LIBRARIES. A library (from Lat. liber, book), in the modern sense, is a collection of printed or written literature. As such, it implies an advanced and elaborate civilization. If the term be extended to any considerable collection of written documents, it must be nearly as old as civilization itself. The earliest use to which the invention of inscribed or written signs was put was probably to record important religious and political transactions. These records would naturally be preserved in sacred places, and accordingly the earliest libraries of the world were probably temples, and the earliest librarians priests. And indeed before the extension of the arts of writing and reading the priests were the only persons who could perform such work as, e.g. the compilation of the Annales Maximi, which was the duty of the pontifices in ancient Rome. The beginnings of literature proper in the shape of ballads and songs may have continued to be conveyed orally only from one generation to another, long after the record of important religious or civil events was regularly committed to writing. The earliest collections of which we know anything, therefore, were collections of archives. Of this character appear to have been such famous collections as that of the Medians at Ecbatana, the Persians at Susa or the hieroglyphic archives of Knossos discovered by A. J. Evans (Scripta Minoa, 1909) of a date synchronizing with the XIIth Egyptian dynasty. It is not until the development of arts and sciences, and the growth of a considerable written literature, and even of a distinct literary class, that we find collections of books which can be called libraries in our modern sense. It is of libraries in the modern sense, and not, except incidentally, of archives that we are to speak.
The researches which have followed the discoveries of P. E. Botta and Sir H. Layard have thrown unexpected light not only upon the history but upon the arts, the sciences and the literatures of the ancient civilizations of Babylonia and Assyria. In all these wondrous revelations no Assyria. facts are more interesting than those which show the existence of extensive libraries so many ages ago, and none are more eloquent of the elaborateness of these forgotten civilizations. In the course of his excavations at Nineveh in 1850, Layard came upon some chambers in the south-west palace, the floor of which, as well as the adjoining rooms, was covered to the depth of a foot with tablets of clay, covered with cuneiform characters, in many cases so small as to require a magnifying glass. These varied in size from 1 to 12 in. square. A great number of them were broken, as Layard supposed by the falling in of the roof, but as George Smith thought by having fallen from the upper storey, upon which he believed the collection to have been placed. These tablets formed the library of the great monarch Assur-bani-pal—the Sardanapalus of the Greeks—the greatest patron of literature amongst the Assyrians. It is estimated that this library consisted of some ten thousand distinct works and documents, some of the works extending over several tablets. The tablets appear to have been methodically arranged and catalogued, and the library seems to have been thrown open for the general use of the king’s subjects. A great portion of this library has already been brought to England and deposited in the British museum, but it is calculated that there still remain some 20,000 fragments to be gathered up. For further details as to Assyrian libraries, and the still earlier Babylonian libraries at Tello, the ancient Lagash, and at Niffer, the ancient Nippur, from which the Assyrians drew their science and literature, see Babylonia and Nippur.
Of the libraries of ancient Egypt our knowledge is scattered and imperfect, but at a time extending to more than 6000 years ago we find numerous scribes of many classes who recorded official events in the life of their royal masters or details of their domestic affairs and business transactions. Ancient Egyptian Libraries. Besides this official literature we possess examples of many commentaries on the sacerdotal books, as well as historical treatises, works on moral philosophy and proverbial wisdom, science, collections of medical receipts as well as a great variety of popular novels and humoristic pieces. At an early date Heliopolis was a literary centre of great importance with culture akin to the Babylonian. Attached to every temple were professional scribes whose function was partly religious and partly scientific. The sacred books of Thoth constituted as it were a complete encyclopaedia of religion and science, and on these books was gradually accumulated an immense mass of exposition and commentary. We possess a record relating to “the land of the collected works [library] of Khufu,” a monarch of the IVth dynasty, and a similar inscription relating to the library of Khafra, the builder of the second pyramid. At Edfu the library was a small chamber in the temple, on the wall of which is a list of books, among them a manual of Egyptian geography (Brugsch, History of Egypt, 1881, i. 240). The exact position of Akhenaten’s library (or archives) of clay tablets is known and the name of the room has been read on the books of which it has been built. A library of charred books has been found at Mendes (Egypt Expl. Fund, Two Hieroglyphic Papyri), and we have references to temple libraries in the Silsileh “Nile” stelae and perhaps in the great Harris papyri. The most famous of the Egyptian libraries is that of King Osymandyas, described by Diodorus Siculus, who relates that it bore an inscription which he renders by the Greek words ΨΥΧΗΣ ΙΑΤΡΕΙΟΝ “the Dispensary of the Soul.” Osymandyas has been identified with the great king Rameses II. (1300–1236 B.C.) and the seat of the library is supposed to have been the Ramessaeum at Western Thebes. Amen-em-hant was the name of one of the directors of the Theban libraries. Papyri from the palace, of a later date, have been discovered by Professor W. F. Flinders Petrie. At Thebes the scribes of the “Foreign Office” are depicted at work in a room which was perhaps rather an office than a library. The famous Tel-el-Amarna tablets (1383–1365 B.C.) were stored in “the place of the records of the King.” There were record offices attached to the granary and treasury departments and we know of a school or college for the reproduction of books, which were kept in boxes and in jars. According to Eustathius there was a great collection at Memphis. A heavy blow was dealt to the old Egyptian literature by the Persian invasion, and many books were carried away by the conquerors. The Egyptians were only delivered from the yoke of Persia to succumb to that of Greece and Rome and henceforward their civilization was dominated by foreign influences. Of the Greek libraries under the Ptolemies we shall speak a little further on.
Of the libraries of ancient Greece we have very little knowledge, and such knowledge as we possess comes to us for the most part from late compilers. Amongst those who are known to have collected books are Pisistratus, Polycrates of Samos, Euclid the Athenian, Nicocrates of Cyprus, Greece.Euripides and Aristotle (Athenaeus i. 4). At Cnidus there is said to have been a special collection of works upon medicine. Pisistratus is reported to have been the first of the Greeks who collected books on a large scale. Aulus Gellius, indeed, tells us, in language perhaps “not well suited to the 6th century B.C.,” that he was the first to establish a public library. The authority of Aulus Gellius is hardly sufficient to secure credit for the story that this library was carried away into Persia by Xerxes and subsequently restored to the Athenians by Seleucus Nicator. Plato is known to have been a collector; and Xenophon tells us of the library of Euthydemus. The library of Aristotle was bequeathed by him to his disciple Theophrastus, and by Theophrastus to Neleus, who carried it to Scepsis, where it is said to have been concealed underground to avoid the literary cupidity of the kings of Pergamum. Its subsequent fate has given rise to much controversy, but, according to Strabo (xiii. pp. 608, 609), it was sold to Apellicon of Teos, who carried it to Athens, where after Apellicon’s death it fell a prey to the conqueror Sulla, and was transported by him to Rome. The story told by Athenaeus (i. 4) is that the library of Neleus was purchased by Ptolemy Philadelphus. The names of a few other libraries in Greece are barely known to us from inscriptions; of their character and contents we know nothing. If, indeed, we are to trust Strabo entirely, we must believe that Aristotle was the first person who collected a library, and that he communicated the taste for collecting to the sovereigns of Egypt. It is at all events certain that the libraries of Alexandria were the most important as theyAlexandria. were the most celebrated of the ancient world. Under the enlightened rule of the Ptolemies a society of scholars and men of science was attracted to their capital. It seems pretty certain that Ptolemy Soter had already begun to collect books, but it was in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus that the libraries were properly organized and established in separate buildings. Ptolemy Philadelphus sent into every part of Greece and Asia to secure the most valuable works, and no exertions or expense were spared in enriching the collections. Ptolemy Euergetes, his successor, is said to have caused all books brought into Egypt by foreigners to be seized for the benefit of the library, while the owners had to be content with receiving copies of them in exchange. Nor did the Alexandrian scholars exhibit the usual Hellenic exclusiveness, and many of the treasures of Egyptian and even of Hebrew literature were by their means translated into Greek. There were two libraries at Alexandria; the larger, in the Brucheum quarter, was in connexion with the Museum, a sort of academy, while the smaller was placed in the Serapeum. The number of volumes in these libraries was very large, although it is difficult to attain any certainty as to the real numbers amongst the widely varying accounts. According to a scholium of Tzetzes, who appears to draw his information from the authority of Callimachus and Eratosthenes, who had been librarians at Alexandria, there were 42,800 vols. or rolls in the Serapeum and 490,000 in the Brucheum. This enumeration seems to refer to the librarianship of Callimachus himself under Ptolemy Euergetes. In any case the figures agree tolerably well with those given by Aulus Gellius (700,000) and Seneca (400,000). It should be observed that, as the ancient roll or volume usually contained a much smaller quantity of matter than a modern book—so that, e.g. the history of Herodotus might form nine “books” or volumes, and the Iliad of Homer twenty-four—these numbers must be discounted for the purposes of comparison with modern collections. The series of the first five librarians at Alexandria appears to be pretty well established as follows: Zenodotus, Callimachus, Eratosthenes, Apollonius and Aristophanes; and their activity covers a period of about a century. The first experiments in bibliography appear to have been made in producing catalogues of the Alexandrian libraries. Amongst other lists, two catalogues were prepared by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, one of the tragedies, the other of the comedies contained in the collections. The Πίνακες of Callimachus formed a catalogue of all the principal books arranged in 120 classes. When Caesar set fire to the fleet in the harbour of Alexandria, the flames accidentally extended to the larger library of the Brucheum, and it was destroyed. Antony endeavoured to repair the loss by presenting to Cleopatra the library from Pergamum. This was very probably placed in the Brucheum, as this continued to be the literary quarter of Alexandria until the time of Aurelian. Thenceforward the Serapeum became the principal library. The usual statement that from the date of the restoration of the Brucheum under Cleopatra the libraries continued in a flourishing condition until they were destroyed after the conquest of Alexandria by the Saracens in A.D. 640 can hardly be supported. It is very possible that one of the libraries perished when the Brucheum quarter was destroyed by Aurelian, A.D. 273. In 389 or 391 an edict of Theodosius ordered the destruction of the Serapeum, and its books were pillaged by the Christians. When we take into account the disordered condition of the times, and the neglect into which literature and science had fallen, there can be little difficulty in believing that there were but few books left to be destroyed by the soldiers of Amru. The familiar anecdote of the caliph’s message to his general rests mainly upon the evidence of Abulfaraj, so that we may be tempted to agree with Gibbon that the report of a stranger who wrote at the end of six hundred years is overbalanced by the silence of earlier and native annalists. It is, however, so far from easy to settle the question that a cloud of names could easily be cited upon either side, while some of the most careful inquirers confess the difficulty of a decision (see Alexandria, III.).
