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These are the principal sources, and are given here to show the vast amount of material that may be used to illustrate science and promote education. The increase of the number of collections made it necessary for Congress to make a large appropriation in 1877 for the purpose of constructing the present museum building. Congress appropriated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, which was subsequently increased to $315,400 by special appropriations for furnishings, etc. A study of the building and its appointments would convince the most skeptical person that here is an instance of the economical use of public funds for the aid of knowledge unparalleled in history. Prior to the erection of this building (1880), the total number of groups of specimens received was 8,475; since its erection more than twelve thousand groups have been added.
It appears from a recent report of the Secretary" that there were on hand at the close of the year 1888 specimens or lots of specimens numbering two million eight hundred thousand.
Congress has gradually increased the appropriations for the care of the museum from four thousand dollars in 1857 to ten thousand dollars in 1870, and the last appropriation in 1888 amounted to $220,000, and the Secretary's estimate for 1889 reached the sum of $279,500 for all expenses.
- EDUCATIONAL WORK. o
Dr. Goode, in his address before the American Historical Association in Washington, in December, 1888, emphasized the importance of the educational advantages offered by the Museum. “He thinks that the Museum is largely educational. By using books, pictures, casts, maps, and personal relics for illustrative purposes, the friends of history in America can greatly stimulate popular interest in the development of human culture and modern civilization.” “The National Museum is already beginning to illustrate the origin and growth of music, the highest of all arts. The history of the ways and means of transportation, simple as the idea now seems, covers the entire range of man's economic development, from the rude devices of the savage to the modern applications of steam and electricity by civilized man. As a practical means of quickening popular interest in the historical side of the National Museum, it was suggested that a national portrait gallery be developed in Washington, with pictures of early discoverers, colo. nial founders, pioneers, governors, statesmen, and public men, grouped, when possible, by States.”
Free access to the collections has been given to students in the various branches of natural history, and instruction has been given to
Report for 1888, 54, Dr. G. Brown Goode.
*Abstract by Prof. H. B. Adams. See Papers of American Historical Association, vol. iii, for text of Dr. Goode's paper.
*Abstract by Prof. H. B. Adams.
a few persons in taxidermy and photography. The latter has been done at the request of the executive department, as the students have rendered service in return for the instruction given.
Gifts and loans of photographs and working drawings of the Museum cases, specimens and copies of Museum labels have been made to other public institutions.
This represents the true national idea in education—to aid by its superior methods all other institutions of similar character throughout the wide realm of States. To this end the National Museum should be a model institution in every respect. Material aid has also been given by the distribution of two hundred and sixty-four lots of specimens to museums, colleges, and individuals. Professor Langley, in his last report, says: “The importance of museum collections for the purposes of education in schools is becoming of late years much more fully appreciated, and it seems desirable to make some changes in the manner of distributing specimens, especially to make the collections sent out so complete—within such limits as it may be possible to develop them by methods of arrangement and labels—that they may be ready for immediate use in instruction.”"
The National Museum endeavors to co-operate with all learned societies which place themselves in an attitude to render co-operation pos. sible. The annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences was held in the Museum building; a course of Saturday lectures, twelve in number, was given in the lecture-room; and four lectures were given by the Amateur Botanical Club of Washington in the same room. The Biological Society of Washington and the Botanical Branch of the same held some of their meetings in the building. There is a growing tendency toward co-operation of the different scientific institutions in the United States with the work at the Museum. During the past year the American Historical Association was char. tered by Congress, and an intimate connection was established between the Association and the Institution. As the passage of this bill of incorporation marks a new development, and presages a new use of the historical resources of the Museum, it is quoted here: “Be it enacted. by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Andrew D. White, of Ithaca, in the State of New York; George Bancroft, of Washington, in the District of Columbia; Justin Winsor, of Cambridge, in the State of Massachusetts; William F. Poole, of Chicago, in the State of Illinois; Herbert B. Adams, of Baltimore, in the State of Maryland; Clarence W. Bowen, of Brooklyn, in the State of New York, their as
Report of Secretary for 1888, 55.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM. 73
sociates and successors, are hereby created in the District of Columbia a body corporate and politic, by the name of the American Historical Association, for the promotion of historical studies, the collection and preservation of historical manuscripts, and for kindred purposes in the interest of American history and of history in America. Said association is authorized to hold real and personal estate in the District of Columbia so far only as may be necessary to its lawful ends to an amount not exceeding five hundred thousand dollars, to adopt a constitution, and to make by-laws not inconsistent with law. Said association shall have its principal office at Washington, in the District of Columbia, and may hold its annual meetings in such places as the said incorporators shall determine. Said association shall report annually to the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution concerning its proceedings and the condition of historical study in America. Said secretary shall communicate to Congress the whole of such reports, or such portion thereof as he shall see fit. The regents of the Smithsonian Institution are authorized to permit said association to deposit its collections, manuscripts, books, pamphlets, and other material for history in the Smithsonian Institution or in the National Museum; at their discretion, upon such conditions and under such rules as they shall prescribe. “Approved, January 4, 1889.” This association should aim to connect itself with all State institutions of a similar nature in the country, and thus begin a systematic and practical use of the Museum. On the other hand there is ample opportunity to develop a department of modern as well as ancient history in the Museum. How this is to be done depends upon the association and the authorities of the Museum. But from this central body might go out to libraries, and schools, and lecture bureaus, and to historical societies, copies of manuscripts, photographs, and bulletin plates for lecturers throughout the country. Possibly there could be established at Washington a central lecture course on history, which includes in these days anthropology, ethnology, geography, and economics, and by means of photographs and plates similar lectures could be given elsewhere, until there would be a united body of historians all over the land studying from a common center, after an organized plan, and continually contributing to the increase and “diffusion of knowledge among men.” It would seem desirable for the association to establish relations with local and State historical societies for the purpose of co-operation in research, the collection of materials, and the diffusion of historical knowledge. The secretary of the Smithsonian was one of a committee of three appointed by Congress to form a commission on historical manuscripts. With organized work a valuable collection of historical archives, family papers, valuable letters, and historical autographs might be made. Professor Goode's idea that the chief value of a museum is educational applies to every department of knowledge that can be illustrated by a specimen or picture; and in this department, as in others, the possibility of an intelligent use of museums is slowly dawning upon teachers. A dingy room filled with unclassified material will soon be an indication that there are other fossils filling professors' chairs.
