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works at the library of the University of Leyden writes me of his intention to make it a model in printing a new catalogue of that library.
The written catalogue of the Prince Library, with an analytical synopsis of the valuable manuscripts which it contains, and which forms a separate section of the work, was completed during the latter part of the year. Great care has been bestowed upon the correcting of the press, and with the manifold other duties in this direction of the catalogue department it has not been possible to complete the work earlier. It is hoped that its accuracy and its scope will be found all that is desirable.
The new catalogue, by divisions, of the Lower Hall, is not yet completed. The List for the books it contains in biography and travel was issued late last year. Upon the remaining one, which covers poetry, the drama, and series of books issued collectively, like Bohn's "Libraries," a good deal of labor has already been bestowed, as a more minute system of cross-references was thought desirable. It is hoped the printing of it will be completed at an early day. A new edition of that for English prose fiction, including juvenile fiction and translations, has been issued; and it will be necessary during the coming year to reprint those for history and the sciences. The early issues of all these were simply Finding Lists for certain alcoves; and as the classifications had not been minutely observed, they did not fully serve the purposes of Class Lists. The issues of the past year and future one will have strictly the character of Class Lists. A variety of type has been introduced for the advantages it offers in ease of reference.
The printed Bulletins have been continued with satisfactory results, commensurate with the labor bestowed upon them; and in relation to them, Mr. Edwards says, that "Boston has set a good example to libraries of every kind." I am not aware that any other library in the world gives so frequent and soliberal an account in print of what is made currently accessible to
readers. Our example has been followed during the year by the Boston Athenæum and the Essex Institute, and they are contemplating a similar publication at Worcester and at Cincinnati.
It is the custom with most libraries of any magnitude to issue these records of accessions but once a year; the most important of the kind in this country is that of the excellent yearly volume of the Library of Congress. We have been favored also with the successive sheets of the complete subject-matter catalogue of the same Library, which is the most important printed contribution to bibliographical knowledge now in progress in this country.
Among the chief libraries of Europe, it is often the habit to print simply a yearly catalogue of accessions by gift. They have at Bremen a system of making yearly announcements of additions which has some points of commendation as fitted to the joint efforts of a group of libraries. That city possesses twenty or more libraries, the chief among them being the Stadtbibliothek, presided over by J. G. Kohl, the well-known traveller and writer upon the early geographical knowledge of our own American coast. These libraries confine themselves in some degree to their own specialties, thus saving the duplicating of important works among them. Their annual catalogue is a joint one, containing first, a separate list for each library, and then a complete collection of the titles in onc alphabet, with references against each to the particular library or libraries containing the work.
We have been making greater efforts than ever before in ascertaining the writers of anonymous and pseudonymous works. The Assistant Superintendent has sent upwards of 300 circulars during the year in quest of this information, and answers have been received from over 200, the responses covering in many cases several titles, and often leading to the identification of others. It is thought our new Class List of fiction for the
Lower Hall contains more information of this kind than can be elsewhere found.
The Daily Manuscript Bulletins have been kept up. Everything is inserted except duplicates in that for the Lower Hall; but in that for the Bates Hall, only such American books as have been published within a year, and foreign books of not over three years standing. That for the Bates Hall shows 1,616 entries; and for the Lower Hall, 1,002.
The Peabody Institute at Peabody has been added to the list of libraries, which have thought it desirable to follow our lead in the introduction of an Indicator. This instrument has been verified three times during the year, and with satisfactory results.
The amount of the Townsend Fund, which had been loaned on a mortgage, has been reinvested in six per cent. currency bonds of the city.
The statement of our expenditures, given in Appendix XVIII, covers our library year, and not that of the city's financial year; a correspondence, however, which will be possible hereafter, under the provisions of the new Ordinance.
The amount for binding includes the cost of some fixtures and tools incident to the new arrangement of our bindery, and the wages of our workmen in that department, who do not a little other work than what properly belongs to the cost of the books. Our increased periodical list shows an additional amount expended in that department over last year. Our total under these three heads is nearly $20,000, which may be considered the expenditure for the increase of the collection. This is nearly 37 per cent. of the total amount for the year; and by a computation I find the total outlay under these three heads, since the Library began, and not including the second $50,000 given by Mr. Bates, bears just that same ratio to the aggregate cost
of increasing and maintaining the Library for the same period. The pay-roll for the year has been nearly 41 per cent. of the whole expenditure, and that corresponds precisely with the average for sixteen years. The average for the same period for catalogue and miscellaneous printing is 8 per cent. and for this year it is about 7 per cent.
Our salary total is large, but the Library, I think, has never had all the force it could use to advantage. The work to be performed is extensive, and the variety of detail laborious. We do a great deal more under our system, both in ramification and precision of detail, than is usually done in libraries. The gain is a precise understanding of our position and work, with experience rendered serviceable and suggestive; yet I do not know that the proportion that the sum of salaries bears to the whole expenditure is excessive. The aggregate sum spent by municipalities in France in 1854 on free libraries was 408,000 francs, and of this 223,000 francs, or over 54 per cent. was on the item of salaries. At the New York Mercantile Library, where they maintain as little administrative detail as possible, the salaries last year were nearly 33 per cent. of their aggregate expenditures; at the Philadelphia Mercantile Library it was 24 per cent., while almost precisely the same amount was spent for books. Our own salary bill has been considerably increased within the last two years by our efforts to work off much of the arrcarages in labor which had accumulated on account of the insufficiency of the force to master them in the past.
The liberality of the City Council has put our Library on its present strong basis, and we have the power of maintaining it in a position for efficient growth secondary only to such institutions as have national resources behind them. Congress has wisely determined that the library of the nation shall grow in a degree which we may not be able to exceed. The Library of the British Museum has contributions from Parliament worthy of the first library, if not the largest in the world. With few
exceptions it has spent some £10,000 annually for the last twenty-five years on books alone. Its usual allowance for binding is £7,500, which is sometimes exceeded. In addition to this, the departments of manuscripts, maps and prints are proportionately maintained.
The noble institution at Melbourne, which may yet be in some respects an exemplar to the world in the true policy of free libraries, has spent from £2,000 to £5,000 yearly for books.
VII. FINE ARTS.
This department has received, as already mentioned, a valuable collection of engravings, as a gift from our fellow-citizen, Mr. Thomas G. Appleton, some 600 of which are framed, and will necessarily be exposed as wall-pictures hereafter. A better examination of the more than 9,000 other prints constituting the collection than has yet been given will enable us to decide what shall be hereafter their destination, whether as volumes on our library shelves, or otherwise in connection with the objects of this department.
We have received from Mr. Jonathan French two plaster busts, one of the late Dr. Kane, and the other of Washington Irving, which have been placed on brackets in the Lower Hall delivery room.
PUBLIC LIBRARY, Nov. 1, 1869.