The magnificence and renown of the libraries of the Ptolemies excited the rivalry of the kings of Pergamum, who vied with the Egyptian rulers in their encouragement of literature. The German researches in the acropolis of Pergamum between 1878 and 1886 revealed four rooms which had originally been appropriated Pergamum. to the library (Alex. Conze, Die pergamen. Bibliothek, 1884). Despite the obstacles presented by the embargo placed by the Ptolemies upon the export of papyrus, the library of the Attali attained considerable importance, and, as we have seen, when it was transported to Egypt numbered 200,000 vols. We learn from a notice in Suidas that in 221 B.C. Antiochus the Great summoned the poet and grammarian Euphorion of Chalcis to be his librarian.
The early Romans were far too warlike and practical a people to devote much attention to literature, and it is not until the last century of the republic that we hear of libraries in Rome. The collections of Carthage, which fell into their hands when Scipio sacked that city (146 B.C.), had no Rome. attractions for them; and with the exception of the writings of Mago upon agriculture, which the senate reserved for translation into Latin, they bestowed all the books upon the kinglets of Africa (Pliny, H.N. xviii. 5). It is in accordance with the military character of the Romans that the first considerable collections of which we hear in Rome were brought there as the spoils of war. The first of these was that brought by Aemilius Paulus from Macedonia after the conquest of Perseus (167 B.C.). The library of the conquered monarch was all that he reserved from the prizes of victory for himself and his sons, who were fond of letters. Next came the library of Apellicon the Teian, brought from Athens by Sulla (86 B.C.). This passed at his death into the hands of his son, but of its later history nothing is known. The rich stores of literature brought home by Lucullus from his eastern conquests (about 67 B.C.) were freely thrown open to his friends and to men of letters. Accordingly his library and the neighbouring walks were much resorted to, especially by Greeks. It was now becoming fashionable for rich men to furnish their libraries well, and the fashion prevailed until it became the subject of Seneca’s scorn and Lucian’s wit. The zeal of Cicero and Atticus in adding to their collections is well known to every reader of the classics. Tyrannion is said to have had 30,000 vols. of his own; and that M. Terentius Varro had large collections we may infer from Cicero’s writing to him: “Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit.” Not to prolong the list of private collectors, Serenus Sammonicus is said to have left to his pupil the young Gordian no less than 62,000 vols. Amongst the numerous projects entertained by Caesar was that of presenting Rome with public libraries, though it is doubtful whether any steps were actually taken towards its execution. The task of collecting and arranging the books was entrusted to Varro. This commission, as well as his own fondness for books, may have led Varro to write the book upon libraries of which a few words only have come down to us, preserved by a grammarian. The honour of being the first actually to dedicate a library to the public is said by Pliny and Ovid to have fallen to G. Asinius Pollio, who erected a library in the Atrium Libertatis on Mount Aventine, defraying the cost from the spoils of his Illyrian campaign. The library of Pollio was followed by the public libraries established by Augustus. That emperor, who did so much for the embellishment of the city, erected two libraries, the Octavian and the Palatine. The former was founded (33 B.C.) in honour of his sister, and was placed in the Porticus Octaviae, a magnificent structure, the lower part of which served as a promenade, while the upper part contained the library. The charge of the books was committed to C. Melissus. The other library formed by Augustus was attached to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine hill, and appears from inscriptions to have consisted of two departments, a Greek and a Latin one, which seem to have been separately administered. The charge of the Palatine collections was given to Pompeius Macer, who was succeeded by Julius Hyginus, the grammarian and friend of Ovid. The Octavian library perished in the fire which raged at Rome for three days in the reign of Titus. The Palatine was, at all events in great part, destroyed by fire in the reign of Commodus. The story that its collections were destroyed by order of Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century is now generally rejected. The successors of Augustus, though they did not equal him in their patronage of learning, maintained the tradition of forming libraries. Tiberius, his immediate successor, established one in his splendid house on the Palatine, to which Gellius refers as the “Tiberian library,” and Suetonius relates that he caused the writings and images of his favourite Greek poets to be placed in the public libraries. Vespasian established a library in the Temple of Peace erected after the burning of the city under Nero. Domitian restored the libraries which had been destroyed in the same conflagration, procuring books from every quarter, and even sending to Alexandria to have copies made. He is also said to have founded the Capitoline library, though others give the credit to Hadrian. The most famous and important of the imperial libraries, however, was that created by Ulpius Trajanus, known as the Ulpian library, which was first established in the Forum of Trajan, but was afterwards removed to the baths of Diocletian. In this library were deposited by Trajan the “libri lintei” and “libri elephantini,” upon which the senatus consulta and other transactions relating to the emperors were written. The library of Domitian, which had been destroyed by fire in the reign of Commodus, was restored by Gordian, who added to it the books bequeathed to him by Serenus Sammonicus. Altogether in the 4th century there are said to have been twenty-eight public libraries in Rome.
Nor were public libraries confined to Rome. We possess records of at least 24 places in Italy, the Grecian provinces, Asia Minor, Cyprus and Africa in which libraries had been established, most of them attached to temples, usually through the liberality of generous individuals. Roman provincial libraries. The library which the younger Pliny dedicated to his townsmen at Comum cost a million sesterces and he contributed a large sum to the support of a library at Milan. Hadrian established one at Athens, described by Pausanias, and recently identified with a building called the Stoa of Hadrian, which shows a striking similarity with the precinct of Athena at Pergamum. Strabo mentions a library at Smyrna; Aulus Gellius one at Patrae and another at Tibur from which books could be borrowed. Recent discoveries at Ephesus in Asia Minor and Timegad in Algeria have furnished precise information as to the structural plan of these buildings. The library at Ephesus was founded by T. Julius Aquila Polemaeanus in memory of his father, pro-consul of Asia in the time of Trajan, about A.D. 106–107. The library at Timegad was established at a cost of 400,000 sesterces by M. Julius Quintianus Flavius Rogatianus, who probably lived in the 3rd century (R. Cagnat, “Les Bibliothèques municipales dans l’Empire Romain,” 1906, Mém. de l’Acad. des Insc., tom. xxxviii. pt. 1). At Ephesus the light came through a circular opening in the roof; the library at Timegad greatly resembles that discovered at Pompeii and possesses a system of book stores. All these buildings followed the same general plan, consisting of a reading-room and more or less ample book stores; the former was either rectangular or semi-circular in shape and was approached under a stately portico and colonnade. In a niche facing the entrance a statue was always erected; that formerly at Pergamum—a figure of Minerva—is now preserved at Berlin. From a well-known line of Juvenal (Sat. iii. 219) we may assume that a statue of the goddess was usually placed in libraries. The reading-room was also ornamented with busts or life-sized images of celebrated writers. The portraits or authors were also painted on medallions on the presses (armaria) in which the books or rolls were preserved as in the library of Isidore of Seville; sometimes these medallions decorated the walls, as in a private library discovered by Lanciani in 1883 at Rome (Ancient Rome, 1888, p. 193). Movable seats, known to us by pictorial representations, were in use. The books were classified, and the presses (framed of precious woods and highly ornamented) were numbered to facilitate reference from the catalogues. A private library discovered at Herculaneum contained 1756 MSS. placed on shelves round the room to a height of about 6 ft. with a central press. In the public rooms some of the books were arranged in the reading-room and some in the adjacent book stores. The Christian libraries of later foundation closely followed the classical prototypes not only in their structure but also in smaller details. The general appearance of a Roman library is preserved in the library of the Vatican fitted up by Sextus V. in 1587 with painted presses, busts and antique vases.
