Edward James Nolan documents and correspondence on the History of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
Held at: Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia [Contact Us]1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA, 19103
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Edward James Nolan (1846-1921) served as the librarian at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia from 1869 until his death. During his tenure as librarian, he performed research on and wrote the history of the Academy which was published in 1909.
Edward James Nolan was born in 1846. He was first connected to the Academy in 1862, when he served as an assistant to the library. He then left to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with the celebrated anatomist, Joseph Leidy. In 1867, he returned to the Academy as a member, but soon became a permanent part of the staff. In 1869, he was elected librarian and later, he was also elected recording secretary and Editor of Publications. Nolan served as librarian until his death in 1921.
In 1906, the President, Samuel G. Dixon wrote Nolan to start preparation on a history of the Academy, “that we may have it complete on 100th anniversary,” the Academy's Centenary Celebration. Thus, Nolan researched and wrote Short History of the Academy of Natural Sciences which was published in 1909. In 1918, Nolan had attached a memorandum to the bottom of the above letter stating that no money was authorized when the history was complete so that it was never published in full. The work consists of some 700 numbered pages and many sections which are unnumbered. The original is housed at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Collection 463.
Nolan died on January 7, 1921.
This collection contains material collected by Nolan for his history, including transcriptions of early minutes, deeds, biographies, news clipppings, letters and reminiscences of colleagues. The collection is arranged alphabetically.
Some of the individuals present in the collection are: Mary E. Berry, Charles W. Burr (1861-1944), John Cadwalder, Jane Campbell, George Washington Carpenter (1802-1860), Harriet M. Chapman, Henry C. Chapman (1845-1909), Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1897), José Correia da Serra (1750-1823), E. T. Cox, Charles Darwin (1809-1882), Thomas Eakins (1844-1916), Adele Marion Fielde (1839-1916), William Gambel (1821-1849), K.S. Guthrie, Robert Hare, William Keating, Edward Murphy, Richard Alexander Fullerton Penrose, Jr. (1863-1931), William Samuel Waithman Ruschenberger (1807-1895), George E. de Schweinitz (1858-1938), Witmer Stone (1866-1939), José Fidel Tristan (1874-1932), Joseph Willcox, and B. Winsor.
While this collection is useful to researchers, it tells only a small part of the history of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia. Indeed, in his introduction, Nolan states, "the sketch may be regarded merely as preliminary to a detailed history of the Academy," (Nolan, p. 2). Nolan's published volume is not included in this collection, but it is available online.
Nolan, Edward James. A Short History of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1909.
The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.
Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.
- Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
- Finding Aid Date
- The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.
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This collection is open for research use.
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Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.