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the branch to which the memoir pertains; and to be accepted for publication only in case the report of this commission is favorable.
5. The commission to be chosen by the officers of the Institution, and the name of the author, as far as practicable, concealed, unless a favorable decision be made.
6. The volumes of the memoirs to be exchanged for the transactions of literary and scientific societies, and copies to be given to all the colleges and principal libraries in this country. One part of the remaining copies may be offered for sale; and the other carefully preserved, to form complete sets of the work, to supply the demand from new institutions.
7. An abstract, or popular account, of the contents of these memoirs to be given to the public through the annual report of the Regents to Congress.
II.-By appropriating a part of the income, annually, to special objects of
research, under the direction of suitable persons. 1. The objects, and the amount appropriated, to be recommended by counsellors of the Institution,
2. Appropriations in different years to different objects, so that, in course of time, each branch of knowledge may receive a share.
3. The results obtained from these appropriations to be published, with the memoirs before mentioned, in the volumes of the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.
4. Examples of objects for which appropriations may be made.
(1.) System of extended meteorological observations for solving the problem of American storms.
(2.) Explorations in descriptive natural history, and geological, magnetical, and topographical surveys, to collect materials for the formation of a Physical Atlas of the United States.
(3.) Solution of experimental problems, such as a new determination of the weight of the earth, of the velocity of electricity, and of light; chemical analyses of soils and plants; collection and publication of scientific facts, accumulated in the offices of government.
(4.) Institution of statistical inquiries with reference to physical, moral, and political subjects.
(5.) Historical researches and accurate surveys of places celebrated in American history.
(6.) Ethnological researches, particularly with reference to the different races of men in North America; also, explorations and accurate surveys of the mounds and other remains of the ancient people of our country.
DETAILS OF THE PLAN FOR DIFFUSING KNOWLEDGE.
I.-By the publication of a series of reports, giving an account of the new
discoveries in science, and of the changes made from year to year in all branches of knowledge not strictly professional.
1. These reports will diffuse a kind of knowledge generally interesting, but which, at present, is inaccessible to the public. Some of the
reports may be published annually, others at longer intervals, as the income of the Institution or the changes in the branches of knowledge may indicate.
2. The reports are to be prepared by collaborators eminent in the different branches of knowledge.
3. Each collaborator to be furnished with the journals and publications, domestic and foreign, necessary to the compilation of his report; to be paid a certain sum for his labors, and to be named on the titlepage of the report.
4. The reports to be published in separate parts, so that persons interested in a particular branch can procure the parts relating to it without purchasing the whole.
5. These reports may be presented to Congress for partial distribution, the remaining copies to be given to literary and scientific institutions, and sold to individuals for a moderate price.
The following are some of the subjects which may be embraced in the reports:
I. PHYSICAL CLASS.
1. Physics, including astronomy, natural philosophy, chemistry, and meteorology.
2. Natural history, including botany, zoology, geology, &c.
II. MORAL AND POLITICAL CLASS.
5. Ethnology, including particular history, comparative philology, antiquities, &c.
6. Statistics and political economy. 7. Mental and moral philosophy. 8. A survey of the political events of the world, penal reform, &c.
III. LITERATURE AND THE FINE ARTS.
9. Modern literature. 10. The fine arts, and their application to the useful arts. 11. Bibliography. 12. Obituary notices of distinguished individuals. II. By the publication of separate treatises on subjects of general interest.
1. These treatises may occasionally consist of valuable memoirs translated from foreign languages, or of articles prepared under the direction of the Institution, or procured by offering premiums for the best exposition of a given subject.
2. The treatises should, in all cases, be submitted to a commission of competent judges previous to their publication.
3. As examples of these treatises, expositions may be obtained of the present state of the several branches of knowledge mentioned in the table of reports.
Plan of organization, in accordance with the terms of the resolutions of
the Board of Regents providing for the two modes of increasing and diffusing knowledge.
1. The act of Congress establishing the Institution contemplated the formation of a library and a museum ; and the Board of Regents, including these objects in the plan of organization, resolved to divide the income* into two equal parts.
