John Wesley Powell
Library of Anthropology
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Summer Fieldwork 2005
in completion of the degree
Master of Information Science
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
The Anthropology Library
Tucked away on the 6th floor of the
National Museum of Natural History,
the John Wesley Powell Library of
Anthropology is one of twenty
Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
Mission: To support the research, publication, exhibitions, and public programming of the
department and other museums and offices within the Smithsonian.
The Anthropology Library Collection
• Named after John Wesley Powell, the Bureau of the
American Indian (BAE) founder and first director, who is also
famous for his early exploration of the Colorado River region.
• The collection largely reflects the merger between the BAE
and the divisional collections of the Anthropology Department
• Approximately 80,000 print volumes, including over 400
serial titles, numerous microforms, smaller collections of CD-
ROMs, audio cassettes, and slides as well as electronic links to
other information sources.
Branch Librarian • The library includes research material from the four sub-
disciplines that traditionally define American anthropology—
physical anthropology, archaeology, cultural anthropology and
linguistics— as well as some related disciplines, such as
folklore, biomedicine, forensic science and a number of area
• Resolved “In-Transit” Items
We had a list of items marked “in-transit” in the computer
system, some since 1995. By manipulating our Horizon
Integrated Library System (SirsiDynix), shelf checking, and
collaborating with other libraries, Carmen and I found the
majority of these items.
• Answered Reference Questions
Carmen Eyzaguirre Used available resources to ascertain necessary information for
Library Technician patrons. Most involved searching anthropology-specific,
historical newspaper, or original Smithsonian created
• Collaborated on Salvage Priorities List
Jim and I considered the uniqueness, inherent worth, and
usefulness of items in the collection to compile a prioritized
list of items to save/salvage in case of emergency/damage.
• Reviewed Website Materials
Reviewed general design and organization of website for
submission to webmaster. Created original documents for
website as well as proofread and re-organized existing ones
Jim Haug (introductions, pathfinders, etc.).
Project: Guide to Finding Resources
Project: Sale &Barter Books List
Most of the Smithsonian
Institution Libraries have not
had any acquisitions budget
in over 3 years.
To get the resources we need,
we pulled the duplicate and
unnecessary items in the
collection to barter or sell.
We needed a list of
these materials in
order to inform,
market and create
I downloaded a 30 day trial of EndNote
Software. Connecting to the Library of
Congress Online catalog, I directly imported
bibliographic information for each item and
manipulated bibliographic output to create an
easy to read list of books for barter and sale.
Project: Salvage Priorities List
Project: “Kennewick Man” Tom
The Background (right) shows the
The “Kennewick Man” or skull casting of
“Ancient One” is a 9,000 year Kennewick Man
old skeleton found in Kennewick, used to recreate
Washington in 1996.
The skeleton was seized by
the Army Corps of Engineers, Doug Owsley (below) – department
who announced they would head of Physical Anthropology -
immediately repatriate to was a key scientist on the case.
Eight Scientists sued the
American government and
associated tribes, winning the
right to study the bones before
repatriation in 2002.
Project: “Kennewick Man” Resources
Lauren Sieg (right)- Repatriation Specialist
at the National Park Service - volunteered to
find and compile materials surrounding the
“Kennewick Man” case for patrons.
The physical materials and bibliographic
information required organization.
Using EndNote Software and binders, I organized the
materials and monographs chronologically by
natural groupings: Law & Policy, Popular Media and
Scholarly Resources. The bibliography would be
published on the website; the organized materials
available in the Anthropology Library for patrons.
Politics in the City
A Bureaucratic Event!
(left) Lines. More lines. And badge
administrators who take generous lunches
and go home at 4:30 (never, ever 4:31).
(right, below) Negative media outbreak inspired an
emergency meeting of the Anthropology Department
with the Director of the Natural History Museum
Senate hearing on controversial, proposed amendment to the
Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
A Beautiful Summer in Washington DC