« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
The most obvious means of supplying this want, is the formation of a library, by subscription, to consist exclusively of scientific books.-Such a library, while it admitted books on all branches of science, should contain entire sets of the transactions of learned societies, which are essential to the completeness of every scientific library. It should also be a principal object to confine the selection at first to one or two subjects of preeminent importance, in order that a complete collection on these subjects might, as soon as possible, be formed. At the same time, as many of the periodical journals of science should be constantly taken, as the funds of the institution would allow : such publications being, from their novelty, and from affording the means of tracing, at all times, the progress of discovery, particularly interesting to all.
It should be a circulating library.- A person will derive incomparably more benefit from a book, if allowed to take it to his own study, or his own fire-side, than if only permitted to consult it in a public room.
The advantages that would result from such an institution are so numerous, and, to any one who turns his attention to the subject, so obvious, that it is impossible in this place, to advert to all—and seems almost unnecessary to mention any of them. A well chosen library is a fountain of valuable knowledge, and one of the character here contemplated would send forth knowledge of the most useful and practical kind, such as, if acted upon, could not fail to be of public and private benefit, in developing and perfecting the resources of this section of the country. Neither would the direct influence be confined to this immediate vicinity. Individuals in the neighboring towns, even in those at a distance, might avail themselves of its use. To the committees of the legislature on the subjects of interdal improvement-on roads, canals, and railways--on education--indeed on almost all subjects which fall under the notice of the representatives of an enlightened people, the value would be inestimable. To the conductors of literary and scientific journals, and to editors of newspapers of all kinds, the advantages would be no less certain, whether they estimate the value of information by its own excellence, or consider the privilege of receiving it from its original source, rather than from other newspapers. To all engaged, in any way, in the composition of scientific books, a rich scientific library is indispensable. Few books of this kind have indeed been written in New-England—and few ever will or can be written, until the sources are collected from which the materials are to be drawn. Such is the present state of books of this kind, that it is not hazarding any thing to say, that not one of the standard works on natural philosophy which are abroad, not even the best articles in the encyclopedias, could have been written here, without subjectiug the author to an immense charge for foreign books.
it is often asked why regular courses of lectures on scientific subjects are not established here, as in some of our sister cities; and many persons are, at this moment, earnestly expecting or hoping for some plan for their establishment.--But the truth is that no one, not provided with a valuable library of his own, could deliver a course on many of the subjects of great interest to the public, which should be worthy of their attention. To our future lecturers, then, a scientific library is indispensable. There is another class of our fellow citizens, the instructers of the public schools, who would not fail to be greatly benefitted by this institution, and by whom its advantages would be diffused throughout every part of the community. They cannot afford to provide themselves with many books; and yet it is they who are silently sowing the seeds of the future science of our country.
It may be objected, and it is perfectly true, that most persons of these classes are not in the habit of reading scientific books; but it is equally true that it is often because they have not access to them—and it would be contrary to all experi. ence, if the circulation of such books should not make many, who now hardly know what is meant by science, to become lovers of it. In fact, in this as in most cases, consumption and supply act reciprocally on each other; and a well chosen library of science, thrown open to the public, would soon create numerous readers.
It is unnecessary to say any thing of the benefits of such a library to artists, mechanics and civil engineers, to manufacturers, merchants and navigators; they are too quicksighted not to perceive the advantages that would be certain to accrue to them from the earliest notice of the newest improvements and inventions. Indeed the best proof has already been given that the public is aware of the necessity of sucb an institution, and disposed to make the most vigorous exertions to procure it. We have great pleasure in stating that on Friday, the 6th January, at a meeting of gentlemen of various professions, held at the Academy's Room, Athenæum, Professor Ticknor having been called to the chair, on motion of John Lowell, Esq. it was unanimously voted,
1st. That a society be formed, to be called the Massachusetts Scientific Library Association."
2d. That the terms of subscription to said Library shall be as follows, viz. : Every person who shall pay to the Treasurer of this society not less than the sum of $100, shall be entitled to one share in the Library and the privileges of membership, which share shall be transferable on payment to the Treasurer of $20 for each transfer. Every person who shall pay as above not less than $50, shall be entitled to a share, with all the privileges aforesaid, during his life. Every person who shall pay annually not less than the sum of $5, shall be entitled to the privileges of membership so long as he shall continue to pay his assessment. Holders of transferable shares and life members shall not be liable to future assessnients.
3d. That the funds raised as aforesaid shall be laid out in procuring a Circulating Library, to consist of books on the following subjects, viz :
Mechanics, with their applications to architecture, manufacture and the artsmathematics, pure and mixed-natural philosophy-commerce, political economy, and statistics—geography—astronomy-agriculture and horticulture-mineralogy, botany and natural history—such voyages and travels as are of a scientific character.
All books on law, medicine, theology, metaphysics, morality, history, and literature generally, are to be excluded.
