others for but little more than the actual expense incurred. These agencies being established, other exchanges could be carried on through them, and ont means of conveyance, at the slight additional expense owing to the small increase of weight; and we have accordingly offered the privileges of sending and receiving small packages through our agency to institutions of learning, and in some cases to individuals who chose to avail themselves of it; the offer has been accepted by a number
of institutions, and the result cannot fail to prove highly beneficial, hy promoting a more ready communication between the literature and science of this country and the world abroad.
“As a part of the same system, application was made through Sir Henry Bulwer, the British minister at Washington, for a remission of duties on packages intended for Great Britain, and we are informed that a permanent arrangement will probably be made through the agency of the Royal Society for the free passage throngh the English custom-houses of all packages from this Institutior.
"The Smithsonian exchanges are under the special charge of Professor Baird, who has been unwearied in his exertions to collect proper materials, and to reduce the whole to such order as will combine security with rapidity of transmission.
“The system of exchanges here described has no connection with that established between national governments by Mr. Vattemare. It is merely an extension of one which has been in operation, on a small scale, for nearly half a century, between the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy on this side of the Atlantic, and the several scientific societies on the other.”
Early in 1852 Professor Henry addressed a communication to the vice-president of the Royal Society of London, Col. Edward Sabine, with a view of obtaining the influence and co-operation of that distingnished body in the promotion of an unrestricted scientific interchange between the two great English countries.
This communication received a very prompt and favorable consideration from that society, and the following official response was placed by Professor Henry before the Board of Regents at its meeting, May 1, 1852, as follows:
ROYAL SOCIETY'S APARTMENTS,
Somerset House, London, March 19, 1852. MY DEAR SIR: I duly communicated to the Earl of Rosse, president of the Ro; al Society, your letter to me on the subjects of the interchange of scientific publications. between the United States and this country, and the admission into England, duty free, of scientific books and memoirs presented to institutions or to individuals here, either by or throngh the Smithsonian Institution. I accompanied this communication by a letter addressed to the president, which you will read in the inclosed printed minutes of the council of the Royal Society of January 15, 1852. The subject has since been brought by the Earl of Rosse under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government, who have shown, as might be expected, much readiness to meet in the same spirit the liberal example which has been set by the United States, in exempting from duty scientific books sent as presents from this country to the Smithsonian Institu-tion, and through that Institution to other institutions and to individuals cultivating science in the United States. The move which has been suggested by our board of customs for admitting, duty freo, scientific publications designed for this conntry, and which we hope will receive the approval of the treasury, is, that a list should be furnished by the Royal Society of the names of all institutions and individuals to whom such works may be expected to be addressed, when the custom-house officers will have directions to pass without duty all such publications having the names of such institutions or persons inscribed either on the cover or on the title-page, which are sent to this country in packages directed to the Royal Society, the list to be amended or extended from time to time. The Royal Society will gladly take charge of, and distribute under these regulations, the books which the Smithsonian Institution may send for institutions and individuals in this country, receiving them from the agent in London appoiuted by the Smithsonian Institution; and I shall be obliged by your furnishing me, at your earliest convenience, with a list, as complete as you may be able to make it, of the names of the institutions and persons to whom books or memoirs are likely to be sent.
The Royal Society will also gladly receive and forward to their ultimate destination (where such assistance may be useful) packages containing publications of a similar description, designed for institutions and individuals on the continent of Europe ; such packages being directed to the Royal Society, and stated on the outside of the case or package to be from the Smithsonian Institution. The customs duties will, in such cases, be either altogether remitted or returned on re-exportation.
If it be a convenience to the cultivators of science in the United States, that publications presented to them by institutions or individuals on the continent of Europe or elsewhere, should be addressed to the Royal Society as a channel of communication, the same facilities will be given by the board of customs, and the Royal Society will, with pleasure, make the required arrangements. It will be necessary, in such cases, that packages arriving from the continent of Europe or elsewhere should be inarked on the outside, “ for the Smithsonian Institution," and the foreign secretary of the Royal Society should be appriseil of their being sent. Expenses of freight would of course be defrayed by the agent of the Smithsonian Institution. I am, iny dear sir, with great respect and regarıl, very sincerely yours,
Vice-President and Treasurer of the Royal Society. Prof. JOSEPH HENRY.
