Library CatalogSearchSite MapContact UsHome
Galaxy of Knowledge
Smithsonian Institution Libraries Logo
Galaxy of KnowledgeMosiac of Science GalaxyIndustry & Technology GalaxyArt & Design GalaxyAmerican Discovery Galaxy
About UsExhibitionsDigital LibrarySpecial CollectionsLibrariesResearch & InternshipsGiving to the Libraries
Inside this Section YOU ARE HERE> SIL Home Page: Smithsonian Institution Libraries: Anthropology Library

SI Libraries
Science Libraries
History & Culture Libraries
Rare Books and Special Collections
Art Libraries
Other Locations
Accessing the Collections
Interlibrary Loan
Resources / Related Links
Users' Guide

Anthropology Library

Library Overview | News & Links
Contact & Staff Info | Collections

The Anthropology Library, officially known as the John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology, is one of 20 branches in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries' system. It is located within the Anthropology Department and supports the research, publication, exhibitions, and public programing of the department and other museums and offices within the Smithsonian. Its collection reflects the important role that the Smithsonian Institution played in the development of anthropology as a formal discipline in the United States.

The Anthropology Library was established in 1965 with the merger of two principal Smithsonian collections--the library of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE;1879-1965) and the divisional collections of the Department of Anthropology. The former supported "anthropological researches" among the indigenous people of the Americas and was considered one of the best such resources in the world. Today's library is named after John Wesley Powell, the BAE founder and first director who is also well known for his early exploration of the Colorado River region. The latter collections grew out of the work of other museum staff not only in the Americas but also many places abroad, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania.

Although there was no formal Department of Anthropology until 1897, anthropology has always been a part of the Smithsonian, with related collections predating the Institution's founding, initial publications shortly thereafter, and appointments to curators of archaeology and ethnology as early as the 1880s.


Galaxy: Mosaic of Science ~ Galaxy: Industry & Technology ~ Galaxy: Art & Design ~ Galaxy : American Discovery ~
About Us ~ Exhibitions & Programs ~ Digital Library ~ Special Collections ~ Libraries ~
Research & Internships ~ Giving to the Libraries ~ Library Catalog~
Search ~ Site Map ~ Contact Us ~ Home ~
Smithsonian Institution Web site