River Basin Surveys Instituted in BAE

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The River Basin Surveys are instituted as a unit of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Their purpose is to carry into effect a memorandum of understanding between the National Park Service and the Smithsonian (signed on August 7, 1945 by the NPS, on September 8 by the SI, and approved by the Secretary of the Interior on October 9). The surveys will provide for the salvage of archeological and paleontological materials that would be lost as a result of projects for flood control and irrigation, hydroelectric installations, and navigational improvements. Actual field work begins in July 1946, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Corps of Engineers, and various state and local institutions. Results will appear in various scientific journals, Bulletin 154 of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and River Basin Surveys' Papers.


Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1947. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1948, p. 64.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1953. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1954, p. 64-65.
  • Guide to Smithsonian Archives. Archives and Special Collections of the Smithsonian Institution Number 4. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1983, p. 88, 94.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu


Fall, 1945


  • Surveys
  • Archaeology
  • Scientific expeditions
  • New Programs
  • Interagency Relations
  • Museums
  • Museum publications

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