As the number of libraries in Rome increased, the librarian, who was generally a slave or freedman, became a recognized public functionary. The names of several librarians are preserved to us in inscriptions, including that of C. Hymenaeus, who appears to have fulfilled the double function of physician and librarian to Augustus. The general superintendence of the public libraries was committed to a special official. Thus from Nero to Trajan, Dionysius, an Alexandrian rhetorician, discharged this function. Under Hadrian it was entrusted to his former tutor C. Julius Vestinus, who afterwards became administrator of the Museum at Alexandria.
When the seat of empire was removed by Constantine to his new capital upon the Bosporus, the emperor established a collection there, in which Christian literature was probably admitted for the first time into an imperial Constantinople. library. Diligent search was made after the Christian books which had been doomed to destruction by Diocletian. Even at the death of Constantine, however, the number of books which had been brought together amounted only to 6900. The smallness of the number, it has been suggested, seems to show that Constantine’s library was mainly intended as a repository of Christian literature. However this may be, the collection was greatly enlarged by some of Constantine’s successors, especially by Julian and Theodosius, at whose death it is said to have increased to 100,000 vols. Julian, himself a close student and voluminous writer, though he did his best to discourage learning among the Christians, and to destroy their libraries, not only augmented the library at Constantinople, but founded others, including one at Nisibis, which was soon afterwards destroyed by fire. From the Theodosian code we learn that in the time of that emperor a staff of seven copyists was attached to the library at Constantinople under the direction of the librarian. The library was burnt under the emperor Zeno in 477, but was again restored.
Meanwhile, as Christianity made its way and a distinctively Christian literature grew up, the institution of libraries became part of the ecclesiastical organization. Bishop Alexander (d. A.D. 250) established a church library at Jerusalem, and it became the rule to attach to every church a collection necessary for the inculcation of Christian doctrine. There were libraries at Cirta, at Constantinople and at Rome. The basilica of St Lawrence at Rome contained a library or archivum founded by Pope Damasus at the end of the 4th century. Most of these collections were housed in the sacred edifices and consisted largely of copies of the Holy Scriptures, liturgical volumes and works of devotion. They also included the Gesta Martyrum and Matriculae Pauperum and official correspondence. Many of the basilicas had the apse subdivided into three smaller hemicycles, one of which contained the library (Lanciani, op. cit. p. 187). The largest of these libraries, that founded by Pamphilus (d. A.D. 309) at Caesarea, and said to have been increased by Eusebius, the historian of the church, to 30,000 vols., is frequently mentioned by St Jerome. St Augustine bequeathed his collection to the library of the church at Hippo, which was fortunate enough to escape destruction at the hands of the Vandals. The hermit communities of the Egyptian deserts formed organizations which developed into the later monastic orders of Western Europe and the accumulation of books for the brethren was one of their cares.
The removal of the capital to Byzantium was in its result a serious blow to literature. Henceforward the science and learning of the East and West were divorced. The libraries of Rome ceased to collect the writings of the Greeks, while the Greek libraries had never cared much to collect Latin literature. The influence of the church became increasingly hostile to the study of pagan letters. The repeated irruptions of the barbarians soon swept the old learning and libraries alike from the soil of Italy. With the close of the Western empire in 476 the ancient history of libraries may be said to cease.
During the first few centuries after the fall of the Western empire, literary activity at Constantinople had fallen to its lowest ebb. In the West, amidst the general neglect of learning and literature, the collecting of books, though not wholly forgotten, was cared for by few. Sidonius Gaul. Apollinaris tells us of the libraries of several private collectors in Gaul. Publius Consentius possessed a library at his villa near Narbonne which was due to the labour of three generations. The most notable of these appears to have been the prefect Tonantius Ferreolus, who had formed in his villa of Prusiana, near Nîmes, a collection which his friend playfully compares to that of Alexandria. The Goths, who had been introduced to the Scriptures in their own language by Ulfilas in the 4th century, began to pay some attention to Latin literature. Cassiodorus, the favourite minister of Theodoric, was a collector as well as an author, and on giving up the cares of government retired to a monastery which he founded in Calabria, where he employed his monks in the transcription of books.
Henceforward the charge of books as well as of education fell more and more exclusively into the hands of the church. While the old schools of the rhetoricians died out new monasteries arose everywhere. Knowledge was no longer pursued for its own sake, but became subsidiary to religious and theological teaching. The proscription of the old classical literature, which is symbolized in the fable of the destruction of the Palatine library by Gregory the Great, was only too effectual. The Gregorian tradition of opposition to pagan learning long continued to dominate the literary pursuits of the monastic orders and the labours of the scriptorium.
During the 6th and 7th centuries the learning which had been driven from the Continent took refuge in the British Islands, where it was removed from the political disturbances of the mainland. In the Irish monasteries during this period there appear to have been many books, and the Venerable Alcuin. Bede was superior to any scholar of his age. Theodore of Tarsus brought a considerable number of books to Canterbury from Rome in the 7th century, including several Greek authors. The library of York, which was founded by Archbishop Egbert, was almost more famous than that of Canterbury. The verses are well known in which Alcuin describes the extensive library under his charge, and the long list of authors whom he enumerates is superior to that of any other library possessed by either England or France in the 12th century, when it was unhappily burnt. The inroads of the Northmen in the 9th and 10th centuries had been fatal to the monastic libraries on both sides of the channel. It was from York that Alcuin came to Charlemagne to superintend the school attached to his palace; and it was doubtless inspired by Alcuin that Charles issued the memorable document which enjoined that in the bishoprics and monasteries within his realm care should be taken that there shall be not only a regular manner of life, but also the study of letters. When Alcuin finally retired from the court to the abbacy of Tours, there to carry out his own theory of monastic discipline and instruction, he wrote to Charles for leave to send to York for copies of the books of which they had so much need at Tours. While Alcuin thus increased the library at Tours, Charlemagne. Charlemagne enlarged that at Fulda, which had been founded in 774, and which all through the middle ages stood in great respect. Lupus Servatus, a pupil of Hrabanus Maurus at Fulda, and afterwards abbot of Ferrières, was a devoted student of the classics and a great collector of books. His correspondence illustrates the difficulties which then attended the study of literature through the paucity and dearness of books, the declining care for learning, and the increasing troubles of the time. Nor were private collections of books altogether wanting during the period in which Charlemagne and his successors laboured to restore the lost traditions of liberal education and literature. Pepin le Bref had indeed met with scanty response to the request for books which he addressed to the pontiff Paul I. Charlemagne, however, collected a considerable number of choice books for his private use in two places. Although these collections were dispersed at his death, his son Louis formed a library which continued to exist under Charles the Bald. About the same time Everard, count of Friuli, formed a considerable collection which he bequeathed to a monastery. But the greatest private collector of the middle ages was doubtless Gerbert, Pope Sylvester II., who showed the utmost zeal and spent large sums in collecting books, not only in Rome and Italy, but from Germany, Belgium and even from Spain.
The hopes of a revival of secular literature fell with the decline of the schools established by Charles and his successors. The knowledge of letters remained the prerogative of the church, and for the next four or five centuries the collecting and multiplication of books were almost St. Benedict. entirely confined to the monasteries. Several of the greater orders made these an express duty; this was especially the case with the Benedictines. It was the first care of St Benedict, we are told, that in each newly founded monastery there should be a library, “et velut curia quaedam illustrium auctorum.” Monte Cassino became the starting-point of a long line of institutions which were destined to be the centres of religion and of literature. It must indeed be remembered that literature in the sense of St Benedict meant Biblical and theological works, the lives of the saints and martyrs, and the lives and writings of the fathers. Of the reformed Benedictine orders the Carthusians and the Cistercians were those most devoted to literary pursuits. The abbeys of Fleury, of Melk and of St Gall were remarkable for the splendour of their libraries. In a later age the labours of the congregation of St Maur form one of the most striking chapters in the history of learning. The Augustinians and the Dominicans rank next to the Benedictines in their care for literature. The libraries of St Geneviève and St Victor, belonging to the former, were amongst the largest of the monastic collections. Although their poverty might seem to put them at a disadvantage as collectors, the mendicant orders cultivated literature with much assiduity, and were closely connected with the intellectual movement to which the universities owed their rise. In England Richard of Bury praises them for their extraordinary diligence in collecting books. Sir Richard Whittington built a large library for the Grey Friars in London, and they possessed considerable libraries at Oxford.
It would be impossible to attempt here an account of all the libraries established by the monastic orders. We must be content to enumerate a few of the most eminent.
