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Selling Science: Soliciting Subscribers to the Contributions

ProspectusProspectus page 2

Prospectus for the Contributions to the Natural History of the United States
Louis Agassiz
(1807-1873)
Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1855
Gould Library Special Collections

This prospectus advertised the Contributions to potential subscribers. Agassiz planned a series of ten volumes, each approximately 300 pages and illustrated with 20 plates. The Contributions were to feature the results of Agassiz's research on North American animals, with a particular focus on creatures not previously described. Despite his grand plans for the Contributions, Agassiz was able to complete only four volumes of the series before his death in 1873.


Private Circular, Signed

Private Circular for the Contributions to the Natural History of the United States
Louis Agassiz
(1807-1873)
Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1855
Gould Library Special Collections
Inscribed by Louis Agassiz

Because the volumes were to be so expensive to produce, Agassiz needed to enlist at least 450 subscribers to fund his project. In this letter, which was circulated with the prospectus, Agassiz appeals to "lovers of science" to tell friends and colleagues who might be potential subscribers to the Contributions.




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