This, though an important concession, was still attended with considerable delay, and on farther solicitation the rule was so relaxed that all duties were practically remitted on books, not foreign reprints of British copyrights, and at present the Smithsonian agent finds no difficulty in obtaining the packages through the custonhouse.
Colonel Sabine's views on the subject were laid before the British Association in his address as president of that body, on occasion of their annual meeting in 1852.
• Another subject which has occupied the attention of the parliamentary committee in the last year is one to which their attention was requested by the council of the association, with a view of carrying into effect the desire of the general committee for a more cheap and rapid international communication of scientific publications. The credit of the first move towards the accomplishment of this desirable object is due to the Government of the United States, by whom an arrangement was made for the admission, duty free, of all scientific books addressed as presents from foreign countries to all institutions and individuals cultivating science in that country, such books being sent through the Smithsonian Institution, by whom their distribution to their respective destinations was undertaken. This arrangement was notified to our government through the British minister at Washington, and a simi. lar privilege was at the same time requested for the admission, duty free, into Eng. land, of books sent as presents from the United States to public institutions and individuals cultivating science in this country, under such regulations as might appear most fitting. This proposition gave rise to communications between the president of the Royal Society and the chairman of the parliamentary committee on the one part and the treasury and the principal commissioner of customs on the other; the result of which has been the concession of the privilege of admission, duty free, into Eng. land of scientific books from all countries, designed as presents to institutions and individuals named in lists to be prepared from time to time by the Royal Society, after communication with other scientific societies recognized by charter-under the regalation, however, that the books are to be imported in cases, addressed to and passing through the Royal Society. This arrangement has come into operation; and it may be interesting to notice, as giving some idea of its extensive bearing, that the first arrival from the United States, which has taken place under these regulations consists of packages weighing in all not less than three tons.
“There is another branch of the same subject, which is more difficult to arrange, viz, The international communication by post of scientific pamphlets and papers at reduced rates of postage. The parliamentary committee have directed their attention to this part of the subject also; and I earnestly hope that their exertions will be snesessful.”
Iu his annual report for 1852 Professor Henry states:
“The whole number of articles received during 1852 is 4,744, which is more than three times tbat of all the previous years. The publications received in many cases consist of entire sets of transactions, the earlier volumes of which are out of print and cannot be purchased. They are of use in carrying on the various investigations of the Institution, and of value to the country as works of reference.
“The principal object, however, of the distribution of the Smithsonian volumes is not to procure a large library in exchange, but to diffuse among men a knowledge of the new truths discovered by the agency of the Smithsonian fund. The worth and importance of the Institution is not to be estimated by what it accumulates within the walls of its building, but by what it sends forth to the world. Its great mission is to f: o'litate the use of implements of research, and to diffuse the knowledge which this ue may develop. The Smithsonian publications are sent to some institutions abroad, and to the greater majority of those at home, without any return except, in some cases, that of co-operation in meteorological and other observations.
“In carrying out this plan the Institution is much indebted to the liberal conrse adopted by the Government of Great Britain and the ready co-operation of the Royal Society of London. All packages intended for Great Britain, for some parts of the continent, and the East Indies, are directed to the Royal Society, and on the certificate of its president are, by a special order of the governwent, adnitted duty free, and without the delay and risk of inspection. The packages are afterwards distributed by the agent of the Iustitution, or by those of the society.
“This system of exchanges does not stop here. The Royal Society has adopted the same plan with reference to Great Britain and all other parts of the world, and the Smithsonian Institution, in turn, becomes an agent in receiving and distributing all packages which the society desires to send to this country. A general system of international communication, first started by this Institution for the distribution of its own publications, has thus been established which will tend to render the results of the labors of each country in the line of literature and science common to all, and to produce a community of interest and of relations of the highest importance to the advancement of knowleilge anıl of kindly feeling among men.
So rapidly and generally was the beneficent work of the Smitlisonian Institution