This transcription has been completed. Contact us with corrections.
4. INDICATE BRIEFLY THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE EXHIBITION SERIES AND THE STUDY SERIES, IN YOUR DEPARTMENT. The Curator would call the Director's attention to the fact that, during the year past, a great deal of time has been spent in preparing a minute catalogue of every specimen acquired in the Department of Ethnology during the last 50 years. This work is all done, not every specimen in the collection has been separately listed, but every specimen, that would seem to have any value in a comprehensive and comparative study. In this connection the Director should know that there is a great discrepancy between this list, as now in the Curator's hands, and the specimens under his charge. This discrepancy grows out of the following causes; first, in former times, before the organization of a separate Department of Ethnology, ethnographic specimens were given away or exchanged and no record of that fact exists; for example, a large and valuable series of Polynesian material was contributed to the Toronto Museum and was subsequently destroyed by fire. Very large exchanges were made with the Trocadero Museum, in Paris, but the specimens were not checked off on the catalogue of the Department; fortunately, the Registrar has, in his office, lists of these exchanges and it would be very easy, with a little clerical help, to make the record of the Registrar agree with the record of the Department. Again, when the section of Arts and Industries were being formed large drafts were made upon the Department of Ethnology for material and these objects were distributed in the various sections constituting the Department of Arts and Industries but no record of that fact was made in the early volumes which preceded the formation of separate catalogues for separate sections. Especially, is this true of the fisheries, the animal product, the music, the naval architecture, the textiles, the food and the transportation series. It seems to this Curator that it would be most advisable and
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact email@example.com.