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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/277

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THE PRUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCE.

In 1897, in addition to the publication of memoirs prepared by the members of the academy and contained in the regular 'Proceedings,' and to the making of grants such as it had long been in the habit of making to aid individuals to publish or complete important works of their own. the academy found itself in a position to look toward enterprises which would call for large sums of money and for the labor of many years. To some of them brief reference may be made. It had already taken part in the rounding and directing of the work of the imperial German Archeological Society. The academy is also represented by three of its members, one of whom must he the presiding officer, on the Central Direction of the Monumenta GermaniƦ. As has been suggested, it helped to bring into existence the geodetic and meteorological institutes of Prussia and agreed to furnish its share of the cost of the new Latin and Egyptian dictionaries. It has already published complete and worthy editions of the works of Frederick the Great. Luther and Kant, in addition to those of specialists on subjects to which they had given years of labor. In 1888 it was instrumental in founding the Historical Institute in Rome, over which von Sybel presided for five years. This society has a directing secretary who lives in Rome, and is assisted in his work by two competent historical scholars, each of whom is permitted to have a helper. One of its first objects was to collect all the correspondence between the Roman Curia and the nuncios sent to Germany during the Reformation. Five volumes of this correspondence, with two other volumes ready for the press, had been published in 1899. This work has now been brought into affiliation with the Royal Archives, where it will be within the reach of all scholars. Efforts were made in 1893 to gather the papal decrees on all subjects brought before the Curia which concern Germany. These are to be carefully arranged and classified and will go back to the thirteenth century. Work began with the decrees of the first half of the fifteenth century. These decrees are found in seven special Roman archives. The government appropriated at first 60,000 Marks a year ($15,000) for four years, and has since repeated the grant. Beginning with 1897 the director of the institute has edited and published a magazine whose title, ' Sources out of Italian Libraries and Archives,' indicates its purpose and its value. Not only does the academy mediate between the Geodetic Institute at Potsdam and the government, it performs the same service for the Meteorological Institute, which is in close touch with the Royal Observatory for Astrophysics. Upon the collection of Latin inscriptions, of which Mommsen was editor till his death, more than $100,000 have been expended, all of which was obtained through the academy chiefly from the sovereign. On this work, which is nearly completed, Mr. Hirschfield has since 1885 been associated with Mommsen. In 1888 a commission