Communicating Scholarship in the Nineteenth Century
In the nineteenth century, university faculty published in ways quite different from modern professors. Rather than disseminating their work in scholarly journals, they used several different media available at the time. Theophilus Wylie, for example, published his work in newspapers and popular periodicals. The items below represent the ways in which T. A. Wylie disseminated his scholarship during his tenure at Indiana University.
In the nineteenth century, there were a smaller number of American scientific publications in which university faculty could publish. These two articles represent the kind of scholarly work in which Theophilus A. Wylie engaged. These two articles show a diversity of scientific interests including geology and astronomy. Wylie also collaborated frequently with Daniel Kirkwood, another faculty member at Indiana University.
In the seventeenth century, scientists would often write letters to publications such as the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Those letters would then be published in the journal or read out at meetings. This practice of sending letters and having them read out and published continued into the nineteenth century. Theophilus Wylie wrote a letter to his friend John Fries Frazer, a professor and later provost at the University of Pennsylvania. Frazer read these letters at meetings of the American Philosophical Society and the Franklin Institute, both scientific institutions in Philadelphia.
Popular Articles and Lectures
Theophilus Wylie also wrote many articles for popular magazines at the time. In fact, Wylie seems to have written more popular articles than academic ones. Wylie's seeming preference for writing for wider audiences marks a clear difference between nineteenth-century and modern university professors; though some professors do write for wider audiences, much publication done by scholars in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is written for specialized academic journals, not newspapers or magazines. These items represent pieces that Wylie wrote for a wider audience, perhaps reflecting Wylie's interest in universities as a center of education not only for students and other scholars, but also for the citizens of the state of Indiana.