Cover image for Biographical index to American science : the seventeenth century to 1920
Biographical index to American science : the seventeenth century to 1920
Elliott, Clark A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
xliii, 300 pages ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Q141 .E373 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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This work provides information for approximately 2850 American scientists deceased through 1920. It utilizes standard published biographical sources (biographical directories, dictionaries, and indexes), as well as obituary and similar notices for some persons not in standard sources. Arranged alphabetically by personal name, the Biographical Index includes full name, year of birth and death, scientific field(s) in which the person was active, identification by occupational category, reference to unpublished material described in the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, and references to published biographical sources. All fields of science are covered, including mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, the biological sciences, psychology and anthropology, as well as some persons noted for contributions in engineering, invention, and medicine. An index of the scientists by scientific field appears at the end of the work.

Beyond its primary value as a reference tool for the location of information on particular persons, the "Biographical Index" also serves to identify the population of scientists in America who lived during the period from colonial times to 1920. Selection of names was based on a systematic review of certain works such as the "Dictionary of American Biography" and other specialized indexes such as E.S. Barr's "Index to Biographical Fragments in Unspecialized Scientific Journals," obituary notices in American journals indexed in the "Royal Society's Catalogue of Scientific Papers" (1867-1925), lists of deceased scientists in "American Men of Science," and other sources. While eminent scientists are included, a number of less notable personages also are listed. This bibliography is suitable for college and research libraries and public libraries of all sizes, and for individuals interested in the history of American science.

Author Notes

CLARK A. ELLIOTT is Associate Curator of the Harvard University Archives. Previously, Elliott served as an assistant professor of library science at Simmons College in Boston. He is the author of Biographical Dictionary of American Science: The Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries (Greenwood Press, 1979) and is currently coediting a work on Science at Harvard University: Historical Perspectives .

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This valuable reference work is a supplement to Elliott's Biographical Dictionary of American Science: The Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Centuries (CH, Oct'79). Scientists who appeared in the earlier volume are included; in all, three times as many persons are covered. The entries in the supplement are considerably briefer, however, so the original volume is still of great reference value. The aim is to present, for the period covered, as nearly comprehensive a census as possible of American scientists in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, botany, zoology, and related sciences. Inventors and workers in medicine, engineering, psychology, and anthropology are included when they have made important contributions to the growth of scientific knowledge. Entries, arranged alphabetically by name, include dates, scientific field, occupation, reference to sources for bibliographic data on the scientist's manuscripts, and references to works about the scientist. An index of names by scientific fields is included. Elliott (Harvard University Archives) has succeeded not only in documenting the contributions of those scientists already well known but also in bringing attention to those who often made the others' achievements possible. Both public and academic library reference collections. -N. L. Powell, Catholic University of America

Table of Contents

Key to Biographical Sources Biographical Index
Index of Names by Scientific Field