In Italy Monte Cassino is a striking example of the dangers and vicissitudes to which monastic collections were exposed. Ruined by the Lombards in the 6th century, the monastery was rebuilt and a library established, to fall a prey to Saracens and to fire in the 9th. The Monastic libraries. collection then reformed survived many other chances and changes, and still exists. Boccaccio gives a melancholy description of its condition in his day. It affords a conspicuous example of monastic industry in the transcription not only of theological but also of classical works. The library of Bobbio, which owed its existence to Irish monks, was famous for its palimpsests. The collection, of which a catalogue of the 10th century is given by Muratori (Antiq. Ital. Med. Aev. iii. 817–824), was mainly transferred to the Ambrosian library at Milan. Of the library of Pomposia, near Ravenna, Montfaucon has printed a catalogue dating from the 11th century (Diarium Italicum, chap. xxii.).
Of the monastic libraries of France the principal were those of Fleury, of Cluny, of St Riquier and of Corbie. At Fleury Abbot Macharius in 1146 imposed a contribution for library purposes upon the officers of the community and its dependencies, an example which was followed elsewhere. After many vicissitudes, its MSS., numbering 238, were deposited in 1793 in the town library of Orleans. The library of St Riquier in the time of Louis the Pious contained 256 MSS., with over 500 works. Of the collection at Corbie in Picardy we have also catalogues dating from the 12th and from the 17th centuries. Corbie was famous for the industry of its transcribers, and appears to have stood in active literary intercourse with other monasteries. In 1638, 400 of its choicest manuscripts were removed to St Germain-des-Prés. The remainder were removed after 1794, partly to the national library at Paris, partly to the town library of Amiens.
The chief monastic libraries of Germany were at Fulda, Corvey, Reichenau and Sponheim. The library at Fulda owed much to Charlemagne and to its abbot Hrabanus Maurus. Under Abbot Sturmius four hundred monks were hired as copyists. In 1561 the collection numbered 774 volumes. The library of Corvey on the Weser, after being despoiled of some of its treasures in the Reformation age, was presented to the university of Marburg in 1811. It then contained 109 vols., with 400 or 500 titles. The library of Reichenau, of which several catalogues are extant, fell a prey to fire and neglect, and its ruin was consummated by the Thirty Years’ War. The library of Sponheim owes its great renown to John Tritheim, who was abbot at the close of the 15th century. He found it reduced to 10 vols., and left it with upwards of 2000 at his retirement. The library at St Gall, formed as early as 816 by Gozbert, its second abbot, still exists.
In England the principal collections were those of Canterbury, York, Wearmouth, Jarrow, Whitby, Glastonbury, Croyland, Peterborough and Durham. Of the library of the monastery of ChristChurch, Canterbury, originally founded by Augustine and Theodore, and restored by Lanfranc England. and Anselm, a catalogue has been preserved dating from the 13th or 14th century, and containing 698 volumes, with about 3000 works. Bennet Biscop, the first abbot of Wearmouth, made five journeys to Rome, and on each occasion returned with a store of books for the library. It was destroyed by the Danes about 867. Of the library at Whitby there is a catalogue dating from the 12th century. The catalogue of Glastonbury has been printed by Hearne in his edition of John of Glastonbury. When the library of Croyland perished by fire in 1091 it contained about 700 vols. The library at Peterborough was also rich; from a catalogue of about the end of the 14th century it had 344 vols., with nearly 1700 titles. The catalogues of the library at the monastery of Durham have been printed by the Surtees Society, and form an interesting series. These catalogues with many others afford abundant evidence of the limited character of the monkish collections, whether we look at the number of their volumes or at the nature of their contents. The scriptoria were manufactories of books and not centres of learning. That in spite of the labours of so many transcribers the costliness and scarcity of books remained so great may have been partly, but cannot have been wholly, due to the scarcity of writing materials. It may be suspected that indolence and carelessness were the rule in most monasteries, and that but few of the monks keenly realized the whole force of the sentiment expressed by one of their number in the 12th century—“Claustrum sine armario quasi castrum sine armamentario.” Nevertheless it must be admitted that to the labours of the monastic transcribers we are indebted for the preservation of Latin literature.
The subject of the evolution of the arrangement of library
rooms and fittings as gradually developed throughout medieval
Europe should not be passed over. The real origin
of library organization in the Christian world, one may
almost say the origin of modern library methods,
of library arrangements. began with the rule of St Benedict early in the 6th century. In the 48th chapter the monks were ordered to borrow a book apiece and to read it straight through. There was no special apartment for the books in the primitive Benedictine house. After the books became too numerous to be kept in the church they were preserved in armaria, or chests, in the cloister; hence the word armarius, the Benedictine librarian, who at first joined with it the office of precentor. The Benedictine regulations were developed in the stricter observances of the Cluniacs, which provided for a kind of annual report and stocktaking. The Carthusians were perhaps the first to lend books away from the convent; and the Cistercians to possess a separate library official as well as a room specially devoted to books. The observances of the Augustinians contained rules for the binding, repairing, cataloguing and arranging the books by the librarian, as well as a prescription of the exact kind of chest to be used. Among the Premonstratensians or Reformed Augustinians, it was one of the duties of the librarian to provide for the borrowing of books elsewhere for the use of the monks. The Mendicant Friars found books so necessary that at last Richard de Bury tells us with some exaggeration that their libraries exceeded all others. Many volumes still exist which belonged to the library at Assisi, the parent house of the Franciscans, of which a catalogue was drawn up in 1381. No authentic monastic bookcase can now be found; the doubtful example shown at Bayeux probably contained ecclesiastical utensils. At the Augustinian priory at Barnwell the presses were lined with wood to keep out the damp and were partitioned off both vertically and horizontally. Sometimes there were recesses in the walls of the cloisters fitted with shelves and closed with a door. These recesses developed into a small windowless room in the Cistercian houses. At Clairvaux, Kirkstall, Fountains, Tintern, Netley and elsewhere this small chamber was placed between the chapter-house and the transept of the church. At Meaux in Holderness the books were lodged on shelves against the walls and even over the door of such a chamber. In many houses the treasury or spendiment contained two classes of books—one for the monks generally, others more closely guarded. A press near the infirmary contained books used by the reader in the refectory. By the end of the 15th century the larger monasteries became possessed of many volumes and found themselves obliged to store the books, hitherto placed in various parts of the building, in a separate apartment. We now find libraries being specially built at Canterbury, Durham, Citeaux, Clairvaux and elsewhere, and with this specialization there grew up increased liberality in the use of books and learned strangers were admitted. Even at an early date students were permitted to borrow from the Benedictines at St Germain-des-Prés at Paris, of which a later foundation owned in 1513 a noble library erected over the south wall of the cloister, and enlarged and made very accessible to the outer world in the 17th and 18th centuries. The methods and fittings of college libraries of early foundation closely resembled those of the monastic libraries. There was in both the annual giving out and inspection of what we would now call the lending department for students; while the books, fastened by chains—a kind of reference department kept in the library chamber for the common use of the fellows—followed a similar system in monastic institutions. By the 15th century collegiate and monastic libraries were on the same plan, with the separate room containing books placed on their sides on desks or lecterns, to which they were attached by chains to a horizontal bar. As the books increased the accommodation was augmented by one or two shelves erected above the desks. The library at Cesena in North Italy may still be seen in its original condition. The Laurentian library at Florence was designed by Michelangelo on the monastic model. Another good example of the old form may be seen in the library of Merton College at Oxford, a long narrow room with bookcases standing between the windows at right angles to the walls. In the chaining system one end was attached to the wooden cover of the book while the other ran freely on a bar fixed by a method of double locks to the front of the shelf or desk on which the book rested. The fore edges of the volumes faced the reader. The seat and shelf were sometimes combined. Low cases were subsequently introduced between the higher cases, and the seat replaced by a step. Shelf lists were placed at the end of each case. There were no chains in the library of the Escorial, erected in 1584, which showed for the first time bookcases placed against the walls. Although chains were no longer part of the appliances in the newly erected libraries they continued to be used and were ordered in bequests in England down to the early part of the 18th century. Triple desks and revolving lecterns, raised by a wooden screw, formed part of the library furniture. The English cathedral libraries were fashioned after the same principle. The old methods were fully reproduced in the fittings at Westminster, erected at a late date. Here we may see books on shelves against the walls as well as in cases at right angles to the walls; the desk-like shelves for the chained volumes (no longer in existence) have a slot in which the chains could be suspended, and are hinged to allow access to shelves below. An ornamental wooden tablet at the end of each case is a survival of the old shelf list. By the end of the 17th century the type of the public library developed from collegiate and monastic prototypes, became fixed as it were throughout Europe (H. R. Tedder, “Evolution of the Public Library,” in Trans. of 2nd Int. Library Conference, 1897, 1898).
