Museum’s Growth Told in Report

by Laurel | December 27th, 2013

19 December 1934

Curator Burlingham Schurr Tells of Many Gifts and Increased Use Made of It During the Past Year

Subspecies of Peregrine Falcon or as it once was commonly called, Duck Hawk-duck hawk

Subspecies of Peregrine Falcon or as it once was commonly called, Duck Hawk.

Holyoke, Dec. 17 — Burlingham Schurr, curator of the museum, noted the rapid growth of the Institution in his annual report to the library directors at the annual meeting last night. His report follows: —

“Your museum of natural history and art had another remarkable year of growth, both in the large number of gifts that have been received as well as in the splendid increase in attendance.  In order to properly exhibit some of the gifts received it was found necessary to close the museum for a period of three months, beginning July 1 to rearrange the museum displays and to permit the proper installation of the new acquisitions. During the period it was closed the museum received complete renovation which it very much needed. A total of 118 individuals have made gifts during the year, and some very interesting and valuable possessions have been acquired. The gift from Addison L. Green, chairman of the board of trustees of the American School of Prehistoric Research, of 574 specimens of implements and articles of prehistoric man places our Holyoke museum on a higher plane as an educational institution.“The Frank H. Metcalf collection of birds eggs, recently presented by him, places in our possession many valuable specimens of eggs of extinct and near-extinct North American birds. Mr. Metcalf presented also a large habitat, The Duck Hawk at Home, showing two of the finest specimens in adult and immature plumage of this bird, that could be collected. Another large habitat, illustrating the winter habits of native wild life is the gift of Mrs. Newton H. Russell in memory of Newton H. Russell.

“Through the interest of Superintendent William R. Peck and the school board, the museum has acquired the large collection of marine specimens comprising mostly shells and corals from the Hamilton Street School. Individual habitat case representing native bird life in their natural haunts have been presented by Joseph Isenburg, Robert H. Russell, Aaron C. Bagg, and Merrill L. Welcker. Other gifts of much importance to the museum were received from Henry L. Russell, Dudley S. Silsby, Fayette F. Read, Fairfield Whiting, Lincoln B. Smith, Big. Gen. Edmund J. Slate. Capt. Frank S. Waring, Sept Nell Cillies, Dr. H. O. Hastings, the Growers’ Outlet, Nathan P. Avery, and William Skinner 2d.

“This museum opened to the public in February 1927, and from the very beginning it has continuously added to its wealth. With the newly acquired exhibits as mentioned the total valuation of all possessions is today close to $100,000. The total attendance from January 2 to last Saturday was 50,738, and considering the fact that the museum was closed for a period of three months for the requirements as stated this is a splendid record. A total of 50 Boy and Girl Scouts have been passed  in merit badge work, 257 individuals have called upon the museum for particular information on various matters bearing on Nature subjects, 610 boys and girls were entered in the Nathan P. Avery wild flower contest and other contests. The director has given 26 lectures and talks in schools and institutions, and a total of over 1100 boys and girls from public and parochial schools are enrolled in the newly organized Newton H. Russell Conservation club that has for its purpose instilling in the hearts of the young a sense of appreciation for the things in the wild wood.

“The museum of natural history and art of the Holyoke Public Library is an educational institution functioning to serve the public in its various fields of endeavor, and it extends a cordial invitation to all citizens of Holyoke and the surrounding communities to continue their support and to help in its further growth and expansion.”

From The Springfield Republican, image from Wiki Commons




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