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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/815

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ANTHROPOLOGY AT WASHINGTON.

plants; foods and textiles; fisheries (showing methods of taking and utilizing marine animals); naval architecture (starting with the bark boat, the skin boat, the raft, and the dug-out, and tracing the evolution of naval architecture to the ocean steamer); graphic arts; history and numismatics; and land transportation (beginning with the simplest device for locomotion and transportation, and ending with the railroad);—Ethnology, in which is included the fullest collection of American pottery in the world;—and Prehistoric Archæology, in a magnificent collection, occupying the entire upper story of the Smithsonian building. The American portion was classified by the late Dr. Charles Rau. The European collection, founded by Mr. Thomas Wilson, is arranged according to the chart of De Mortillet.

As avenues of publication the Museum has the "Reports," "Miscellaneous Collections," and "Contributions" of the Smithsonian Institution, and its own "Proceedings," "Bulletin," and "Transactions."

For obtaining collections, it relies upon gifts and deposits, which are often very liberal; the material collected by officers of the army and navy, Hydrographic Bureau, Coast Survey, Geological Survey, Bureau of Ethnology, consular service, etc., which are given to it by law; gifts turned over by public expositions and fairs at their close; and international exchanges. The material thus accruing is received as fast as the staff of the Museum can attend to it.

The Bureau of Ethnology.—The bureau, as at present constituted, was organized in 1879, when an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars was made by Congress for "the prosecution of ethnologic researches among the North American Indians." During each of the succeeding years an equal or larger appropriation has been made, the amount up to the present time aggregating three hundred thousand dollars. This amount has been expended for field and ofiice work. The force officially connected with the bureau, and constituting its staff of workers, consists of specialists trained in the several lines of research, each working independently in his own field, but each giving assistance, and receiving assistance from every other, as the lines of investigation touch and overlap each other. The whole is under the direction of Major J. W. Powell. Results of great value are derived by stimulating and guiding research on the part of collaborators in different parts of the country who are not officially connected with the bureau.

Of the researches at present conducted by the bureau, the most important are probably those in linguistics. Owing to the breaking up of the tribal system and the consolidation of the smaller with the larger tribes, to the adoption by the Indians of