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James Dinwiddie fonds
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- Textual record
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2.16 m of textual records
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Archival description area
Name of creator
James Dinwiddie was a Scottish physicist, astronomer, inventor and natural philosopher. He was born in 1746 in Dumfries, Scotland and educated at Edinburgh University. In 1779 he began writing his series Queries and Hints, scientific journals covering fields of research including history, physics, chemistry, engineering and military tactics. In 1781 Dinwiddie embarked on a lecture series around the United Kingdom. In 1792 he was invited to join Lord Macartney's embassy to China as an experimentalist and mechanic, lecturing on physics and demonstrating British astronomical techniques at the imperial court. When the embassy returned to Britain, Dinwiddie asked to be left behind and went to India, where he was appointed Professor of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy and Chemistry at the College of Fort William. Dinwiddie left Calcutta in September 1806 and resettled in London, where he continued to lecture and write scientific journals. In July 1810 he was elected to the Royal Institution and made a member of the Committee of Mathematics, Mechanics, and Mechanical inventions. He died in 1815.
Records were found in 1997 in the basement of Barbara Bisson's house in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and in January 1998 were given to David Sutherland in Dalhousie University's History Department. They were subsequently donated to the University Archives and accessioned in January 1999.
Scope and content
Fonds comprises the personal papers of James Dinwiddie, which include lecture notes, scientific journals, notebooks, manuscript, early experiments for 1774, correspondence, personal journals and also some records from the Royal Institution for 1808-1814. His papers also include the journals of W.J. Proudfoot and a biography of his father (and Dinwiddie's son-in-law), James Proudfoot.
Immediate source of acquisition
Much of the material arrived bound and organized; that arrangement was maintained.
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All records are open.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.
A file list is available onsite. A website for the fonds is also available at url: http://www.library.dal.ca/archives/dinwiddie/din_main.htm
No further accruals are expected.
Preferred citation: [Identification of item], James Dinwiddie fonds, MS-2-726 Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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