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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
BUREAU OF EDUCATION, Washington, D. C., June 30, 1885.
SIR-I have the honor to submit my fifteenth Annual Report, for the year ending June 30, 1885.
In all the work of this Office it, has been my endeavor to regard with the utmost care the spirit and letter of the law providing for its operations.1
The appropriations for the Office have never been sufficient to enable it to do all the work legitimately required of it within the law.
For the year covered by this Report the items of the appropriation were as follows:
The Office may very properly be described as an agency for collecting and disseminating information on the subject of education.
The collected information forms already a professional library of great value. This library, its collection, preservation, and cataloguing, have been objects of my constant care during my sixteen years in this Office. Not a hundred volumes belonged to the library when I assumed direction. Now there are 17,500 volumes and 45,000 pamphlets. There was no official pedagogical library for a model by which to shape my efforts. But the plan which I adopted for the general work of the Office was applied to the collection of this library. Keeping in mind sound pedagogical principles
First, I sought to answer as far as possible the reasonable demands made for information.
Second, I did not seek to communicate my own opinions, but facts and the opinions of others, and to treat all subjects by historical and comparative methods.
1 According to the Revised Statutes of the United States, the purpose and duties of this Office shall be "to collect statistics and facts showing the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories, and to diffuse such information respecting the organization and management of schools and school systems, and methods of teaching, as shall aid the people of the United States in the establishment and maintenance of efficient school systems, and otherwise promote the cause of education throughout the country."
Again, it provides that "the Commissioner of Education shall present annually to Congress a report embodying the results of his investigations and labors, together with a statement of such facts and recommendations as will, in his judgment, subserve the purpose for which the Office is established."