National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Dept. of Anthropology

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The Bureau of Ethnology was created in 1879 to continue studies of the American Indians begun by the Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Region. It was renamed the Bureau of American Ethnology and placed under the Smithsonian in 1897, but it enjoyed considerable freedom of action under John Wesley Powell, its Director (1879-1902). After that time it was more closely regulated by the Smithsonian. Its concern remained research on the Indians of the Western hemisphere. After Powell its Directors (some Acting) were William Henry Holmes, 1902-1909; Frederick Webb Hodge, 1910-1918; Jesse Walter Fewkes, 1918-1928; Matthew William Stirling, 1928-1957; Frank H. H. Roberts, 1957-1964; and Henry B. Collins, 1964-1965.

The Department of Anthropology also pursued its work from the Institution's early days, and under a variety of organizational forms. Its objective was to collect anthropological specimens, and its scope was world-wide, especially in the growth of its non-Western collections after World War II. In 1965, as part of a reorganization of the National Museum of Natural History, both BAE and the Department of Anthropology were merged into a Smithsonian Office of Anthropology. By 1968 the Department of Anthropology had reappeared, and the former activities of the Bureau of American Ethnology were incorporated into its structure, most notably the National Anthropological Archives.

Head Curators and Chairs of the Department have included William Henry Holmes, 1897-1902, 1910-1920; Otis Tufton Mason, (acting) 1902-1903) and Head, 1904-1908; Walter Hough, (acting) 1908-1909, 1920-1923, and Head, 1923-1935; Frank M. Setzler, 1935-1960; Thomas Dale Stewart, 1960-1962; Waldo R. Wedel, 1963-1965; Richard B. Woodbury, 1965-1967; Saul H. Riesenberg, 1967-1970; Clifford Evans, 1970-1975; William W. Fitzhugh, 1975-1980; Douglas H. Ubelaker, 1980-1984; Adrienne L. Kaeppler, 1985-1988; and Donald J. Ortner, 1988- .

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Agency History. Record 217825

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Evans, Clifford, 1920-1981 person
associatedWith Fitzhugh, William W., 1943- person
associatedWith Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956 person
associatedWith Holmes, William Henry, 1846-1933 person
associatedWith Hough, Walter, 1859-1935. person
associatedWith Kaeppler, Adrienne Lois person
associatedWith Mason, Otis Tufton, 1838-1908 person
associatedWith Ortner, Donald J. person
associatedWith Riesenberg, Saul H. person
associatedWith Setzler, Frank M. 1902-1975 person
associatedWith Stewart, T. D. 1901-1997 person
associatedWith Ubelaker, Douglas H. person
associatedWith Wedel, Waldo Rudolph, 1908- person
associatedWith Woodbury, Richard B. 1917- person
Place Name Admin Code Country

Corporate Body

Active 1879

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SNAC ID: 38285412