Search 
 Search Images 
 About 
   
KeywordBrowseFinding AidsCombinedBrowse Images Search HistoryAll Catalogs
Search:    Refine Search  
> You are only searching: Archives, Manuscripts and Photographs
 
More Smithsonian Searches
 
 Who else has...
 
  •  
  • Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology
     
     
    Bureau of American Ethnology Records 1878-1965
     
    Add to my list
    Creator: 
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology
    Title: 
    Bureau of American Ethnology Records 1878-1965
    Phy. Description: 
    ca. 157 linear feet
    Digital Reference: 
    Finding aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    The Bureau of Ethnology was founded in 1879 after Congress appropriated funds for the continuation of research among North American Indians that had begun under several federal geological surveys, especially the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region (Powell Survey) and the Geological Survey of the Territories (Hayden Survey). The name was changed in 1897 to the Bureauj of American Ethnology (BAE) to emphasize the geographic limit of its interests. At times, nevertheless, the activities of the BAE have extended to United States possessions outside the Americas, particularly to Hawaii and the Philippines.
    Under John Wesley Powell, the director from 1879 to 1902, the BAE became a major force in the growth of the nascent science of anthropology by undertaking several broad and basic anthropological research projects, sponsoring extensive and intensive field research by its staff and collaborators, intiating several series of anthroplogical publications, and joining both professional and amateur anthropologists throughout the country in efforts to promote the growth of the discipline. In addition, the BAE prepared exhibits for several large expositions of the later 19th and early 20th centuries and, on instruction from the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, made collections of anthropological specimens for deposit in the United States
    National Museum. In addition to its research and publications program, it developed a manuscript repository, library, and an illustrations section that included (in addition to the preparation of artwork for publications) photography and a photographic collection.
    In overseeing these many efforts, Powell was able to rely heavily on capable lieutenants, initially Henry W. Henshaw and then W J McGee, who joined the staff with the title Ethnologist-in-Chief in 1893. Powell also enjoyed a marked degree of independence from the central Smithsonian administration; and, while he was director of the United States Geological Survey from 1880 to 1894, the BAE had considerable support from the Survey. Following Powell's death, dissatisfaction with these arrangements on the part of the Smithsonian and considerable criticism within Congress combined to lead the Institution to investigate the BAE's activities. This resulted in tighter control by the Smithsonian's Secretary. Although its purposes and functions
    remained basically similar to those developed under Powell, there was something of a narrowing of focus on research and publication under his successors: William Henry Holmes, chief, 1902-1910; Frederick Webb Hodge, ethnologist-in-charge, 1910-1918; Jesse Walter Fewkes, chief, 1918-1928; Matthew Williams Stirling, chief, 1928-1954, director, 1954-1957; Frank Harold Hanna Robert, Jr., director, 1957-1964; and Henry Bascom Collins, acting director, 1964-1965. In 1965, many of the functions of the BAE were transferred to the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology (renamed later the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum of Natural History), the organization created with the merger of the BAE and the Department of Anthropology of the
    United States National Museum.
    The BAE had three significant but temporary subunits under its administration. The Mounds Survey, which concentrated on the eastern part of the United States, was undertaken on instructions from Congress. From 1882 to 1895, it was led by Cyrus Thomas assisted by a number of specially appointed field workers. Julian Steward's Institute for Social Anthropology was in operation from 1943 go 1952, and the River Basin Surveys, led through most of its existence by Frank H. H. Roberts, Jr., from 1946 to 1969. In addition, Julian Steward's operation to produce the Handbook of South American Indians was a semiautonomous activity.
    Summary: 
    The extant records of the Bureau of American Ethnology include not only the material described here but additional records are also found in the series of numbered manuscripts. Earlier archivists separated many letters, reports, fiscal records, and whole files and placed them there under the control of a card catalog. Most of the records of Thomas's Mound Survey, for example, are there as manuscript 2400. Papers of some of the bureau's employees and the BAE photographic collections are described in several separate entries. Records of the Handbook of South American Indians, the Institute for Social Anthropology, and the River Basin Surveys are also described separately, as are records of the National Anthropological Archives.
    Organization: 
    Letterbooks, including: (1) letters sent--general series, 1879-1907; letters sent--transmittal letters, 1893-1903; (3) letters sent concerning the library, 1896-1897; (4) letters sent regarding editorial work, 1894-1903; (5) requisitions for printing and binding, 1896-1903; (6) letters sent by William Henry Holmes, 1890-1893, 1903-1905; (7) letters sent by W J McGee, 1893-1903; (8) letters sent by Frank Hamilton Cushing, 1896-1899; (9) letters sent by Chief Clerk Frank M. Barnett, April 13 and 21, 1903; (10) accounts, 1897-1907; (11) annual reports, 1898-1903; (12) records concerning the International Archeological Comnission, 1902-1903; (13) letters sent regarding the joint meeting of the American and British associations
    for the advancement of science, 1897; unbound correspondence, including: (14) letters received, 1878; (15) letters received, 1879-1888; (16) letters received, 1888-1906; (17) letters received, 1907; (18) letters received, 1908; (19) correspondence with Matilda Coxe Stevenson, 1890-1918; (20) correspondence with Charles D. Walcott, 1907; (21) correspondence with the Smithsonian Institution, 1889-1908; (22) correspondence with the United States National Museum, 1889-1909; (23) correspondence with government agencies, 1888-1908; (24) register of letters received, January 1949-April 1965; (25) correspondence, 1909-1950; (26) correspondence, 1950-1965; (27) correspondence file of Matthew W. Stirling, 1928-1946;(28) "Temporary correspondence,
    1949-1952; 1963-1965; other administrative records, including (29) records relating to the investigation of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1903, 1879-1903; (30) property records, 1893-1903; fiscal records, 1901-1902; 1945-1964; (31) cooperative ethnological investigations file, 1928-1935; (32) administrative file, 1929-1946; (33) administrative file, 1949-1965; (34) statements relative to BAE research projects, 1960-1964; (35) miscellaneous records concerning the photographic collection, 1899-1919; and map collection: (36) maps
    Cite as: 
    Bureau of American Ethnology Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
    Repository Loc: 
    National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
    Components: 
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Letterbooks: Letters sent, library October 7, 1896-March 12, 1897
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Letterbooks: Letters sent by W J McGee
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology Letters Received 1888-1906
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Correspondence with government agencies 1888-1950
    Correspondence with the United States National Museum 1889-1909
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology General Correspondence 1907-1909
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology General correspondence 1908
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology General Correspondence 1950-1956
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Matthew Williams Stirling Correspondence File 1928-1946
    "Temporary correspondence" 1949-1952; 1963-1965
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Records relating to the investigation of the Bureau of American Ethnology, 1903 1879-1903
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Fiscal records 1901-1964
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Cooperative ethnological investigations file 1928-1935
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology Administrative File 1904-1964
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Bureau of American Ethnology Administrative File 1949-1965
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Miscellaneous records concerning the photographic collection ca. 1899-1919
    Smithsonian Institution. Bureau of American Ethnology Map collection
    Item Information
    Repository 
    National Anthropological ArchivesAdd Copy to MyList

    Format:HTMLPlain textDelimited
    Subject: 
    Email to:


     Powered by Dynix
    About | © 2012 Smithsonian | Terms of Use | Privacy | Contact
    SIRIS - Smithsonian Institution Research Information System