The present use of the American Museum of Natural History, in Central Park, New York, for the systematic instruction of professional teachers is a commendable illustration of progress in this line. A regular course of lectures is formed, which are delivered in regular order on Saturdays, in a small hall prepared for the work, with a seating capacity of 275 persons. The trustees hired Chickering Hall for the benefit of the autumn course (1887). The average number attending was 1,329. Besides the use of materials for illustration, stereopticon slides are used to reproduce non-portable materials.
The State has indorsed the work by a liberal appropriation for carrying it on.
One of the early plans was to have in connection with the Museum a course of lectures, more or less popular in their nature. The board of regents accordingly authorized a system of free lectures in the Smithsonian Institution. The first lectures were delivered in 1848, there being devoted to this purpose the sum of eighty dollars. The amounts appropriated for lectures increased from year to year, together with the incidentals connected with illustrating lectures, the greatest appropriation reaching the sum of $1,044.32, in the year 1863. In 1865 the lecture courses were suspended for a term of five years, being resumed in 1870, and suspended again in 1876. From 1848 to 1876 lectures were continued through twenty-four years, during which time there was appropriated for this purpose out of the Smithsonian fund the total sum of $21,701.28. The lectures at present held in the hall of the Museum have been under the auspices of the learned societies, though of a somewhat miscellaneous and popular nature. These were largely attended. Many of the lectures had direct reference to the work of the Museum, and were illustrated by specimens.”
PTBLICATIONS AND EXCHANGES.
“The diffusion of knowledge among men” has been effected in different ways by the Institution, but chiefly through publications and exchanges. The principal publications are of five series, as follows:” (1) Contributions to knowledge; (2) Miscellaneous collections; (3) Annual report of the board of regents to Congress; (4) The proceedings of the National Museum ; and (5) Annual reports of the Bureau of Ethnology.
1 Smith. Mis. Coll., XVIII, 729. * G. Brown Goode, Report for 1885, 21. *Secretary's Report for 1888, 21 et seq.
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM. o 75
The first series was commenced in 1848, and now numbers twenty-five volumes, composed of valuable papers of scientific research. The second series was commenced in 1862; though of less scientific importance than the first, it has increased far more rapidly, its published volumes now numbering thirty-three. The foregoing publications have been made at the expense of the Smithsonian income on permanent funds, while the remaining three series have been published at the expense of the Government, annual appropriations having been made by Congress for the same. However, this publication is not without expense to the Smithsonian fund, as the preparation of suitable material for an appendix' has been a constant and increasing charge upon the Institution, amounting to several thousand dollars each year. Under the head of Proceedings of the National Museum are to be included (1) the bulletins and (2) the proceedings. The former are short monographs on “biological subjects, check lists, taxonomic systems,” etc., and furnish a prompt publication of the descriptions of minerals received and a means of “illustrating the mineral, botanical, zoölogical, and ethnological specimens belonging to the Museum.” This series was commenced in 1875, thirty-two bulletins having been published since that time. The “proceedings” consist of shorter and less elaborate publications for the purpose of giving recent accounts of new accessions to the Museum and newly acquired facts. These irregular publications are collected into bound volumes, one being published annually. This series commenced in 1878, and now numbers nine volumes, “averaging about six hundred and fifty pages, and illustrated with numerous wood-cut plates.” Though not so important, viewed in the light of scientific research, as other publications, this last series is exceedingly useful in bearing directly upon general education. The last series to be mentioned is that of the annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology, of which only four large-size volumes of royal octavo form have been published. They contain matter of great importance to the anthropologist and are valuable additions to science. The Smithsonian managers have always distributed these volumes of the different series with a liberality limited only by their resources for printing. The institution has been able to print in ordinary cases only from 1,250 to 1,500 copies of each work, three-fourths of which go to supply the regular lists of correspondence and the exchanges. “The distribution is made first to those learned societies of the first class which give to the institution in return complete sets of their own publications; secondly, to colleges of the first class furnishing catalogues of their libraries and students and publications relative to their organization and history; thirdly, to public libraries in this country having twenty
"The appendix contains an “annual record of science and industry,” since 1880.