Bringing Natural History to the People: Three Pioneers of the Pacific Northwest Frontier

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Title: Bringing Natural History to the People: Three Pioneers of the Pacific Northwest Frontier
Author: Weiss, Michael Arthur, 1945-
Abstract: In the mid-nineteenth century, three Pacific Northwest collectors established relationships with the fledgling Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. They communicated with Assistant Secretary, Spencer Fullerton Baird, a scientist whose philosophy placed him midway between the "increase" and "diffusion" requirements of the original bequest of James Smithson. The older museum scientists had sought to keep the Institution devoted to research—the "increase" notion, whereas the younger scientists hoped for a museum and a library to bring the new science to the people—the "diffusion" notion. The three pioneers took up collecting to supplant or to supplement their religion, which had come under siege due to rational science. They wished to bring their collections to the people in recognition of the democratic and educational spirit of the new American museum—a far cry from the elitist curio cabinets of Europe and the popular humbug of P.T. Barnum.
Description: viii, 150 p. Advisor: Dr. Louise Wade.A print copy of this title is available through the UO Libraries under the call number: SCA OrColl QH26 .W45 1989
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/3096
Date: 1989-06


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