Books of the kinds last mentioned are to be excluded, both because there is no such want of books on these subjects as of those of a scientific character, and because the value of a library depends very much on its completeness. A libra. ry on any one branch of science or art, so complete that it might be consulted without danger of disappointment, would be far more valuable than a much larger collection of books on a great variety of subjects, but not complete on any one. And that this completeness may be the sooner attained, it seems desirable that a selection should be made of such subjects as are of most prominent and general utility, and that an attempt be made to render the collection as per. fect as possible on those branches.
To a community made up in a great measure of men of business, actively engaged in works of public and private utility, in the arts and in commerce, those publications promise to be most useful, which relate directly to the application of science to the arts and business of life, and the commercial transactions of nations. In the selection of books, preference will accordingly be given to those on Mechanics, and their various applications, particularly in civil engineering, in the construction of roads and canals, and the application of steam, water and wind to machinery--and to those on commerce, political economy and statistics.
4th. That the following gentlemen be a Committee to solicit subscriptions :
Israel Thorndike, Jr. Amos Lawrence, John A. Lowell, George B Emerson, Joho C. Gray, John Lowell, Jr., Wm. Sturgis, Daniel Treadwell, Dr. E. Hale, Edw. Brooks.
5th. That whenever bsty members, whether shareholders, life members, or annual subscribers, shall have been obtained, the members shall be called together by the Secretary of this meeting, for the purpose of choosing officers and organising the said association.
EDWARD BROOKS, Secretary,
EDUCATION IN OHIO.
Extract from Governor Morrow's Message, December 7th, 1825. The character of the state, by her enterprise, and the energy of her measures, bas been placed on high ground; ber public credit is inviolate, and will remain secure, while sustained by an efficient system of finances; ber exertion too, in the execution of extensive public works, calculated for the general benefit, at. tended with the most promising prospects of a favorable result.
It is indeed a subject of regret, that the picture now drawn should be obscured by any dark shades. But it is true, that the state of education and means for mental improvement among us, cannot be viewed with the same satisfaction as that of the other important interests of our country. Measures for improvement in this regard, have been a standing theme of Executive communications, ever since the commencement of our government. Much has been said, and nothing effectually done, until at the last session of the General Assembly. Then, the incipient steps were wisely taken for the introduction of a system of Common Schools. From the institutions then authorised, if duly supported and cherished by the Legislature, the most beneficial effects to society must result. The ne. cessity of such support is obvious; because it is a palpable fact, that science and intellectual improvement have fallen far bebind, in their pace, the progress of population, wealth, and general improvements on the face of the country: and equally unquestionable that the cultivation of these is essential to the well-being of society. No interest, it is believed, confided to the Legislature, is of more importance than this, whether we regard it in its influence on human happiness, or on the permanency of our republican system.
General Devereux of the Colombian service, Senator Rouannes an envoy from Hayti, and Mr. Blaquiere the English Greek agent, lately met the committee of the society for elementary instruction, (Paris,) where they presented documents on the state of mutual instruction in Hayti, Colombia and Greece. The committee promised to assist in propagating instruction in those countries, and speedily to assemble a general meeting.
COLLEGE AND SCHOOL LANDS IN INDIANA. It is stated in Gov. Ray's Message to the Legislature of Indiana, that the Common School Lands in Indiana, cansist of 608,207 acres, which at two dollars per acre, would produce a fund of $1,216,444, producing at 6 per cent interest, an income of $72,986. There are also 40,960 acres of college lands granted the State.
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMERCIAL INSTITUTION.
A meeting was held in the city of London, on an early day of last summer, for the purpose of taking into consideration the establishment of a seminary for instruction in commercial and professional science. The plan contemplated is similar to that of the Mechanics' Institute. Lectures, and the system of mutual iostruction, are the methods to be adopted for imparting information on the subjects which are to constitute the course of studies.
The leading object of the proposed institution, is to furnish young men who intend entering on mecantile business, or who are already engaged in it, a circle of oseful knowledge, calculated to produce those enlarged and liberal views of commercial enterprise, which shall be most conducive to the interest of the merchant, and to the prosperity of the country.
When we reflect on the large and respectable portion of British society, which the above institution will benefit, we contemplate with the sincerest satisfaction the first steps taken toward an object of so vast importance.-Our merchants, we hope, will not be slow to follow the good example set them in this instance. Indeed, we think that the Boston scientific library, (See intelligence in our present number,) will prove the origin of an institution similar to that in London.
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
The managers of the new London University have purchased a plot of ground, of seven acres and a half, in the neighborhood of Gower Street, on which the new college is to be erected.-Glasgow Herald.
STATE OF EDUCATION IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
The general assembly, in 1824, appointed a committee to inquire, and to report to their next meeting, as to the existing means of education and religious instruction throughout Scotland, particularly in the Highlands and Islands. This committee accordingly transmitted to each of the ministers of the 907 parishes in the church, a list of queries, in order to ascertain the facts of the case. They received in the course of the year 800 returns, and laid before the assembly, which met in May last, a summary of the information which these returns contained.
