Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/276

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

but a small part of the community, but the interest in anthropology extends far outside of the classroom. Courses of public lectures are astonishingly well attended. Prof. Putnam at Cambridge, Dr. Brinton at Philadelphia, Prof. Starr at Chautauqua, at New York, and at Chicago—have with others for some years past spoken to thousands and have helped to kindle a wide public interest in the subject. To-day the great peripatetic Associations for the Advancement of Science—American, Australian, British, French—all have their Section of Anthropology. Many know what a battle had to be fought in at least one of these associations for recognition of the newcomer. To-day it is not only present, it dominates. No other section of the American Association draws to its public meetings as does this one; nor is it surpassed in the number of important papers presented. In the popular magazines of the day a constantly increasing amount of space is given to papers in some one or other division of the science. In the various science series a full share of volumes are anthropological. Thus, it has been noticed that in the Contemporary Science Series nearly all the volumes are devoted to the science of man, and every one has observed the great number of valuable works in this field in the International Scientific Series. And just now, apparently in response to a demand, two other series have been started, the one devoted to anthropology generally, while the other deals with that importaut subdivision of the science which makes the criminal the special object of study.

Museums of ethnography and archæology increase. In no part of the world are they quite wanting. The Museum of Gizeh in Egypt is superb, for study; that at Tiflis in the Caucasus is rich; at La Plata in the Argentine Confederation is a vigorous young institution, with a good anthropological department; at many of the small capitals of Mexican States are choice series of antiquities. In this matter the United States lags somewhat; but at Boston (Cambridge), Salem, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Davenport, St. Louis, and San Francisco are collections of significance which are open to the public. The last comer in this group is the Field-Columbian Museum at Chicago, with an excellent department in anthropology under the curatorship of Prof. Holmes.

Anthropological societies are not numerous in America. Work in some direction is done in connection with State and local historical societies and State academies of science. Such local societies as the New York, Chicago, and Davenport Academies of Science have Ethnological Sections. Specific Anthropological Societies exist at Washington and New York. The Anthropological Society of Washington publishes an official organ of value. The Woman's Anthropological Society in the same city has been active. Interesting societies, including study and social features, are those at Yonkers, N. Y., and at Brookville, Ind., both of which have had regular meetings at short intervals for several seasons. Of societies which devote themselves to a single phase of work, there are many, among the most interesting of which are the folklore societies. The American Folklore Society meets annually and at various places, but its branches—at Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans, etc.—hold regular meetings at stated times. The Chicago Folklore Society—now the International Folklore Association holds month-