Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/431

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419
LITERARY NOTICES.

not the least in importance and fame are the schools for negroes.

Maryland has not obtained wide renown until recent years for its higher institutions of learning, yet the number and importance of them have been too great to justify such neglect as they have received. Though the early conditions of life in the colony were not such as to favor schools or colleges, a plan for a college was brought forward as early as 1791—the fourth attempt for a college in the United States—but no college proved successful till Maryland became a State.

It is claimed by Director Powell, in presenting the Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, covering the year 1890-'91, as a noteworthy feature of the plan under which the work of research is conducted, that the ethnologists who, as authors, prepare the publications of the bureau, personally gather the material for them in the field, supplementing this material by a study of all the connected literature and by a subsequent comparison of all ascertained facts. The continuance of the work for a number of years by the same zealous observers and students, who freely interchange their information and opinions, has resulted in their training with the acuteness of specialists, corrected and generalized by the knowledge obtained from other authorities on the same or related specialties. The present report is an excellent example of the application of this method of work. The substance of it, after the routine matter is disposed of—otherwise the "accompanying paper"—is a Report on Mound Explorations, by Dr. Cyrus Thomas, a veteran laborer in this field, who brings to the task of reviewing the whole subject all the advantages that long experience in field and study work can bestow. The explorations reviewed cover eighteen States in the Mississippi Valley, Atlantic coast, lake, and eastern central regions, supplemented by papers on archæological areas and distribution of types, the mound-builders and comparison of their works with those of the Indians, and evidences of contact with modern European civilization found in the mounds, with 344 illustrations.

In Le Centre de l'Afrique, autour du Tchad (The Center of Africa, around Lake Chad), the story of the journeyings of the Maistre French expedition to the region in question is told by M. P. Brunache. The object of the expedition, departing from the Congo, was to reach the Chari River and form relations with the Mussulmans of the Chad Valley. The expedition did more than this, for, having reached Palem beyond the Chad, through a country which no European had ever penetrated, it continued on through a region equally virgin to European exploration to Guéroua, and thence diverting from the Binerée to strike it again at Ibi, down that river and the Niger. It made several geographical discoveries of interest; corrected some errors; made treaties with numerous fetich chiefs; and collected anthropological data and material. Published by Félix Alcan, Paris, in the Bibliothèque Scientifique Internationale.

Les Auroras Polaires (Polar Auroras), of M. Alfred Angot, has been developed by revision and expansion from a series of articles published in the periodical La Lumière Electrique in 1882. All is brought up to date. The history of auroral observations is told, and the theory of the lights is discussed with the clearness of style and facility in explanation that have given the author an eminent position in scientific literature. Numerous carefully executed engravings illustrate some of the most remarkable observations of auroras. A list is appended of auroras observed from 1700 till 1890, in Europe, south of latitude 55°. The work is published by Félix Alcan, in the French edition of the International Scientific Series.

We have already spoken twice of the Dictionary of Birds, prepared by Alfred Newton and Hans Gadow, with the assistance of eminent English naturalists, and Dr. R. W. Shufeldt as American contributor, published by the Blacks in London, and Macmillan & Co., New York. The work is continued in Part III, from Moa to Sheathbill. The matter is arranged alphabetically; is presented in brief, clear statements and descriptions; and the whole is appropriately and well illustrated. Price, $2.60.

 


PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED.

Agricultural Experiment Stations. Reports and Bulletins. Connecticut: Eighteenth Annual Report. Pp. 296; Fertilizers. Pp. 16—Cornell University: The Dwarf Lima Beans. Pp. 20; Early