[p. i]


In Smithsonian Year 1965 it was reported that:

On February 1, 1965, the Bureau of American Ethnology and the Department of Anthropology of the Museum of Natural History were combined to form the new Smithsonian Office of Anthropology under the Museum of Natural History. This consolidation unites the efforts and resources of the Institution in modern programs in ethnology, linguistics, archeology, and physical anthropology. [On 29 October 1968, the name Department of Anthropology was resumed.]

Termination of the Bureau likewise terminated a history of distinguished publication under its imprint, dating back nearly a century, that includes the well-known Annual Reports, Bulletins, Contributions to North American Ethnology, Introductions, Miscellaneous Publications, and Publications of the Institute of Social Anthropology.

The series of Contributions, in quarto, was begun in 1877 by the Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region (J. W. Powell, director). Of the earlier numbers, printed under authority of special resolutions of Congress, volumes I, II (in two parts), and III had been completed when, in the year 1879, the Bureau of Ethnology was organized. In March 1881 the publication of volumes VI, VII, VIII, IX, and X was authorized, but the series was discontinued in 1895, after volumes I to VII and IX had been completed. Volumes VIII and X were never published.

The Annual Report series began with that for the year ended June 30, 1880. The Forty-eighth Report (1933) includes an index to all the reports from the First to the Forty-eighth, and with its appearance the Annual Report series in royal-octavo form terminated. Subsequent annual administrative reports of the Bureau were issued as octavo pamphlets, and the ethnological papers that formerly accompanied the reports appeared in the Bulletin series.

The series of Bulletins was first authorized by Congress in 1886, and virtually all the researches published by the Bureau came to be included in this series, its contents being as broad as were contemporary interests in the field of anthropology, although mainly restricted in scope to the Americas.

With Bulletin 119 (1938) the Bureau inaugurated a series of Anthropological Papers, designed as an outlet for brief articles. These were [p. ii] numbered consecutively, and a Bulletin was devoted to them from time to time as they accumulated. A limited edition of each Anthropological Paper was issued in separate form.

Another subseries, River Basin Surveys Papers, was inaugurated with Bulletin 154 (1953). These papers reported on the results of the Inter-Agency Archeological Salvage Program. A limited edition of each River Basin Surveys Paper was issued in separate form.

In 1966 the River Basin Surveys Papers were superseded by the series Publications in Salvage Archeology, issued at Lincoln, Nebraska, from the office of the River Basin Surveys, which office was transferred from the Smithsonian to the Department of the Interior National Park Service, 28 June 1969.

The publications of the Institute of Social Anthropology, 16 in number, began in 1944 and ended in 1953 with the termination of the Institute.

Besides the series mentioned, there were issued small editions of 4 Introductions and of 15 Miscellaneous Publications.

Publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology were distributed free of charge, with the exception of the copies disposed of by the Superintendent of Documents. The quota allowed the Bureau was distributed mainly to libraries and other institutions of learning and to collaborators and others engaged in anthropological research or in instruction.

As of 1970 the Smithsonian's stock of these series for free distribution has been exhausted except for some half-dozen of the Bulletins and a few separates of the River Basin Survey Papers. As noted herein The Smithsonian Institution Press has reprinted several of the Bulletins for sale, and others have been reprinted by commercial publishers.

The appearance of Bulletin 200 brings to an end all publication under the Bureau name, the Bulletin series having been superseded by the new series Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, initiated in 1965. The new series provides not only for publication of scholarly studies of the American Indian but is worldwide in scope, reflecting the broadening activities of the Smithsonian Institution's anthropologists over the past few decades.

Clifford Evans
Chairman, Department of Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Institution
July 1970

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