Format: Web Page
Finding aid URL: http://sites.lafayette.edu/coffinpapers/
James Henry Coffin (1806-1873) was a noted author, educator, mathematician, and meteorologist. He was internationally recognized for his work on the subjects of winds and atmospheric changes. His book, Winds of the Northern Hemisphere, is considered the pioneer work in the field of meteorology. He was professor of mathematics, natural philosophy and astronomy at Lafayette College from 1846-1873. He also served as Lafayette College Vice-President (1849-1853) and Treasurer (1863-1873), and was instrumental in establishing the college’s first and only astronomical observatory. The papers include personal, business, and scientific correspondence; a journal which records Coffin’s daily activities from 1827 to 1860; an unpublished manuscript on the theory of the moon’s motions; various clippings; and a scrapbook. Much of the material relates to Coffin’s extensive scientific research in meteorology and astronomy in the United States and throughout the world, as well as his collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution’s Meteorological Project.