Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/552

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Academy forms not quite a third of the contemplated structure. It is built in what is called the collegiate-Gothic style of architecture, of a green serpentine, with light-brown sandstone trimmings. This wing is one hundred and eighty-six feet long and seventy-five feet broad. The basement is devoted to storage, with rooms for a taxidermist and a printing-office. On the ground-floor and its galleries are the library, studies, rooms for artists, a bindery, a smoking-room, the herbarium, and collections of insects and microscopes and microscopic slides. The library is one hundred and thirty feet long and thirty feet wide between the ends of the cases, with a gallery at the height of ten feet, and contains the largest collection of works on natural history—over 26,000 volumes—in America. The floor of the library is used for the meetings of the Academy, and will seat over four hundred people. From the entrance on Race Street, two short flights of stairs bring one to the museum, a hall extending the whole length and width of the building, with two wide galleries, giving a floor-space of more than three fifths of an acre. The whole is fairly lighted by windows in the sides and by a lantern sky-light eighty feet in length. The whole building is fire-proof, is heated throughout by steam, and was erected at a cost of nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

A description of a museum is by no means an easy task, even in the case of a small collection; but, when the number of specimens is as large as in the present instance, it is only possible to enumerate a very small proportion of the many treasures. On entering the hall, the visitor sees almost immediately in front of him, towering to a height of fifteen feet, a skeleton of Hadrosaurus, a kangaroo-like reptile from the greensand of New Jersey; around this are assembled a polar bear, a rhinoceros-skeleton, two or three whale-skeletons, the frame of a gorilla, a stuffed giraffe, and another in the condition Sydney Smith wished to be in in hot weather, divested of flesh, and sitting, or rather standing, in its bones. The table-cases and some of the upright cases near by are filled with fossils, while in the wall-cases on the south side of the building is displayed the ghastly collection of skulls, about twelve hundred in number, which is not excelled anywhere in the world. The upright cases on the north are occupied by the mammals, while the wall-cases contain the fishes. Two flights of stairs at opposite ends of the hall give access to the galleries, the railing-cases of which are occupied by the minerals. The first gallery is the most attractive to the ordinary visitor, as almost every case is devoted to the enormous collection of birds, over 30,000 stuffed specimens being displayed, while many thousand skins are packed away in drawers. Of this large number, 27,000 specimens were the gift of one person, the late Dr. T. B. Wilson, of Philadelphia. The collection is the third largest in the world, being excelled only by that of the British Museum and one in Vienna. Besides the collection of the Due di Rivoli, mentioned before, it contains the collection of 2,000 specimens for-