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Full sets of the publications cannot be given to all who apply for them, since this is impossible with the limited income of the Institution; and, indeed, if care be not exercised in the distribution, so large a portion of the income would be annually expended on the production of copies for distribution of what has already been published, that nothing further could be done in the way of new publications. It must be recollected that every addition to the list of distribution not only involves the giving of publications that have already been made, but also those which are to be made hereafter.
At the commencement of the operations of the Institution the publi. cations were not stereotyped, and consequently the earlier volumes have now become scarce, especially the first, of which there are now no copies for distribution, although it can occasionally be obtained at a secondhand book-store in one of the larger cities.
No copyright has ever been secured on any of the publications of the Institution. They are left free to be used by compilers of books, with the understanding, however, that full credit will be given to the name of Smithson for any extracts which may be made from them. Tbis condition is especially insisted on, because the credit thus required is important as evidence to the world of the proper management of the Smithson fund. In many cases credit is given merely to the author without mentioning the name of the Institution; this is not just, since, as a general rule, the income of the establishment is applied not only to the publication of the article but also to assist in its production.
Publications in 1874.-During the past year the nineteenth volume of the quarto series of the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge has been published. It contains the following papers:
1. Problems of Rotary Motion presented by the Gyroscope, the Precession of the Equinoxes, and the Pendulum. By Brevet Maj. Gen. J. G. Barnard. 4to., pp. 74.
2. A Contribution to the History of the Fresh-Water Algæ of North America. By Horatio C. Wood, jr., M. D., professor of botany and clinical lecturer on diseases of the nervous system in the University of Pennsylvania. 4to., pp. 274, 21 colored plates.
3. An Investigation of the Orbit of Uranus, with General Tables on its Motion. By Simon Newcomb, professor of mathematics, United States Nary. 4to., pp. 296.
This volume, of which the several memoirs have been described in previous reports, will not only sustain, but increase the reputation of the Institution for its contributions to the science of the day. The memoirs which it contains have been received with manifest interest by the scientific world, and recognized as positive additions to knowledge resting on original investigation.
Besides the nineteenth volume of the Contributions to Knowledge, the eleventh and twelfth volumes of Miscellaneous Collections have been published during the year.
The eleventh volume of Miscellaneous Collections consists of 789 octavo pages, and contains the following articles :
1. Arrangement of the Families of Mammals, with Analytical Tables. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by Theodore Gill, M. D., Ph.D., Pp. 104.
2. Arrangement of the Families of Fishes, or classes Pisces, Marsipobranchii, and Leptocardii. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by Theodore Gill, M. D., Ph. D., pp. 96.
3. Monographs of the Diptera of North America; Part III, Ortalidæ Family. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by H. Loew; four plates, pp. 376..
4. Directions for collecting and preserving Insects. Prepared for tbe use of the Smithsonian Institution by A. S. Packard, jr., M. D., pp. 60.
5. New Species of North American Coleoptera. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by John L. LeConte, M. D.; Part II, pp. 74.
6. Classification of the Coleoptera of North America. Prepared for the Smithsonian Institution by John L. LeConte, M. D., pp. 72.
The twelfth volume of Miscellaneous Collections consists of 767 octavo pages, and contains the following articles :
1. Review of American Birds, in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution ; Part I. By S. F. Baird, 1864-1872, pp. 484.
2. The Constants of Nature; Part I. Specific Gravities; Boiling and Melting Points; and Chemical Formulæ Compiled by F. Wigglesworth Clarke, S. B. December, 1873, pp. 272.
3. Rules for the Telegraphic Announcements of Astronomical Discov. eries. By Prof. Joseph Henry. April, 1873, pp. 4.
Since the publication of the 19th volume of Smithsonian Contributions, a memoir, of 32 quarto pages, has been printed and distributed, which will form part of the 20th volume. This is by Prof. S. Newcomb, of the National Observatory, Washington, on the “General Integrals of Planetary Motion”—an abstruse mathematical work, of which the nature is indicated in its title. It gives a series of suggestions and new investigations relative to the methods of determining the motions of celestial bodies as affected by interplanetary perturbations. It is in part an extension and generalization of two former papers by the same author, the first published in Liouville's Journal, vol. XVI, 1871, and the second in the Comptes-Rendus, vol. LXXV. It was submitted to Prof. H. A. Newton, of Yale College, and Mr. G. W. Hill, of Nyack, N. Y., for critical examination, and received their unqualified approval for publication in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.
Another paper, intended for the twentieth volume of Contributions, which has been printed and distributed during the past year, is by James G. Swan, on the Haidah Indians of Queen Charlotte Islands. It consists of 18 quarto pages, and is illustrated with five plain and two colored plates, to represent the carved posts or pillars raised in front of the houses of the chiefs, and various tattoo designs copied from the bodies of the Indians. This paper was described in the last report. It may, however, be here mentioned that it is of special interest in connection with the large number of ethnological specimens received during the past year from the northwest coast.
Another work published during the year is the third of the Tonerlecture series. It is by Dr. J. M. DaCosta, of Philadelphia, on the strain and over-action of the heart, and forms 32 octavo pages, illustrated by two wood-cuts. These lectures, as has been stated in previous reports, bave been instituted at Washington by Dr. Joseph M. Toner, and are confined to such memoirs or essays relative to medical science as contain some new truth fully established by experiment or observation. It is proper to remark that of this course of lectures only two have been published, the first and the third, the author having not yet furnisbed the manu. script of the second. To defray, in part at least, the cost of printing these lectures, it has been thought advisable to charge for them 25 cents a copy to individuals who have no special claim on the Institution by having contributed meteorological observations or additions to the col. lections.