The first conquests of the Arabians, as we have already seen, threatened hostility to literature. But, as soon as their conquests were secured, the caliphs became the patrons of learning and science. Greek manuscripts were eagerly sought for and translated into Arabic, and colleges Arabians. and libraries everywhere arose. Baghdad in the east and Cordova in the west became the seats of a rich development of letters and science during the age when the civilization of Europe was most obscured. Cairo and Tripoli were also distinguished for their libraries. The royal library of the Fatimites in Africa is said to have numbered 100,000 manuscripts, while that collected by the Omayyads of Spain is reported to have contained six times as many. It is said that there were no less than seventy libraries opened in the cities of Andalusia. Whether these figures be exaggerated or not—and they are much below those given by some Arabian writers, which are undoubtedly so—it is certain that the libraries of the Arabians and the Moors of Spain offer a very remarkable contrast to those of the Christian nations during the same period.
The literary and scientific activity of the Arabians appears to have been the cause of a revival of letters amongst the Greeks of the Byzantine empire in the 9th century. Under Leo the Philosopher and Constantine Porphyrogenitus Renaissance. the libraries of Constantinople awoke into renewed life. The compilations of such writers as Stobaeus, Photius and Suidas, as well as the labours of innumerable critics and commentators, bear witness to the activity, if not to the lofty character of the pursuits, of the Byzantine scholars. The labours of transcription were industriously pursued in the libraries and in the monasteries of Mount Athos and the Aegean, and it was from these quarters that the restorers of learning brought into Italy so many Greek manuscripts. In this way many of the treasures of ancient literature had been already conveyed to the West before the fate which overtook the libraries of Constantinople on the fall of the city in 1453.
Meanwhile in the West, with the reviving interest in literature which already marks the 14th century, we find arising outside the monasteries a taste for collecting books. St Louis of France and his successors had formed small collections, none of which survived its possessor. It was reserved for Charles V. to form a considerable library which he intended to be permanent. In 1373 he had amassed 910 volumes, and had a catalogue of them prepared, from which we see that it included a good deal of the new sort of literature. In England Guy, earl of Warwick, formed a curious collection of French romances, which he bequeathed to Bordesley Abbey on his death in 1315. Richard d’Aungervyle of Bury, the author of the Philobiblon, amassed a noble collection of books, and had special opportunities of doing so as Edward III.’s chancellor and ambassador. He founded Durham College at Oxford, and equipped it with a library a hundred years before Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, made his benefaction of books to the university. The taste for secular literature, and the enthusiasm for the ancient classics, gave a fresh direction to the researches of collectors. A disposition to encourage literature began to show itself amongst the great. This was most notable amongst the Italian princes. Cosimo de’ Medici formed a library at Venice while living there in exile in 1433, and on his return to Florence laid the foundation of the great Medicean library. The honour of establishing the first modern public library in Italy had been already secured by Niccolo Niccoli, who left his library of over 800 volumes for the use of the public on his death in 1436. Frederick, duke of Urbino, collected all the writings in Greek and Latin which he could procure, and we have an interesting account of his collection written by his first librarian, Vespasiano. The ardour for classical studies led to those active researches for the Latin writers who were buried in the monastic libraries which are especially identified with the name of Poggio. For some time before the fall of Constantinople, the perilous state of the Eastern empire had driven many Greek scholars from that capital into western Europe, where they had directed the studies and formed the taste of the zealous students of the Greek language and literature. The enthusiasm of the Italian princes extended itself beyond the Alps. Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, amassed a collection of splendidly executed and magnificently bound manuscripts, which at his death are said to have reached the almost incredible number of 50,000 vols. The library was not destined long to survive its founder. There is reason to believe that it had been very seriously despoiled even before it perished at the hands of the Turks on the fall of Buda in 1527. A few of its treasures are still preserved in some of the libraries of Europe. While these munificent patrons of learning were thus taking pains to recover and multiply the treasures of ancient literature by the patient labour of transcribers and calligraphers, an art was being elaborated which was destined to revolutionize the whole condition of literature and libraries. With the invention of printing, so happily coinciding with the revival of true learning and sound science, the modern history of libraries may be said to begin.
In most of the European countries and in the United States libraries of all kinds have during the last twenty years been undergoing a process of development and improvement which has greatly altered their policy and methods. At one time libraries were regarded almost entirely as repositories for the storage of books to be used by the learned alone, but now they are coming to be regarded more and more as workshops or as places for intellectual recreation adapted for every department of life. This is particularly to be found as the ideal in the public libraries of the Anglo-Saxon races throughout the world.
The following details comprise the chief points in the history, equipment and methods of the various libraries and systems noticed.
The United Kingdom.
State Libraries.—The British Museum ranks in importance before all the great libraries of the world, and excels in the arrangement and accessibility of its contents. The library consists of over 2,000,000 printed volumes and 56,000 manuscripts, but this large total does British Museum. not include pamphlets and other small publications which are usually counted in other libraries. Adding these together it is probable that over 5,000,000 items are comprised in the collections. This extraordinary opulence is principally due to the enlightened energy of Sir Anthony Panizzi (q.v.). The number of volumes in the printed book department, when he took the keepership in 1837, was only 240,000; and during the nineteen years he held that office about 400,000 were added, mostly by purchase, under his advice and direction. It was Panizzi likewise who first seriously set to work to see that the national library reaped all the benefits bestowed upon it by the Copyright Act.
The foundation of the British Museum dates from 1753, when effect was given to the bequest (in exchange for £20,000 to be paid to his executors) by Sir Hans Sloane, of his books, manuscripts, curiosities, &c., to be held by trustees for the use of the nation. A bill was passed through parliament for the purchase of the Sloane collections and of the Harleian MSS., costing £10,000. To these, with the Cottonian MSS., acquired by the country in 1700, was added by George II., in 1757, the royal library of the former kings of England, coupled with the privilege, which that library had for many years enjoyed, of obtaining a copy of every publication entered at Stationers’ Hall. This addition was of the highest importance, as it enriched the museum with the old collections of Archbishop Cranmer, Henry prince of Wales, and other patrons of literature, while the transfer of the privilege with regard to the acquisition of new books, a right which has been maintained by successive Copyright Acts, secured a large and continuous augmentation. A lottery having been authorized to defray the expenses of purchases, as well as for providing suitable accommodation, the museum and library were established in Montague House, and opened to the public 15th January 1759. In 1763 George III. presented the well-known Thomason collection (in 2220 volumes) of books and pamphlets issued in England between 1640 and 1662, embracing all the controversial literature which appeared during that period. The Rev. C. M. Cracherode, one of the trustees, bequeathed his collection of choice books in 1799; and in 1820 Sir Joseph Banks left to the nation his important library of 16,000 vols. Many other libraries have since then been incorporated in the museum, the most valuable being George III.’s royal collection (15,000 vols. of tracts, and 65,259 vols. of printed books, including many of the utmost rarity, which had cost the king about £130,000), which was presented (for a pecuniary consideration, it has been said) by George IV. in 1823, and that of the Right Honourable Thomas Grenville (20,240 vols. of rare books, all in fine condition and binding), which was acquired under bequest in 1846. The Cracherode, Banksian, King’s and Grenville libraries are still preserved as separate collections. Other libraries of minor note have also been absorbed in a similar way, while, at least since the time of Panizzi, no opportunity has been neglected of making useful purchases at all the British and Continental book auctions.
The collection of English books is far from approaching completeness, but, apart from the enormous number of volumes, the library contains an extraordinary quantity of rarities. Few libraries in the United States equal either in number or value the American books in the museum. The collection of Slavonic literature, due to the initiative of Thomas Watts, is also a remarkable feature. Indeed, in cosmopolitan interest the museum is without a rival in the world, possessing as it does the best library in any European language out of the territory in which the language is vernacular. The Hebrew, the Chinese, and printed books in other Oriental languages are important and represented in large numbers. Periodical literature has not been forgotten, and the series of newspapers is of great extent and interest. Great pains are taken by the authorities to obtain the copies of the newspapers published in the United Kingdom to which they are entitled by the provisions of the Copyright Act, and upwards of 3400 are annually collected, filed and bound.
