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Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK)

British, 1829 - 1848

Institution: Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK)
The Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK), founded in 1826, and wound up in 1848, was a Whiggish London organisation that published inexpensive texts intended to adapt scientific and similarly high-minded material for the rapidly expanding reading public. It was established mainly at the instigation of Lord Brougham with the objects of publishing information to people who were unable to obtain formal teaching, or who preferred self-education. SDUK publications were intended for the working class and the middle class, as an antidote to the more radical output of the pauper presses. The society set out to achieve this by acting as an intermediary between authors and publishers by launching several series of publications. It was run by a committee of eminent persons, and had a close association with the newly formed University College London, as well as the numerous provincial Mechanics' Institutes. Its printers included Baldwin & Cradock, later succeeded by Charles Knight. The Society commissioned work and dealt with the printers, and finally distributed the publications; profits were used to continue the Society's work. [From Wikipedia]