Imágenes de páginas

been formed by combining the two partially equipped laboratories in the basement of the University Museum, and in the same way a departmental library has been arranged on the first floor with the principal periodicals and separate works. — As regards the instruction in elementary mineralogy, a great deal of attention has been devoted to increasing the material for the students' collection, and especially for teaching crystallography, that bête noire of most students of mineralogy, by acquiring good suites of natural crystals, which render the subject more attractive and bring home the reality of the forms studied. Large additions of material for reference and determination have been made, so that few laboratories place such excellent material in the hands of students.

The great need lies in the lack of material for advanced crystallographic or mineralogical research, such as good crystals for measurement on the goniometer and specimens of new minerals or unusual forms of old ones which are suitable for chemical or physical investigation. The formation of such a “scientific collection” of minerals distinct from those intended for exhibition or elementary study is a slow and expensive process with which slight progress has been made. — The most important change in the Mineralogical Museum has been the placing on exhibition of the valuable gem minerals given by Mr. James A. Garland of New York in 1892. For this purpose two special cases have been made and placed in the gallery of the Museum. The cases are of polished oak, with heavy plate glass top and sides ; one contains the Hamlin collection of tourmalines, the other the single gem minerals not heretofore exhibited, which include the 83-carat diamond crystal, the large aqua-marine and yellow beryl, the hiddenite crystal, the magnificent specimens of Australian precious opal, Mexican fire-opal and Hungarian milky opal, several valuable tourmaline crystals from Brazil, Siberia and the Hamlin collection, and the cut and mounted gems from the same collection. This case is lined with white velvet and the transparent specimens placed on sheets of thin crystal glass supported on glass stands in order to bring out the colors by transmitted light. — Dr. Charles Palache, a graduate of the University of California and a student of mineralogy with Professor Groth of Munich, has been appointed assistant in the Mineralogical Museum for this year.

John Eliot Wolf', '79.

[ocr errors]

THE PHYSICAL DEPARTMENT AND THE PREPARATORY SCHOOLS. The relations of the Physical Department to the preparatory schools are peculiar. Harvard College instituted an optional admission requirement in Physics in 1876, and an absolute requirement in 1878. In the latter year was established also an “ Advanced” optional requirement. Harvard is still the only college in New England, and one of the very few in the United States, maintaining an admission requirement in Physics. Before 1887 no laboratory work in Physics was required of candidates. In that year the Advanced requirement became laboratory work, and the Elementary requirement became an option between a laboratory course and a purely text-book course, with a strong recommendation from the College in favor of the former. A full description of experiments for the Elementary laboratory course, prepared by the Physical Department, was published by the University in 1887, and has continued in use, without radical alteration, until now.

The number of candidates offering the Elementary laboratory course was considerable from the start, and it has increased, until now it is, each year, about 70 per cent. of all. Teachers of Physics in schools largely contributory to Harvard have shown a great deal of energy and intelligence in following and improving upon the suggestions given them from the College, and the influence of the laboratory course of Physics thus established has been widely felt through the country. The programme of work in Physics, recommended by the Physics and Chemistry Conference, working under the “ Committee of Ten,” was based to a very large extent upon this Harvard course. Nevertheless, there has always been, and there continues to be, among some of the most competent and energetic teachers, a feeling that they can do better work by allowing their own individuality more scope in the selection of experiments and methods, than has heretofore been encouraged by the Harvard examinations in Physics. A like state of mind in regard to their own work is not unknown among teachers in other departments of the preparatory schools, and it is perhaps impossible to do away with it altogether in any department; but evidently the College should be fully alive to it, and maintain no unnecessary restrictions. Several years ago the Physical Department added a number of experiments to its published list without increasing its requirement, thus affording a certain element of option which has been of great value. This option has now been widened by still further additions to the published list of eligible experiments, and it is proposed to provide in some cases more than one form of apparatus for the same exercise in the laboratory admission examination. Moreover, an association of leading teachers of Physics in the schools of this vicinity has been invited to make suggestions to this Department in regard to the substance and form of the experiments to be described in the revised and enlarged list.

The Department has recently been considering the expediency of dividing the elementary work proposed for the schools into shorter exercises, in order to adapt it better to the ordinary recitation period, which is about forty-five minutes long. It is believed that such a change would greatly facilitate the adoption of laboratory work in public schools. Everything considered, it seems doubtful whether the text-book alternative in Elementary Physics should remain much longer in force.

The number of candidates offering Advanced Physics has been small ever since this became a requirement of laboratory work. Very few schools were at first in condition to give their pupils this course, but the idea of a liberal provision for the teaching of Physics is gradually becoming familiar, and the most progressive teachers are showing very plainly that they will not always be satisfied to confine themselves to the comparatively crude work of the lower course. The number of candidates offering Advanced Physics will no doubt increase from this time on, especially if an arrangement shall be made by which some more convenient subject than the present Mathematical Advanced subjects may be offered with Advanced Physics as a substitute for Elementary Greek.

Edwin H. Hall.



