Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/553

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THE PHILADELPHIA ACADEMY.

merly owned by the distinguished ornithologist, John Gould, and which formed the basis of his magnificent work on the birds of Australia. Here may be seen a specimen of the great auk, of which only two other specimens exist in America, and less than a dozen in the whole world. There is also an egg of the same bird, there being but one more in this country. And, while mentioning the eggs, we would say that the collection of these fragile objects is not excelled in Europe, embracing as it does 5,000 specimens, representing 1,323 identified species. The crabs, lobsters, and shrimps occupy cases beneath the windows of the galleries, over 1,000 different kinds being exhibited. On the second gallery are the shells, the largest collection in the world, both in species and in specimens. The largest single donation to this department was the collection of George W. Tryon, Jr., of over 100,000 specimens, illustrating over 10,000 species. Of the fresh-water mussels alone, 783 different kinds are on exhibition. The collections of star-fishes, sea-urchins, and corals are on this floor, but, though large, are excelled by those of several institutions in the United States.

Owing to the destructive action of light, the insects are not displayed, but are kept in two rooms connected with the library. Over 70,000 different species and hundreds of thousands of specimens represent the insect world. The herbarium is also very extensive, and occupies two rooms opposite to those devoted to insects.

The Academy holds its regular meetings every Tuesday evening, at which times papers giving an account of original investigations are presented, and remarks are made on various scientific subjects. Besides these regular meetings, members who are interested in special subjects have associated themselves in "sections," which meet at stated intervals. Four of these sections now exist, devoted respectively to microscopy, conchology, botany, and entomology. The Academy maintains two series of publications, while the conchological and entomological sections have at times published their scientific proceedings separately. The total publications of the Academy and its sections numbered, July, 1876, 3,681 pages and 404 plates quarto, and 20,752 pages and 499 plates octavo.

This magnificent museum and library is a monument to the generosity of comparatively few of the citizens of the "City of Brotherly Love." With the exception of exemption from taxation, not one cent has the Academy had from city or State. General funds it has none, its running expenses being paid by the annual dues of the members and the proceeds of a small admission-fee (ten cents) to the museum. Its special funds realize about $600 a year for publication, and $1,800 for the library. There is also a scholarship fund which pays two or three students twenty dollars a month while pursuing studies at the Academy.

The object of this rather statistical sketch is not only to give an account of one of the most prominent scientific organizations in the