The department of MSS. is almost equal in importance to that of the printed books. The collection of MSS. in European languages ranges from the 3rd century before Christ down to our own times, and includes the Codex Alexandrinus of the Bible. The old historical chronicles of England, the charters of the Anglo-Saxon kings, and the celebrated series of Arthurian romances are well represented; and care has been taken to acquire on every available opportunity the unprinted works of English writers. The famous collections of MSS. made by Sir Robert Cotton and Robert Harley, earl of Oxford, have already been mentioned, and from these and other sources the museum has become rich in early Anglo-Saxon and Latin codices, some of them being marvels of skill in calligraphy and ornamentation, such as the charters of King Edgar and Henry I. to Hyde Abbey, which are written in gold letters; or the Lindisfarne gospels (A.D. 700) containing the earliest extant Anglo-Saxon version of the Latin gospels. The Burney collection of classical MSS. furnished important additions, so that from this source and from the collection of Arundel MSS. (transferred from the Royal Society in 1831), the museum can boast of an early copy of the Iliad, and one of the earliest known codices of the Odyssey. Among the unrivalled collection of Greek papyri are the unique MSS. of several works of ancient literature. Irish, French and Italian MSS. are well represented. Special reference may be made to the celebrated Bedford Hours, illuminated for the duke of Bedford, regent of France, to the Sforza Book of Hours and to Queen Mary’s Psalter. The Oriental collection is also extremely valuable, including the library formed by Mr Rich (consul at Baghdad in the early part of the 19th century), and a vast quantity of Arabic, Persian and Turkish MSS.; the Chambers collection of Sanskrit MSS.; several other collections of Indian MSS.; and a copious library of Hebrew MSS. (including that of the great scholar Michaelis, and codices of great age, recently brought from Yemen). The collection of Syriac MSS., embracing the relics of the famous library of the convent of St Mary Deipara in the Nitrian desert, formed by the abbot Moses of Nisibis, in the 10th century, is the most important in existence; of the large store of Abyssinian volumes many were amassed after the campaign against King Theodore. The number of genealogical rolls and documents relating to the local and family history of Great Britain is very large. Altogether there are now more than 56,000 MSS. (of which over 9000 are Oriental), besides more than 75,000 charters and rolls. There is a very large and valuable collection of printed and manuscript music of all kinds, and it is probable that of separate pieces there are nearly 200,000. The catalogue of music is partly in manuscript and partly printed, and a separate printed catalogue of the MS. music has been published. The number of maps is also very large, and a printed catalogue has been issued.
The general catalogue of the printed books was at one time kept in MS. in large volumes, but since 1880 the entries have gradually been superseded by the printed titles forming part of the large alphabetical catalogue which was completed in 1900. This important work is arranged in the order of authors’ names, with occasional special entries at words like Bible, periodicals and biographical names. It is being constantly supplemented and forms an invaluable bibliographical work of reference.
The other printed catalogues of books commence with one published in 2 vols. folio (1787), followed by that of 1813–1819 in 7 vols. 8vo; the next is that of the library of George III. (1820–1829, 5 vols. folio, with 2 vols. 8vo, 1834), describing the geographical and topographical collections; and then the Bibliotheca Grenvilliana (1842–1872, 4 vols. 8vo). The first vol. (letter A) of a general catalogue appeared in 1841 in a folio volume which has never been added to. The octavo catalogue of the Hebrew books came out in 1867; that of the Sanskrit and Pali literature is in 4to (1876); and the Chinese catalogue is also in 4to (1877). There is a printed list of the books of reference (1910) in the reading-room.
The printed catalogues of the MSS. are—that of the old Royal Library (1734, 4to), which in 1910 was shortly to be superseded by a new one; the Sloane and others hitherto undescribed (1782, 2 vols. 4to); the Cottonian (1802, folio); the Harleian (1808, 4 vols. folio); the Hargrave (1818, 4to); the Lansdowne (1819, folio); the Arundel (1840, folio); the Burney (1840, folio); the Stowe (1895–1896, 4to); the Additional, in periodical volumes since 1836; the Greek Papyri (1893–1910); the Oriental (Arabic and Ethiopic), 5 pts., folio (1838–1871); the Syriac (1870–1873, 3 pts., 4to); the Ethiopic (1877, 4to); the Persian (1879–1896, 4 vols. 4to); and the Spanish (1875–1893, 4 vols. 8vo); Turkish (1888); Hebrew and Samaritan (1900–1909, 3 vols.); Sanskrit (1903); Hindi, &c. (1899); Sinhalese (1900). There are also catalogues of the Greek and Egyptian papyri (1839–1846, 5 pts., folio). Many other special catalogues have been issued, including one of the Thomason Collection of Civil War pamphlets, Incunabula (vol. i.), Romances (MSS.), Music, Seals and Arabic, Hebrew and other Oriental books, maps, prints and drawings. Perhaps the most useful catalogue of all is the Subject-index to Modern Works issued in 1881–1905 (4 vols.) and compiled by Mr G. K. Fortescue.
The Rules for compiling catalogues in the department of printed books were revised and published in 1906.
The building in which the library is housed forms part of the fine group situated in Great Russell Street in central London, and is distinguished by a stately circular reading-room designed by Sydney Smirke from suggestions and sketches supplied by Sir A. Panizzi. This was begun in 1855 and opened in 1857. The room is surrounded by book stores placed in galleries with iron floors, in which, owing to congestion of stock, various devices have been introduced, particularly a hanging and rolling form of auxiliary bookcase. The presses inside the reading-room, arranged in three tiers, contain upwards of 60,000 vols., those on the ground floor (20,000) being books of reference to which readers have unlimited access. The accommodation for readers is comfortable and roomy, each person having a portion of table fitted with various conveniences. Perhaps not the least convenient arrangement here is the presence of the staff in the centre of the room, at the service of readers who require aid.
In order to enjoy the privilege of reading at the British Museum, the applicant (who must be over twenty-one years of age) must obtain a renewable ticket of admission through a recommendation from a householder addressed to the principal librarian.
The pressure upon the space at the command of the library has been so great that additional land at the rear and sides of the existing buildings was purchased by the government for the further extension of the Museum. One very important wing facing Torrington Square was nearly completed in 1910. The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, a department of the British Museum under separate management, has a library of books on the natural sciences numbering nearly 100,000 vols.
Next in importance to the British Museum, and superior to it in accessibility, is the Library of the Patent Office in Southampton Buildings, London. This is a department of the Board of Trade, and though primarily intended for office use and patentees, it is really a public library Patent Office. freely open to anyone. The only formality required from readers is a signature in a book kept in the entrance hall. After this readers have complete access to the shelves. The library contains considerably over 110,000 vols., and possesses complete sets of the patents specifications of all countries, and a remarkable collection of the technical and scientific periodicals of all countries. The library was first opened in 1855, in somewhat unsuitable premises, and in 1897 it was transferred to a handsome new building.
The reading-room is provided with two galleries and the majority of the books are open to public inspection without the need for application forms. A printed catalogue in author-alphabetical form has been published with supplement, and in addition, separate subject catalogues are issued. This is one of the most complete libraries of technology in existence, and its collection of scientific transactions and periodicals is celebrated.
Another excellent special library is the National Art Library, founded in 1841 and transferred to South Kensington in 1856. It contains about half a million books, prints, drawings and photographs, and is used mostly by the students attending the art schools, Other state libraries. though the general public can obtain admission on payment of sixpence per week.
A somewhat similar library on the science side is the Science Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, which was founded in 1857. It is a general science collection and incorporates most of the books which at one time were in the Museum of Practical Geology.
The only other state library which is open to the public is that of the Board of Education in Whitehall, which was opened in a new building in 1908. It contains a large collection of works on educational subjects for which a special classification has been devised and printed.
The other state libraries in London may be briefly noted as follows: Admiralty (1700), 40,000 vols.; College of Arms, or Heralds College, 15,000 vols.; Colonial Office, c. 15,000 vols.; Foreign Office, c. 80,000 vols.; Home Office (1800) c. 10,000 vols.; House of Commons (1818), c. 50,000 vols.; House of Lords (1834), 50,000 vols.; India Office (1800), c. 86,000 vols.; Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens (1853), 22,000 vols.; and Royal Observatory (Greenwich), c. 20,000 vols.
Outside London the most important state library is the National Library of Ireland, Dublin, founded in 1877 and incorporating the library of the Royal Dublin Society. It is housed in a handsome building (1890) and contains about 200,000 vols., classified on the Decimal system, and catalogued in various forms. The library of the Museum of Science and Art at Edinburgh, containing over 20,000 vols., was opened to the public in 1890. Practically every department of the state has a reference library of some kind for the use of the staff, and provision is also made for lending libraries and reading-rooms in connexion with garrisons, naval depots and other services of the army and navy.
No professional qualifications are required for positions in British state libraries, most of the assistants being merely second-division clerks who have passed the Civil Service examinations. It would be an advantage from an administrative point of view if the professional certificates of the Library Association were adopted by the Civil Service Commissioners as compulsory requirements in addition to their own examination. The official recognition of a grade of properly trained librarians would tend to improve the methods and efficiency of the state libraries, which are generally behind the municipal libraries in organization and administration.
University and Collegiate Libraries.—The Bodleian Library, Oxford, though it had been preceded by various efforts towards a university library, owed its origin to Sir Thomas Bodley (q.v.). Contributing largely himself, and procuring contributions from others, he opened the library with Oxford. upwards of 2000 vols. in 1602. In 1610 he obtained a grant from the Stationers’ Company of a copy of every work printed in the country, a privilege still enjoyed under the provisions of the various copyright acts. The additions made to the library soon surpassed the capacity of the room, and the founder proceeded to enlarge it. By his will he left considerable property to the university for the maintenance and increase of the library. The example set by Bodley found many noble imitators. Amongst the chief benefactors have been Archbishop Laud, the executors of Sir Kenelm Digby, John Selden, Sir Thomas (Lord) Fairfax, Richard Gough, Francis Douce, Richard Rawlinson, and the Rev. Robert Mason. The library now contains almost 800,000 printed vols., and about 41,000 manuscripts. But the number of volumes, as bound up, conveys a very inadequate idea of the size or value of the collection. In the department of Oriental manuscripts it is perhaps superior to any other European library; and it is exceedingly rich in other manuscript treasures. It possesses a splendid series of Greek and Latin editiones principes and of the earliest productions of English presses. Its historical manuscripts contain most valuable materials for the general and literary history of the country.
