Published since 1877, Biographical Memoirs provide the life histories and selected bibliographies of deceased National Academy of Sciences members. Colleagues familiar with the subject's work write these memoirs and as such, the series provides a biographical history of science in America. The Online Collection includes more than 1,600 memoirs, including those of famed naturalist Louis Agassiz ; Joseph Henry , the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; Thomas Edison ; Alexander Graham Bell ; noted anthropologist Margaret Mead ; and psychologist and philosopher John Dewey .
Information on buildings and their owners may be gleaned from the Mutual Assurance Society declarations and revaluations of assurance , 1796–1867. These records (from the second oldest fire insurance company operating in the United States) may help document property ownership and supplement the information found in land records and on tax lists. Declarations are indexed and are available on microfilm. Each application contains the name of the proprietor or occupant of the property, the signature of the applicant, the location of the property, a description and evaluation of the property, and often a drawing of the property.