In the December (1894) number of the Graduates' Magazine reference was made to the uncertainty of the Peabody Museum Honduras Expedition for 1894–95. Through the interest of friends of the Museum and with the coöperation of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the amount of money required was finally secured, and the expedition, although belated, was sent to Copan under the charge of Mr. George Byron Gordon. Owing to the unsettled condition of the country, many and serious difficulties interfered with the prosecution of the work ; but thanks to Mr. Gordon's energy, the results he secured proved interesting and important, and considerable material was brought home. A report on the explorations in Honduras from the time of obtaining the government edict in 1891 is now in preparation for publication by the Museum. — The large and important Hemenway collection has been deposited in the Museum by the executors of the Mary Hemenway estate, and the portion illustrating the life and customs of the Tusayan Indians is now on exhibition in the large upper hall. In accordance with the plans of the executors, this material was arranged by Dr. J. W. Fewkes, '75, who has made a most interesting and instructive exhibit of a collection which is without a rival. As much of the material was brought together under Dr. Fewkes's personal direction, its arrangement by him has added to its importance. The Salado valley and Zuñi material, collected during the early years of the expedition under Mr. Cushing's

personal direction, has also been received, but is not as yet placed on exhibition. — Dr. George J. Engelmann, of Boston, has recently given to the Museum the large collection made by himself about twenty years ago, chiefly illustrative of the archaeology of Missouri. — The Museum has

received from the American Antiquarian Society many important archaeological and ethnological specimens, among which may be mentioned the bow of a Massachusetts Indian. This bow was taken from an Indian in Sudbury in 1665, and is, so far as can be ascertained, the only authentic Massachusetts Indian bow now extant. - It may be of interest to state that the resources of the Peabody Museum have been drawn upon to furnish an authentic figure of an Indian for the new design for the Massachusetts State coat-of-arms. The proportions of the figure of a Massachusetts Indian were obtained from a perfect skeleton dug up during the exploration of an Indian burial-place at Winthrop. This is a skeleton of a full-grown man. An arrow-head still sticking in a lumbar vertebra indicates, in connection with the articles buried with him, that he was a warrior and was shot through the abdomen. The figure is based on this skeleton, and is found to agree exactly with the rules given by Topinard for the proportions of the human body. The method of wearing the hair was taken from historical records and from photographs of Indians closely allied to the Massachusetts tribe. The shirt, leggings, and moccasins were from specimens in the Museum, and agree with early descriptions of the dress of the Indians. The belt was copied from King Philip's belt, which is now in the Museum. The beads were copied from those found with the skeleton at Winthrop ; they are of shell and copper. The bow was drawn from the Massachusetts Indian bow mentioned above. The arrow was taken from arrows with stone points in the Museum, and its length is that required for a bow of the size given. The position of the quiver is a disputed point, and I have had it omitted altogether in one drawing; and in another have represented it under the left arm instead of over the left shoulder as on the present design. My reason for this is that we have several quivers in the Museum none of which can be worn so as to project over the shoulder ; neither can I find any good authority for wearing the quiver in that position. In the figure of the present coat-of-arms, the Indian holds his bow in the right hand ; in our figure it is placed in his left hand. There is in my opinion no reason for placing the bow in the right hand of a dignified warrior such as should be here represented ; and I can but regard it as an error of the artist, which was afterward incorporated in the official description of the seal of the Commonwealth. It is a significant fact that the earliest Massachusetts seal, although a very rude design, has the Indian represented as holding the bow in the left hand. The figure described above was drawn by Mr. Willoughby under my direction, and it has been submitted to the Secretary of State, at whose request it was prepared. No claim is made for it as an artistic production, but simply as a model for proportions, dress, and paraphernalia, which should be strictly adhered to if it is redrawn by a figure artist and used as the design for the coat-of-arms of the State.

F. W. Putnam.



[ocr errors]

Two announcements in regard to the Divinity School now appear for the first time in the Catalogue. Some years ago it was voted that no student should be admitted to be a candidate for the degree of D. B. who had not received the degree of A. B., unless he could satisfy the Faculty that his education had been equal to that of a graduate from any one of the best New England colleges. In point of fact, since that vote was passed no student has received the degree of D. B. who had not previously received that of A. B. — It is announced this year that the A. B., which is accepted as qualifying a student to become a candidate for the D. B., must represent a course of study approved by the Faculty. This puts it in the power of the Faculty to reject, for instance, those applicants whose D. B. does not cover Latin and Greek. This will unquestionably be done, should the case arise ; and in other respects, the Faculty has it now in its power to make the requirements as strict as it may judge expedient. The other announcement made this year for the first time is to the effect that those students of the Divinity School who are graduates of Harvard College, and who have used, for their A. B., courses originally offered for Divinity students, may substitute for these an equal number of College courses, upon the approval of the Faculty. This provision was made necessary by the obvious fact that so far as students had used Divinity School courses while in college, their range of election in the Divinity School was lessened. Indeed, it is at least conceivably possible that a student might take all the studies of the School before formally entering it. This is only an exaggerated illustration of what has probably occurred to a small extent almost every year. To students thus situated, the provision referred to brings a much needed relief; at the same time it solves a problem that might easily have become a difficult one.

C. C. Everett, t '59.

« AnteriorContinuar »