Ohio History Journal

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Curator of Archaeology, Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass.

It occurs to me that so far as it could be accomplished with-

out infringing upon the rights of individuals, museum curators

should combine against dealers in archeological specimens.

There seem to be two classes of these men and the one should not

be confounded with the other. Of recent years the dealers of

archaeologic specimens have increased to an alarming extent. If

these men confined their wares to surface-found objects or to

things procured from Tom, Dick and Harry, scientists could

have no just grounds for complaint.

Sctattered throughout the United States there are at least

six thousand archeological collectors most of whom make no

pretension to scientific collecting. A card index of these names,

which I have compiled during the past five or six years also in-

cludes some seven or eight hundred persons who may be con-

sidered as students of science. From time to time many of these

men become tired of collecting and sell their exhibits to the muse-

ums, to more pretentious collectors, or to the dealers. Now that

the museums have more objects thus obtained than they need,

it is almost impossible for one to dispose of an ordinary collec-

tion. As an illustration, ten years ago a gentleman residing in

Indiana had a cabinet made up of specimens gathered by himself

from all parts of the United States. Some were recorded, others

were not. He disposed of his exhibit to one of the museums.

Another collector residing in the same town has approached all

of the museum curators, so he informed me, but none of them

cared to buy his cabinet and therefore he proposed to sell it to

the dealers. These two collections are but typical of the condi-

tions that obtain to-day. Neither of the exhibits was of great

value to archaeologic science although both of them deserved a

place in some fire-proof building.