The annual report of the Peabody Museum presented by the Curator, Professor F. W. Putnam, has just been made public. Professor Putnam prefaces his report with a plea for aid in the completion of the Museum building. When the new south corner of the University Museum is finished there will remain only one hundred feet of the south wing to be built in order to complete the structure as planned by Agassiz forty years ago. This space, originally allotted for the extension of the anthropological section, is already much needed. The material of the collections, gathered during thirty-four years, is beyond price, for it comprises relics which, owing to the spread of civilization or other causes, can never be replaced. In addition to the specimens collected by the Museum are invaluable collections held in trust, as those from the Boston Marine Society, the Boston Athenaeum, the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester, the Hemenway Southwestern Expedition and the Boston Museum. These should not be allowed to suffer from lack of care and accommodations.
Active work has been done in all departments of the Museum during the year. Exploration in Central America has been successfully continued, and photographs, moulds, casts, and sculptures have been added to the collections. The series of moulds taken from the great Hieroglyphic Stairway of Copan has been completed and a model of the ancient city is now in the Central American Hall of the Museum. T. e. Sacred Buffalo Hide and other articles belonging to the Omaha Indians, which were stolen from their keeper just as he was about to present them to the Museum have been found in the collection of a gentlemen who had purchased them, unaware of the theft. The present professor will probably turn them over to the Museum. Important work among the Indians has been done by Miss Alice C. Fletcher, who studied the of the Pawnees, in Oklahoma, and by Dr. Frans Russell, in Arizona. Professor Putnam visited California and collected specimens of gravel in the region or where the famous Calaveras skull was found in order to decided the disputed question of its precise source and age by comparing these gravel with the gravel take from the skull.
The most valuable single gift of the year is the large ethnological collection from the South Sea Islands, which was made by Dr. Alexander Agassiz and Dr. W. MeM, Woodsworth on the execution of the U. S. Fish Commission S. S. Albatross in 1899-1900. The specimens were largely gathered directly from the peoples of the Fj., Society, Marshall, Gilbert. They include various kinds of dishes, weapons, cloth, basis, canoes and other objects and give almost compiled and costumes of the natives.