From the Editor – Spring 1997

By: Helen Schenck

Originally Published in 1997

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Once hundred years ago, the University of Pennsylvania Museum put out its first periodical, entitled The Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science and Art (that being the original name of the Museum). Over the next 60 years the Museum suc­cessively launched and retired various serial publications (see below). As Expedition nears the end of its fourth decade of publication, it is enlightening to review the venerable publishing tradition represented by a century’s worth of Museum peri­odicals.

One reads through the successive introductions of these new journals with something of a feeling of deja vu. Our twin goals—of publishing articles that excite the interest and enthusiasm of the public while simultaneously meeting the schol­arly needs of the academic community—are at least as venerable as the magazines. For example, we read in 1910, in the first number of The Museum Journal, of “A New Departure,” that promises to “convey to the members an accurate account of what the Museum is doing . . . presented without too many technical particulars. Accuracy of outline must take the place of abundance of detail.”

The previous editor of Expedition, Lee Home, has done a superb job of satisfy­ing the sometimes disparate needs of our readers. I intend to build squarely on her achievements by continuing to cover topics archaeological and ethnographic, scholarly and popular, Museum-connected and from outside the University. Because of my 20-year background as a historical archaeologist working in cultural resource management, I hope to broaden the range of subjects treated to include topics in historical and industrial archaeology, which have not been extensively covered in Expedition to date. I would like also to highlight work carried out by avocaiionalists and archaeological consulting firms, where appropriate. Issues that emphasize a specific theme will continue to be published occasionally, particularly when they relate directly to Museum research or exhibits.

A time of transition like this is a good moment to remind you that without direction from you, our readers, we are flying blind into our next hundred years! Let us know what you like and don’t like about Expedition. Please call us at (215) 898-0023, e-mail us at, or write us at the address below. We want and need to know what you think.

Helen Schenck Editor
Serial Publications of the University of Pennsylvania Museum
The Bulletin of the Free Museum of Science and Art (1897-1902)
The Transactions of the Department of Anthropology, Free Museum of Science and Art (1904-1907)
The Museum Journal (1910-1935)
Discovery (1930-1932)
The University Museum Bulletin (1930-1958)
Expedition (1958- )
This list does not include the numerous publications put out by specific departments and sections of the Museum.

The University Museum deeply regrets the death, on January 1, 1997, of Dr. James Bennett Pritchard, world-renowned Biblical archaeologist. The Museum’s first Curator of Biblical Archaeology (1962-1978), Dr. Pritchard was associated with the Museum from 1950 until his retirement in 1978. He served as Director of the Museum in 1976-77, and was at the time of his death Curator Emeritus, Near East Section. A tribute and memorial to Dr. Pritchard will be published in an upcoming Expeditions of devoted Canaan and ancient Israel.

Cite This Article

Schenck, Helen. "From the Editor – Spring 1997." Expedition Magazine 39, no. 1 (March, 1997): -. Accessed April 21, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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