The growth of the Museum and the related departments of the Institute has been so rapid, and the usefulness and popularity of the entire undertaking has been so great, that the founder has found himself constrained to again provide for further enlargement, and in the fall of the year 1899 and the spring of 1900 preliminary plans for extension were prepared, which subsequently were approved by Mr. Carnegie. These plans contemplate the ultimate expenditure of $3,600,000, in new construction, greatly enlarging and perfecting the facilities of the Museum, the Library and the Art Gallery. When these plans are executed the city of Pittsburgh will have an institution second in its importance to no other of like character in the New World, and surpassing many of the famous institutions of Europe in the provision made within its walls for promoting a knowledge of literature, science and art.
Inasmuch as Pittsburgh is located in the very heart of the Appalachian region, it was in the beginning determined among other things to make the collections acquired by the institution as thoroughly illustrative of this region as possible. Accordingly much effort has been expended in endeavoring to obtain specimens illustrating the geology, the mineral resources, and the flora and fauna of the region of which Pittsburgh may be said to be the metropolis. By the gift of the large herbarium of the Western Pennsylvania Botanical Society, to which extensive additions have been made, the flora of the region is already well represented. The fauna is also represented by collections which are extensive and rapidly growing. Almost all the mammals and birds known to exist in Western Pennsylvania are contained in the collection, and through the diligence of those in charge of the department of ornithology several species not heretofore known to occur within the limits of Pennsylvania have been added to the faunal list. The collections representing the insect life of the region are great. Extensive research is going on in every direction, and it is hoped ultimately to amass and bring together representatives of every form of life, whether animal or vegetable, known to occur in the upper valley of the Ohio. Collectors have been sent out who have extended their labors over the whole western half of the State, from Erie to the southern boundary, and westward into eastern Ohio, and southward into West Virginia. It no doubt will require many years finally to complete the biological survey of this extensive region, but a very satisfactory beginning has already been made. Side by side with the work done in the department of biology much work has been done in gathering together ethnological and historical material, the former throwing light upon the aboriginal inhabitants of the territory, the latter serving to illustrate its development since occupied by civilized man. The industries of the region likewise have claimed