Another work printed during the year is a list of the publications of the Institution to July, 1874, exhibiting 297 distinct articles, arranged first numerically, and secondly in regard to the subjects as given in the titles. It forms an octavo of 26 pages. An edition of 2,500 copies of this work was furnished to the “ Publishers' Trade-List Annual” for 1874, (New York, October, 1874,) and through this medium the list of publications of the Institution will become known to all booksellers and librarians in the United States. · An edition of 250 copies of tables selected from the volume of Physi. cal and Meteorological Tables, prepared and published some years since at the expense of the Institution, has been printed for the use of the Argentine Meteorological Observatory at Cordoba, under the direction of our distinguished countryman, Dr. B. A. Gould.
Publications in the press: 1. The Antiquities of Tennessee, by Dr. Joseph Jones, of which an account was given in the last report. Of this the wood-cuts have been prepared, and it is expected that the printing will be finished in the course of the present year.
2. A Memoir on the Harmonies of the Solar System, by Prof. Stephen Alexander, of the College of New Jersey.
In this communication the author divides his subject into three sections. Section I begins with the statement that Kepler's third law is ordinarily expressed by saying that the squares of the periodic times of the sereral planets of the solar system are to one another, respectively, as the cubes of their distances from the sun; but from this we do not learn that there are any laws determining the ratios of the distances them. selves, and it is one of the main objects of the present discussion to show that such laws exist, and precisely what they are; generality and precision being characteristics of every law of nature.
The author discusses anew the expressed values of the distances in question, in view of the fact that Kepler's third law is itself slightly modified by the consideration due to the masses of the revolving bodies. After an exhibition and discussion of the appropriate formula, the author arranges the results in the form of a table; in which the results thus shown are respectively consistent with two values of the solar parallax, viz, Professor Newcomb's value, = 81.848, and that which others prefer, a=81.78.
Section II exhibits the laws of arrangement of the distances, both of planets and their satellites, from their respective centers of attraction, without the introduction in the same connection of any physical by. pothesis on which those laws seem to be founded or of which they are the exponents.
From a comparison of the several distances of the planets, taking five. ninths of the distance of Neptune from the center of attraction and fiveninths of this product, &c., he finds among the several terms of the geometrical series thus formed, those which represent the relative dis. tance of Saturn and Jupiter, also a position among the asteroids and those which represent the distance of Mars, and of Mercury in aphelion. There are, however, in the geometrical series just mentioned, terms which do not find their correspondences in the series of distances of the planets, but which the author very ingeniously supplies by attributing to certain of the planets the characteristic of half planets, the term pertaining to them being indicative of the distance between the two planets at which their masses would be united.
Section III exhibits an explanation of the phenomena founded on the nebular hypothesis of La Place, which seems to reconcile and account for the laws in question as well as a pumber of other phenomena.
Approximation to these laws have, from time to time, been exhibited by the autbor of this paper to the American Association for the Advancement of Science at several of its meetings, beginning with that at New Haven, in 1850; but it is only within the past few months that the entire form and consistency of the results have been quite fully made out. The principal part of the memoir was read before the National Academy of Sciences at its meeting in April, 1873, and some additional portions of the same at the meeting in April, 1874. In accordance with usage in such cases, the work was accepted for publication in the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.
3. The Winds of the Globe, by the late Prof. J. H. Coffin, prepared at the expense of the Institution, relative to which further information will be given under the head of meteorology. Of this, 250 quarto pages bare been stereotyped, and the whole work, wbich will form an entire volume of the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, will be published during the year 1875.
4. The Temperature-Tables of the North American Continent, prepared
at the expense of the Institution, under the direction of Mr. C. A. Schott. Of this, 100 pages have been stereotyped.
Of the octavo publications there are in press :
1. The monograph on the American Vespidæ or wasps, by Professor de Saussure, of Geneva. Of this a full account was given in the last report. The rapidity of printing in this case is diminished by the necessity of sending the proof-sheets to Switzerland. The work has been stereotyped as far as the 236th page, and we trust will be completed in the course of a few months.
The Botanical Index, of which a notice was given in the Report for 1870, has been commenced, and 72 pages printed. This work is a complete index to all the species of plants of North America, with their synonyms, and all descriptions and important references to them. It is intended to facilitate the labors of working botanists, especially in the study of our western plants, the search for what has been written in regard to them requiring in many cases nearly as much time and labor as all the rest of their work.
As a further contribution to the “Constants of Nature” mentioned in the last report, Prof. F. W. Clarke has furnished an additional series of tables of specific heat and of expansion by heat for solids and liquids. We have also received from our collaborator, Prof. John L. LeConte, of the University of California, a series of constants relative to the weight of air, pressure of the atmosphere, length of seconds, pendulum-velocity generated by gravity in a mean solar second of time at various places, velocity of sound, &c. It is the intention of the Institution to continue this work, and to endeavor to enlist other co-laborers in its prosecution.
Meteorology.—It was stated in the last report that the meteorological system of records by voluntary observers, which had been in operation under the direction of the Institution for about twenty-five years, bad been transferred to the signal-office of the War Department, under General A. J. Myer. This transfer was made in accordance with the general policy of the Institution, namely, that of abandoning any field of enterprise as soon as the work could be done as well through other agencies, thus reserving the energy of the establishment for labors which required more aid in their accomplishment. We think this transfer has received the approbation of observers generally; who also, while they are now co-operating with the Signal-Service, still keep up their correspondence with the Institution on subjects of general scientific interest. The labors of the Institution in the line of meteorology are now confined to working up the material which it has collected during the last quarter of a century. The materials, however, are not limited to that period, but embrace everything that could be obtained on the subject from the records of previous observers.