The pamphlet containing the annual reports of the president and treasury of Harvard College for 1884-85 shows an increase of thirty pages over that for 1883-84. President Eliot's report is devoted almost entirely to an elaborate study of the working of the elective system. Of the system itself the report says: "It is emphatically a method in education, which has a moral as well as an intellectual end, and is consistent with a just authority while it grants a just liberty." The twenty-one pages, on which is a complete record of every member of the classes of '84 and '85 for the sophomore, junior, and senior years, this record comprising the courses elected and the ranks attained, contain data that cannot fail to carry with them most convincing evidence of the successful operation of the elective system. The subjects of specialization of studies, coherency of choices, information and advice, easy and large courses, and common intellectual life are carefully treated. Of the last President Eliot says: "The working of the elective system is also interesting . . . . its effects upon the common intellectual life of the college. It has certainly produced a great increase in intellectual intercourse and spontaneous association for intellectual objects among students." The discussion on the "meaning of the Bachelor's degree" is another of the special subjects in the report that will be read with interest.
The report of the Dean of the College contains the usual figures and data relating to attendance, gains and losses, entrance examinations, election of courses, instruction, and so forth. Athletics and the Committee of Conference have prominent mention. A table, showing the choices of studies made by the two freshman classes who have had the privilege of election, is given at the close of the Dean's report. In the present freshman class 191 have elected Latin, 132 History, 125 Greek, 100 French, 92 Mathematics, and 82, 36, 19 and 18, Natural History, German, Chemistry and Physics respectively. The choices of 36 have included Greek, Latin and Mathematics.
Of the reports to the president from other departments, those of the Graduate department, and the Law School are especially interesting. In the report from the Divinity School, Prof. Peabody makes a plea for money and new buildings. The fund for the new library has reached about $26,000.
At the Library, the number of volumes added during the year is 14.558. The tables, showing the use of the books at Gore Hall, afford emphatic evidence of the increasing value of the library to members of the university. The reports of the director of the Physical Laboratory and of Mr. Alexander Agassiz, of the Zoological Museum, are specially interesting. The treasurer's report occupies a fifth of the pamphlet. The income for the departments dependent upon the college proper was $268,260.76; expenses, $266,307,33. The Divinity School also has a surplus, $271. - 17; but the Law School has a deficit of $412.86. The Medical School has a surplus of $2,039.10; and the Dental School one of $507.32. A lack of space prevents the addition here of other figures quite as interesting.