The last general catalogue of the printed books was printed in 4 vols. folio (1843–1851). In 1859 it was decided to prepare a new manuscript catalogue on the plan of that then in use at the British Museum, and this has been completed in duplicate. In 1910 it was being amended with a view to printing. It is an alphabetical author-catalogue; and the Bodleian, like the British Museum, has no complete subject-index. A slip-catalogue on subjects was, however, in course of preparation in 1910, and there are classified hand-lists of accessions since 1883. There are also printed catalogues of the books belonging to several of the separate collections. The MSS. are in general catalogued according to the collections to which they belong, and they are all indexed. A number of the catalogues of manuscripts have been printed.
In 1860 the beautiful Oxford building known as the “Radcliffe Library,” now called the “Radcliffe Camera,” was offered to the curators of the Bodleian by the Radcliffe trustees. The Radcliffe Library was founded by the famous physician Dr John Radcliffe, who died in 1714, and bequeathed, besides a permanent endowment of £350 a year, the sum of £40,000 for a building. The library was opened in 1749. Many years ago the trustees resolved to confine their purchases of books to works on medicine and natural science. When the university museum and laboratories were built in 1860, the trustees allowed the books to be transferred to the museum. It is used as a storehouse for the more modern books, and it also serves as a reading-room. It is the only room open after the hour when the older building is closed owing to the rule as to the exclusion of artificial light. In 1889 the gallery of the Radcliffe Camera was opened as an addition to the reading-room.
A Staff Kalendar has been issued since 1902, which with a Supplement contains a complete list of cataloguing rules, routine work of the libraries and staff, and useful information of many kinds concerning the library methods.
The Bodleian Library is open by right to all graduate members of the university, and to others upon producing a satisfactory recommendation. No books are allowed to be sent out of the library except by special leave of the curators and convocation of the university. The administration and control of the library are committed to a librarian and board of thirteen curators. The permanent endowment is comparatively small; the ordinary expenditure, chiefly defrayed from the university chest, is about £10,000. Within recent years the use of wheeling metal bookcases has been greatly extended, and a large repository has been arranged for economical book storage underground.
The Taylor Institution is due to the benefaction of Sir Robert Taylor, an architect, who died in 1788, leaving his property to found an establishment for the teaching of modern languages. The library was established in 1848, and is devoted to the literature of the modern European languages. It contains a fair collection of works on European philology, with a special Dante collection, about 1000 Mazarinades and 400 Luther pamphlets. The Finch collection, left to the university in 1830, is also kept with the Taylor Library. Books are lent out to members of the university and to others on a proper introduction. The endowment affords an income of £800 to £1000 for library purposes.
The libraries of the several colleges vary considerably in extent and character, although, owing chiefly to limited funds, the changes and growth of all are insignificant. That of All Souls was established in 1443 by Archbishop Chichele, and enlarged in 1710 by the munificent bequest of Christopher Codrington. It devotes special attention to jurisprudence, of which it has a large collection. It possesses 40,000 printed volumes and 300 MSS., and fills a splendid hall 200 ft. long. The library of Brasenose College has a special endowment fund, so that it has, for a college library, the unusually large income of £200. The library of Christ Church is rich in divinity and topography. It embraces the valuable library bequeathed by Charles Boyle, 4th earl of Orrery, amounting to 10,000 volumes, the books and MSS. of Archbishop Wake, and the Morris collection of Oriental books. The building was finished in 1761, and closely resembles the basilica of Antoninus at Rome, now the Dogana. Corpus possesses a fine collection of Aldines, many of them presented by its founder, Bishop Fox, and a collection of 17th-century tracts catalogued by Mr Edwards, with about 400 MSS. Exeter College Library has 25,000 volumes, with special collections of classical dissertations and English theological and political tracts. The library of Jesus College has few books of later date than the early part of the last century. Many of them are from the bequest of Sir Leoline Jenkins, who built the existing library. There are also some valuable Welsh MSS. The library of Keble College consists largely of theology, including the MSS. of many of Keble’s works. The library of Magdalen College has about 22,500 volumes (including many volumes of pamphlets) and 250 MSS. It has scientific and topographical collections. The library of Merton College has of late devoted itself to foreign modern history. New College Library has about 17,000 printed volumes and about 350 MSS., several of which were presented by its founder, William of Wykeham. Oriel College Library, besides its other possessions, has a special collection of books on comparative philology and mythology, with a printed catalogue. The fine library of Queen’s College is strong in theology, in English and modern European history, and in English county histories. St John’s College Library is largely composed of the literature of theology and jurisprudence before 1750, and possesses a collection of medical books of the 16th and 17th centuries. The newer half of the library building was erected by Inigo Jones at the expense of Laud, who also gave many printed and manuscript books. The room used as a library at Trinity College formed part of Durham College, the library of which was established by Richard of Bury. Wadham College Library includes a collection of botanical books bequeathed by Richard Warner in 1775 and a collection of books, relating chiefly to the Spanish Reformers, presented by the executors of Benjamin Wiffen. Worcester College Library has of late specially devoted itself to classical archaeology. It is also rich in old plays.
The college libraries as a rule have not been used to the extent they deserve, and a good deal must be done before they can be said to be as useful and efficient as they might be.
The history of the University Library at Cambridge dates from the earlier part of the 15th century. Two early lists of its contents are preserved, the first embracing 52 vols. dating from about 1425, the second a shelf-list, apparently of 330 vols., drawn up by the outgoing proctors Cambridge. in 1473. Its first great benefactor was Thomas Scott of Rotherham, archbishop of York, who erected in 1475 the building in which the library continued until 1755. He also gave more than 200 books and manuscripts to the library, some of which still remain. The library received other benefactions, but nevertheless appeared “but mean” to John Evelyn when he visited Cambridge in 1654. In 1666 Tobias Rustat presented a sum of money to be invested to buy the choicest and most useful books. In 1715 George I. presented the library of Bishop Moore, which was very rich in early English printed books, forming over 30,000 vols. of printed books and manuscripts. The funds bequeathed by William Worts and John Manistre, together with that of Rustat, produce at present about £1500 a year. The share of university dues appropriated to library purposes amounts to £3000 a year. In addition the library is entitled to new books under the Copyright Acts. The number of printed volumes in the library cannot be exactly stated, as no recent calculation on the subject exists. It has been estimated at half a million. It includes a fine series of editiones principes of the classics and of the early productions of the English press. The MSS. number over 6000, in which are included a considerable number of adversaria or printed books with MS. notes, which form a leading feature in the collection. The most famous of the MSS. is the celebrated copy of the four gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, which is known as Codex Bezae, and which was presented to the university by that Reformer.
A catalogue of the MSS. has been published in 4 vols. (1856–1861), and this has been followed up by the publication of a number of separate catalogues of Persian, Syriac, Hebrew, Chinese, &c., MSS. There is no published catalogue of the books, although the catalogue is in print, the accessions being printed and cut up and arranged in volumes. A catalogue of English books before 1640 is in course of publication. The regulations of the library with regard to the lending of books are very liberal, as many as ten volumes being allowed out to one borrower at the same time. The annual income is about £7000.
There is a library attached to the Fitzwilliam Museum, bequeathed to the university in 1816. It consists of the entire library of Lord Fitzwilliam, with the addition of an archaeological library bought from the executors of Colonel Leake, and a small number of works, chiefly on the history of art, since added by purchase or bequest. It contains a collection of engravings of old masters, a collection of music, printed and MS., and a collection of illuminated MSS., chiefly French and Flemish, of the 14th to 16th centuries. The books are not allowed to be taken out. Catalogues and reprints of some of the music and other collections have been published.
The library of Trinity College, which is contained in a magnificent hall built by Sir Christopher Wren, has about 90,000 printed and 1918 MS. vols., and is especially strong in theology, classics and bibliography. It owes to numerous gifts and bequests the possession of a great number of rare books and manuscripts. Amongst these special collections are the Capell collection of early dramatic and especially Shakespearian literature, the collection of German theology and philosophy bequeathed by Archdeacon Hare, and the Grylls bequest in 1863 of 9600 vols., including many early printed books. There are printed catalogues of the Sanskrit and other Oriental MSS. by Dr Aufrecht and Professor Palmer, and of the incunabula by the late librarian, Mr Sinker. The library is open to all members of the college, and the privilege of using it is liberally extended to properly accredited students. One of the most interesting libraries is that of Trinity Hall, in which the original bookcases and benches are preserved, and many books are seen chained to the cases, as used formerly to be the practice.
