Project

The History of Organizations for the Promotion of Learning in the United States

Overview
The History of Organizations for the Promotion of Learning in the United States

Since colonial times, academies, learned societies, and scientific associations have played an important yet little recognized role in the organized pursuit of knowledge in the United States. This project investigated the function and historical role of learned societies in advancing research and stimulating communication about scientific and scholarly ideas, not only within the intellectual community but among segments of the larger society. Project leaders divided the history of American learned societies into three time periods: (1) colonial times up to 1860; (2) from 1860 through 1920; and (3) 1920 to 1970. Participants met for intense deliberation and discussion during summer studies. The resulting papers are published in two collaborative volumes.

Resulting Publications

  • The Pursuit of Knowledge in the Early American Republic: American Scientific and Learned Societies from Colonial Times to the Civil War, ed. Alexandra Oleson and Sanborn C. Brown. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976. (out of print)
  • The Organization of Knowledge in Modern America, 1860-1920, ed. Alexandra Oleson and John Voss. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979. (out of print)

Project Data

  • PROJECT DATE: 1972-1979
  • PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS: Sanborn C. Brown (MIT) and I. Bernard Cohen (Harvard University)
  • SOURCES OF FUNDING: National Science Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Academy
People

People

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