NAS Makes 150 Years of Scientific History Available Online

NAS Makes 150 Years of Scientific History Available Online

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is making 150 years of American scientific history available by publishing its entire collection of Biographical Memoirs on the Internet. Biographical Memoirs are brief biographies of deceased NAS members written by those who knew them or their work.

Since 1877, NAS has published over 1,400 memoirs. Although the memoirs published since 1995 have been freely available on the Academy’s Web site, over 900 memoirs were available previously only through archives and libraries. “This is a ‘historic’ event that will have substantial scholarly value and be of general interest to the public. This personal and scholarly view of the lives and work of such prominent scientists will be a wonderful resource,” said John Brauman, home secretary of the Academy.

Among the additional 500 memoirs published online are those of famed naturalist Louis Agassiz; Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Thomas Edison; Alexander Graham Bell; noted anthropologist Margaret Mead; and psychologist and philosopher John Dewey. More memoirs will be published regularly until the entire collection is available online. PDF files of each memoir are available online at

Source: National Academy of Sciences

User Reviews in WorldCat!

OCLC has begun a pilot program that enables Web users to add content to authoritative WorldCat records they locate through the Open WorldCat program. Available under the Details and Reviews tabs in the Open WorldCat interface, the pilot functionality allows anyone to quickly register and add content such as a table of contents, notes or a review. Open WorldCat users can edit the personal reviews they add to WorldCat records, and may also edit or correct information submitted by others that appears in the tables of contents and notes fields of the records. This pilot will continue into early 2006.
OCLC will first offer this service through the Open WorldCat program and later expand the service to the WorldCat database on the FirstSearch reference service.
Visit to learn more about the pilot program.

New “Non-RIS List” Category

I just realized it might be helpful to have a category on the blog for those entries that were ONLY posted to the blog and not to the RIS list. That way you all can bypass the items you’ve already seen via email. So there is now a “Non-RIS List” category. You will see it in the “Categories” listing near the top right-hand corner of the blog.