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OF THE

BOSTON SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY

AS EXHIBITED BY THE

ANNUAL REPORTS

OF THE

CUSTODIAN, TREASURER, LIBRARIAN AND CURATORS.

MAY, 1865.

BOSTON:
PRINTED FOR THE SOCIETY.

PRINTED BY A. A. KINGMAX,

11, Cornhill, Bostou.

General

REPORT OF THE CUSTODIAN

OF THE

BOSTON SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY,

EMBODYING THE REPORTS OF THE LIBRARIAN AND CURATORS

OF THE SEVERAL DEPARTMENTS.

FOR 1864-5.

The official year now brought to its close, has been an extremely interesting one in the history of our Society; and a review of what has transpired and is now occupying the attention of the community in connection with this Institution will doubtless show, in after years, that it has been the transitional epoch of its history, the link which unites the old and the new.

Early in the year, on the second of June, 1864, the Society met in the spacious Hall above, to attend the exercises of the dedication of our new Museum, and to listen to an address by Prof. W. B. Rogers, in which the steps were pointed out by which the Society had progressed from the first small gathering of a few ardent lovers of Nature, up through the various phases of its career, and our warm thanks were expressed to the many patrons through whose generosity the Society was then able to display its treasures of Nature in an edifice far surpassing in magnificence any devoted to kindred objects of which this country can boast.*

In but a few months afterwards the efforts of the Society, in endeavoring to raise a working fund, were crowned with complete success. In August last, the subscription books were closed, which brought the Society into possession of $20,000, received from its many patrons † in addition * For a list of subscribers to the “ Building Fund," see Appendix A. For a list of subscribers to the “ Working Fund," see Appendix A.

to the equal sum given by our late most generous benefactor, Dr. William J. Walker; by which Fund the care of the collections of the Society was at once securely established for all time. Other direct results flowed from the donation of Dr. Walker; from one-half of the income of this fund, representing his gift, prize funds are accumulating in accordance with the provisions of his donation, and a committee has been appointed by the Council to carry these provisions into effect; their report will be presented to you at this meeting.* Quite recently we have been called to mourn the death of our distinguished patron, who in his Will has provided largely for this Society, in common with other Institutions of learning, though the exact terms of his bequest have not yet been made public by the executors.

These are the more important outside influences which have been brought to bear upon the history of the Society during the past year; let us now turn to observe its internal workings.

The year has been spent by the officers of the Societyt in bringing order, symmetry and harmony into the arrangements of the collections, etc., after the partial confusion into which they were necessarily thrown during the removal of our stores to our new building. The time of the dedication found much accomplished, and this closing year witnesses an orderly state of things throughout the establishment. In attempting to give a clear account of all the operations of the Society in all its branches for the past year, I will first present the statement of the Librarian, following it by whatever else has transpired in other departments beside that of the Museum itself, and close with the reports of the Curators in charge of the different collections.

The Librarian reports that during the past year a great deal of labor has been expended upon the Library and publications; and that the additions have been very considerable, larger, he believes, than have been received in any previous year from the ordinary sources, although only $71.89 have been spent in the direct purchase of books.

* See Appendix B.
† For a list of these see Appendix C. -

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