Social and Material Connections: Otis T. Mason’s European Grand Tour and Collections Exchanges

Catherine A. Nichols, Nancy J Parezo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


As a method of collections building within the practice of natural history, the exchange of duplicate specimens was carried out by anthropology curators and collectors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This paper examines exchanges resulting from a three-month tour of European museums by Smithsonian Institution Curator of Ethnology Otis T. Mason in 1889. Framed by the idea of a network of social and institutional ties, we evaluate the role of specimen exchange in the development of anthropology and museums on an international scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-83
Number of pages26
JournalHistory and Anthropology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017



  • Exchange
  • Museum
  • Networks
  • Smithsonian Institution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology

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