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Extra info for Science and Culture for Members Only: The Amsterdam Zoo Artis in the Nineteenth Century
Members lectured to each other and performed demonstrations on society-owned instruments; they read and discussed the latest scientific treatises acquired by their libraries. The intellectual content of these enlightenment societies was limited by the knowledge of their members. 40 He argues that truly successful societies had professors as members and existed in cities with universities and advanced secondary schools. His measure of success, however, is based on the original scientific contributions made by members under the auspices of the society.
Despite the fact that almost every member of the B&W and city council also held zoological society memberships,23 these ties provided no political clout for Artis; the two branches of the city government created some of the only obstacles the society encountered in its expansion period. The recurring and most significant sources of friction revolved around two issues: building permits that were repeatedly denied to the zoo, and a piece of land the zoo desperately wanted to buy from the city. The first major crisis between the city government and Artis occurred in 1839.
Not until the 1890s, after unprecedented growth in the city and remarkable increases in property values, did the municipality cease to sell real estate, issuing long-term leases instead as the city continued to expand. J. 14 The B&W and city council chose to limit municipal expenditures, particularly in the last half of, the nineteenth century, because the city was suffering financially. In this period of new property politics and rapid growth, Artis and its neighborhood, the Plantage, expanded and changed.