2. One part to be appropriated to increase and diffuse knowledge by means of publications and researches, agreeably to the scheme before given. The other part to be appropriated to the formation of a library and a collection of objects of nature and of art.
3. These two plans are not incompatible one with another.
4. To carry out the plan before described, a library will be required, consisting, 1st, of a complete collection of the transactions and proceedings of all the learned societies in the world ; 2d, of the more important current periodical publications, and other works necessary in preparing the periodical reports.
5. The Institution should make special collections, particularly of objects to illustrate and verify its own publications.
6. Also, a collection of instruments of research in all branches of experimental science.
7. With reference to the collection of books, other than those mentioned above, catalogues of all the different libraries in the United States should be procured, in order that the valuable books first purchased may be such as are not to be found in the United States.
8. Also, catalogues of memoirs, and of books and other materials, should be collected for rendering the Institution a centre of bibliographical knowledge, whence the student may be directed to any work which he may require.
9. It is believed that the collections in natural history will increase by donation as rapidly as the income of the Institution can make provision for their reception, and, therefore, it will seldom be necessary to purchase articles of this kind.
10. Attempts should be made to procure for the gallery of art casts of the most celebrated articles of ancient and modern sculpture.
11. The arts may be encouraged by providing a room, free of expense, for the exhibition of the objects of the Art-Union and other similar societies.
* The amount of the Smithsonian bequest received into the Treasury of the
United States is.....
242,129 00 30,910 14
12. A small appropriation should annually be made for models of antiquities, such as those of the remains of ancient temples, &c.
13. For the present, or until the building is fully completed, besides the Secretary, no permanent assistant will be required, except one, to act as librarian.
14. The Secretary, by the law of Congress, is alone responsible to the Regents. He shall take charge of the building and property, keep a record of proceedings, discharge the duties of librarian and keeper of the museum, and may, with the consent of the Regents, employ assistants.
15. The Secretary and his assistants, during the session of Congress, will be required to illustrate new discoveries in science, and to exhibit new objects of art; distinguished individuals should also be invited to give lectures on subjects of general interest.
This programme, which was at first adopted provisionally, has become the settled policy of the Institution. The only material change is that expressed by the following resolutions, adopted January 15, 1855, viz:
Resolved, That the 7th resolution passed by the Board of Regents, on the 26th of January, 1847, requiring an equal division of the income between the active operations and the museum and library, when the buildings are completed, be and it is hereby repealed.
Resolved, That hereafter the annual appropriations shall be apportioned specifically among the different objects and operations of the Institution, in such manner as may, in the judgment of the Regents, be necessary and proper for each, according to its intrinsic importance, and a compliance in good faith with the law.
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY FOR 1857,
To the Board of Regents :
GENTLEMEN : It again becomes my duty to present to you the history of the operations of another year of the Institution which the government of the United States has entrusted to your care. In an establishment of this kind, of which the policy has been settled and is strictly adhered to, there must of necessity be much sameness in the general form and character of the successive reports ; but since the field of science is boundless, and new portions of it are continually presented for investigation, there will always be found in the details, facts of sufficient interest to relieve the routine of the statements relative to the condition of the funds and the scrutiny of the receipts and expenditures.
It might at first sight appear surprising that so constant a supply of materials for the Smithsonian Contributions and so many objects of interest, demanding the assistance of the Smithsonian fund, should be presented, but it will be evident, on reflection, that this results from the influence of the Institution itself in increasing the number of laborers in the field of science, as well as in accumulating the materials on which they are to be engaged. The tendency is constantly to expand the operations, and much caution and self-control are necessary to repress the desire to be more liberal in the assistance rendered to worthy objects, than the income will permit. Indeed, a charge is frequently made of illiberality for what is the result of restricted means. It must be evident that nothing is more important to the permanency and proper conduct of the Institution than the cautious and judicious management of its funds. Any embarrassment in this quarter would involve a loss of confidence in the directors, which would be fatal to the usefulness and efficiency of the establishment.
I have from the first expressed the regret that the original law of Congress directed the expenditure of so large a portion of the income on objects of a local character, and this feeling has been increased by the experience which time has afforded in regard to the good which could be effected by a more critical observance of the terms of the