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Government Documents - Smithsonian Institution: Bureau of American Ethnology

This guide provides an overview of the publications of the Smithsonian Institution and its subsidiary agencies, along with other non-governmental organizations whose publications were formerly issued as government publications.

The Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) was established in 1879 to manage archival materials related to Indians of North American transferred from the Department of the Interior. BAE primarily undertook anthropological studies of Indians of North and South American, but there are also studies of other indigenous peoples. In 1965, BAE 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.


Government Documents holds an extensive collection of BAE publications in its closed shelves, including the following series:

Annual reports (SI 2.1:) Annual reports not only detail the activities of the BAE; they also contain scientific reports.

Bulletins (SI 2.3:) Primarily reports on Indians of North and South America and Alaska

Our holdings of BAE publications are fully cataloged and searchable in OneSearch.

Most pre-1900 BAE documents, including the Annual reports, are available in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set (UHM login required).

Additional publications covering 1910-1932 are available in the Executive Branch Documents microfiche set. Please contact a government documents librarian if you have questions about our holdings.

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