William Wagner lectures
Held at: Wagner Free Institute of Science [Contact Us]1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA, 19121
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Wagner Free Institute of Science. 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
William Wagner was a gentleman scientist and avid collector of natural history specimens. After retiring from business as a merchant in 1840, he devoted himself to science. Believing that education in the sciences should be available to everyone, Wagner began offering free lectures on science at his home, Elm Grove, in 1847. Finding that interest in these lectures was strong, in 1855 Wagner founded the Wagner Free Institute of Science and moved the lectures to Spring Garden Hall. In 1859 construction began on a permanent home for his collections and his educational program, which opened to the public in 1865.
This collection contains a series of scientific and general lectures written and delivered by William Wagner. The lectures are arranged by subject and center chiefly on conchology, geology and paleontology, and mineralogy and metallurgy; but also include lectures, for example, on education, agriculture and aesthetics.
Lecture titles are from cover labels.
The lectures have been arranged by a cataloger where necessary. The lecture series on conchology (circa 1847) includes an introduction to the geology section and then are consecutively numbered 1 through 33 (there is some renumbering beginning with numbers 13 through 17). There are eleven lectures on paleontology presented as a subsection of the geology series beginning with ”Lecture A number 1” and ending with “Lecture K number 11.” The mineralogy lectures include an introductory lecture and then are numbered consecutively 1 through 16. The metallurgy subsection is number 17 through 23 and the “Mineralogy-Valedictory” lecture is numbered 24. A final group of miscellaneous lectures (seven of the lectures are dated 1857, one lecture is dated 1856) have been arranged alphabetically by title and address a number of topics and include lectures on mining numbered 1 through 3, lectures on geology numbered 1 through 4, and include lectures on Stephen Girard, education and so forth. What appears to be an earlier geology series (archive title: Geology Series A is included in the Miscellaneous series) includes an introduction and lectures numbered 1 through 4.
Most of the lectures are bound in cardboard covers.
Collection transferred to archives from Director's Office, 1989.
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.
- Wagner Free Institute of Science
- 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.
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Wagner Free Institute of Science with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.