On considering this report of the committee, the assembly came unanimously to the following decision." The assembly highly approve of the exertions of the committee in acquiring the knowlege of facts necessary for the prosecution of this most interesting and important object, and rejoice that the result of these exertions has been the attainment of such varied and valuable information. In regard that there does not appear to be a risk of any obstacles occurring to impede, or at least to prevent, the ultimate adoption of the proposed scheme, and that it is of the utmost importance to commence immediately to raise the funds necessary for carrying it into execution, they recommend a collection to be made throughout all the churches and chapels of the establishment, on or before the first sabbath of February. They instruct the committee, which is hereby reappointed, to open a subscription for the general purposes of the scheme, and to take every proper and prudent measure in their power, towards forwarding the object in view; and when the funds, thus raised, are ascertained, in whole or in part, the committee is farther authorised, if it shall be judged advisable, to nominate a schoolmaster or catechist, in the stations that appear most urgently to require them, after due communication held with the heritors and others concerned.”
The following abridged view of the leading facts which produced this decision, will be sufficient at once to demonstrate a deplorable want of schools and catechists in many parts of the Highlands and Islands, and to secure the sympathy and liberality of the benevolent, for the remedy of this great evil.
The whole population of Scotland amounts to 2,093,856, and the church is divided into 16 synods.
Schools in Synods. In the ten synods of Lothian and Tweeddale, Merse and Tiviotdale, Dunfries, Galloway, Glasgow and Ayr, Perth and Stirling, Fife, Angus and Mearns, Aberdeen, and Moray, there are 764 parishes, and 1,716, 126 persons; and so abundant is the number of schools in these districts, that, with a few exceptions, they may be said to be well supplied with the means of education, and that there is scarcely an individual who has not been taught to read.
The remaining six synods, however, namely, Argyll, Glenelg, Ross, Sutherland and Caithness, Orkney, and Zetland, situated chiefly in the Highlands and Islands, and containing only 143 parishes, and a population of 377,730 persons, are, as stated in the parochial returns, in the most urgent need of not less than 250 additional schools.
The number of scholars that would attend each of these 250 schools, it is computed, at a low average, would amount to 42. It follows, therefore, that in these synods there are 10,500 children left without the means of any education ; and the committee are quite satisfied that the number is, in fact, much greater than the calculated number of 10,500. These 10,500 children alluded to, are all, it is to be noticed, under 15 years of
persons of all ages are included, the number of those not taught to read almost exceeds belief. But how could it be otherwise, when more parishes than one are described as not having a sufficient number of schools to accommodate one terkih of their population? Several are said to be in need of three and four, and one of even six schools ; and as to another, the appalling fact is mentioned, that it consists
of 1000 square miles, and has a population of 4747 souls, and that of these only 995 have learned to read at all.
Catechists in Synods. In the first ten synods abovementioned, there are only six catechists stated to be necessary for the due means of religious instruction to the people ; and this necessity arises froin the large territorial extent of some particular parishes.
In the other six synods abovementioned, no fewer than 130 catechists are required! Nor will this lainentable deficiency seem surprising when the physical Jocalities of the country are considered. There are many islands in it at great distances from the coast. The coast of the mainland is often indented by long arms of the sea, and its whole surface is intersected, and in many places rendered impassable, by precipitous mountains, and by rapid rivers.
One parish, 17 miles long, on the mainland, has an island belonging to it with a population of 300, situate at 24 miles from the shore, and owing to its great distance, and a dangerous navigation intervening, the minister cannot visit it above once in th: year. Another parish consists of nine islands, of which six are inhabited; "od it extends, including sea, 50 miles in length and 30 in breadth; and a third parish of 24 miles long, on the mainland, includes four inhabited islands, some of which are 20 miles distant from each other.
Each ef these parishes has only the parochial minister to perform every pastoral spiritual duty to the people.
The inducements that we have to attempt the remedy of the evils in question, are great and inviting.
1 In reference to the means of education by the establishment of schools, every encouragement is held forth which can arise from the characteristic acuteness of the population concerned ; from their habits, connected with their peculiar custom of frequenting village meetings, for hearing and committing to memory the history and poetry of their clans and country; and, above all, from the extraordinary and growing eagerness they have of late manifested for the blessing of education.
Many children, it is stated in the returns of the clergy, are prevented from attending a school by their distance from it, and by poverty, disqualifying parents for paying the school fees, or purchasing school books ; but few or pone are prevented by indifference. On the contrary, the best clothes of the parents have, in some instances, been sold to defray the expense of educating their children. Adults too, from twenty to seventy years of age, crowd everywhere to newly erected schools, which happen, from their situation, to be at all accessible to them; and from their ardor and assiduity in their tasks, such persons do osten make a rapidity of progress unheard of in other districts; from six to twelve months (of which numerous instances are specified) being sufficient to qualify them to read the scriptures with facility Nor is it uncommon for a boy to be sent by the joint subscription of the poor inhabitants of the hamlets of a glen, to be boarded and educated at a distance, and for this boy, on his return, to become VOL. 1.