Athenaeum Overview

The Athenaeum Scientific Material: 1828-1830

Information Science
City University

The Project    |   The Database    |   Search Facilities

The Project

The database at this site covers all the book reviews, articles, and short paragraphs written for The Athenaeum weekly periodical between January 1828 and October 1830 (Issues 1 to 155) which have any connection with science, presenting a detailed picture of the topics, persons and institutions of interest to the educated British public of the time.

The material was indexed by Sue Holland under the direction of Professor Micheline Beaulieu for a project sponsored by the Wellcome Trust. It is made publicly available as a resource for scholars and researchers in the history of science. A full report on the project, including a discussion of indexing policy and an analysis of some of the issues highlighted by a detailed examination of the material, is available here in Postscript form.

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The Database

The database contains details of 345 book reviews, and 1370 articles - where some "articles" are in fact short paragraphs extracted from longer pieces on miscellaneous topics. It is intended to help researchers identify potential items of interest, and locate them quickly in the closely-printed pages of the bound Athenaeum volumes.

The database contents can be summarised in the following way:

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Search Facilities

The database my be searched in two different ways:

The result of any search is a single HTML page containing matching items in full: there is no overview hitlist. The retrieved records will contain links to all Issue numbers, Category terms, Institution, Person, and Author and Source names, any of which can be selected to trigger off a further (single-field) search. It thus becomes possible to navigate through the database by following links rather than entering new queries.

It is expected that most searches will be carried out as a preliminary to consulting the Athenaeum volumes, so the records are presented in a compressed format for ease of downloading and printing. The complete database, and the individual records, are relatively small, so searches will normally produce a document of manageable size, but an output limit is set for the free-text search, where queries may occasionally match a large number of irrelevant items.

Any problems with the search facilities should be reported to: Susan Jones.

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