None of the other college libraries rivals Trinity in the number of books. The library of Christ’s College received its first books from the foundress. Clare College Library includes a number of Italian and Spanish plays of the end of the 16th century left by George Ruggle. The library of Corpus Christi College first became notable through the bequest of books and MSS. made by Archbishop Parker in 1575. The printed books are less than 5000 in number, and the additions now made are chiefly in such branches as throw light on the extremely valuable collection of ancient MSS., which attracts scholars from all parts of Europe. There is a printed catalogue of these MSS. Gonville and Caius College Library is of early foundation. A catalogue of the MSS. was printed in 1849, with pictorial illustrations, and a list of the incunabula in 1850. The printed books of King’s College includes the fine collection bequeathed by Jacob Bryant in 1804. The MSS. are almost wholly Oriental, chiefly Persian and Arabic, and a catalogue of them has been printed. Magdalene College possesses the curious library formed by Pepys and bequeathed by him to the college, together with his collections of prints and drawings and of rare British portraits. It is remarkable for its treasures of popular literature and English ballads, as well as for the Scottish manuscript poetry collected by Sir Richard Maitland. The books are kept in Pepys’s own cases, and remain just as he arranged them himself. The library of Peterhouse is the oldest library in Cambridge, and possesses a catalogue of some 600 or 700 books dating from 1418, in which year it was completed. It is chiefly theological, though it possesses a valuable collection of modern works on geology and natural science, and a unique collection of MS. music. Queen’s College Library contains about 30,000 vols. mainly in theology, classics and Semitic literature, and has a printed class-catalogue. The library of St John’s College is rich in early printed books, and possesses a large collection of English historical tracts. Of the MSS. and rare books there is a printed catalogue.
The library of the university of London, founded in 1837, has over 60,000 vols. and includes the Goldsmith Library of economic literature, numbering 30,000 vols. Other collections are De Morgan’s collection of mathematical books, Grote’s classical library, &c. There is a printed catalogue London. of 1897, with supplements. Since its removal to South Kensington, this library has been greatly improved and extended. University College Library, Gower Street, established in 1829, has close upon 120,000 vols. made up chiefly of separate collections which have been acquired from time to time. Many of these collections overlap, and much duplicating results, leading to congestion. These collections include Jeremy Bentham’s library, Morrison’s Chinese library, Barlow’s Dante library, collections of law, mathematical, Icelandic, theological, art, oriental and other books, some of them of great value.
King’s College Library, founded in 1828, has over 30,000 vols. chiefly of a scientific character. In close association with the university of London is the London School of Economics and Political Science in Clare Market, in which is housed the British Library of Political Science with 50,000 vols. and a large number of official reports and pamphlets.
The collegiate library at Dulwich dates from 1619, and a list of its earliest accessions, in the handwriting of the founder, may still be seen. There are now about 17,000 vols. of miscellaneous works of the 17th and 18th centuries, with a few rare books. A catalogue of them was printed in 1880; and one describing the MSS. (567) and the muniments (606) was issued during the succeeding year. The last two classes are very important, and include the well-known “Alleyn Papers” and the theatrical diary of Philip Henslow. Sion College is a gild of the parochial clergy of the city and suburbs of London, and the library was founded in 1629 for their use; laymen may also read (but not borrow) the books when recommended by some beneficed metropolitan clergyman. The library is especially rich in liturgies, Port-Royal authors, pamphlets, &c., and contains about 100,000 vols. classified on a modification of the Decimal system. The copyright privilege was commuted in 1835 for an annual sum of £363, 15s. 2d. The present building was opened in 1886 and is one of the striking buildings of the Victoria Embankment.
Most of the London collegiate or teaching institutions have libraries attached to them, and it will only be necessary to mention a few of the more important to get an idea of their variety: Baptist College (1810), 13,000 vols.; Bedford College (for women), 17,000 vols.; Birkbeck College (1823), 12,000 vols.; Congregational Library (1832–1893), 14,000 vols.; the Royal College of Music, containing the library of the defunct Sacred Harmonic Society; Royal Naval College (Greenwich, 1873), 7000 vols.; St Bartholomew’s Hospital (1422), 15,000 vols.; St Paul’s School (1509), 10,000 vols.; the Working Men’s College (1854), 5000 vols.; and all the Polytechnic schools in the Metropolitan area.
The university library of Durham (1832) contains about 35,000 vols., and all the modern English universities—Birmingham, Mason University College (1880), 27,000 vols.; Leeds, Liverpool (1882), 56,000 vols.; Manchester, Victoria University, which absorbed Owens College (1851), English provinces. 115,000 vols.; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Sheffield (1907), &c.—have collections of books. The libraries in connexion with theological colleges and public schools throughout England are often quite extensive, and reference may be made to Eton College (1441), 25,000 vols.; Haileybury (1862), 12,000 vols.; Harrow (Vaughan Library), 12,000 vols.; Mill Hill; Oscott College, Erdington (1838), 36,000 vols.; Rugby (1878), 8000 vols.; Stonyhurst College (1794), c. 40,000 vols., &c. The new building for the university of Wales at Bangor has ample accommodation for an adequate library, and the University College at Aberystwith is also equipped with a library.
The origin of the University Library of Edinburgh is to be found in a bequest of his books of theology and law made to the town in 1580 by Clement Little, advocate. This was two years before the foundation of the university, and in 1584 the town council caused the collection to be removed Scotland. to the college, of which they were the patrons. As it was the only library in the town, it continued to grow and received many benefactions, so that in 1615 it became necessary to erect a library building. Stimulated perhaps by the example of Bodley at Oxford, Drummond of Hawthornden made a large donation of books, of which he printed a catalogue in 1627, and circulated an appeal for assistance from others. In 1678 the library received a bequest of 2000 vols. from the Rev. James Nairne. In 1709 the library became entitled to the copy privilege, which has since been commuted for a payment of £575 per annum. In 1831 the books were removed to the present library buildings, for which a parliamentary grant had been obtained. The main library hall (190 ft. in length) is one of the most splendid apartments in Scotland. One of the rooms is set apart as a memorial to General Reid, by whose benefaction the library has greatly benefited. Amongst the more recent accessions have been the Halliwell-Phillips Shakespeare collection, the Laing collection of Scottish MSS., the Baillie collection of Oriental MSS. (some of which are of great value), and the Hodgson collection of works on political economy. The library now consists of about 210,000 vols. of printed books with over 2000 MSS. Recently it has been found necessary to make considerable additions to the shelving. The library of the university of Glasgow dates from the 15th century, and numbers George Buchanan and many other distinguished men amongst its early benefactors. A classified subject-catalogue has been printed, and there is also a printed dictionary catalogue. The annual accessions are about 1500, and the commutation-grant £707. Connected with the university, which is trustee for the public, is the library of the Hunterian Museum, formed by the eminent anatomist Dr William Hunter. It is a collection of great bibliographical interest, as it is rich in MSS. and in fine specimens of early printing, especially in Greek and Latin classics. There are about 200,000 vols. in the library.
The first mention of a library at St Andrews is as early as 1456. The three colleges were provided with libraries of their own about the time of their foundation—St Salvator’s 1455, St Leonard’s 1512, St Mary’s 1537. The University Library was established about 1610 by King James VI., and in the course of the 18th century the college libraries were merged in it. The copyright privilege was commuted in 1837. The collection numbers 120,000 vols. exclusive of pamphlets, with about 200 MSS., chiefly of local interest. A library is supposed to have existed at Aberdeen since the foundation of King’s College by Bishop Elphinstone in 1494. The present collection combines the libraries of King’s College and Marischal College, now incorporated in the university. The latter had its origin in a collection of books formed by the town authorities at the time of the Reformation, and for some time kept in one of the churches. The library has benefited by the Melvin bequest, chiefly of classical books, and those of Henderson and Wilson, and contains some very valuable books. The general library is located in Old Aberdeen in a room of imposing design, while the medical and law books are in the New Town in Marischal College. The library has a grant, in lieu of the copyright privilege, of £320. The annual income of the library is £2500, and it contains over 180,000 vols. The books are classified on a modification of the decimal system, and there are printed author and MS. subject-catalogues. By arrangement with the municipal library authority, books are lent to non-students. All the technical schools, public schools, and theological and other colleges in Scotland are well equipped with libraries as the following list will show:—Aberdeen: Free Church College, 17,000 vols. Edinburgh: Fettes College, c. 5000 vols.; Heriot’s Hospital (1762), c. 5000 vols.; New College (1843), 50,000 vols. Glasgow: Anderson’s College (containing the valuable Euing music library), 16,000 vols.; United Free Church Theological College, 33,000 vols. Trinity College, Glenalmond, 5000 vols.
The establishment of the library of Trinity College, Dublin, is contemporaneous with that of the Bodleian at Oxford, and it is an interesting circumstance that, when Challoner and Ussher (afterwards the archbishop) were in London purchasing books to form the library, they met Bodley Ireland. there, and entered into friendly intercourse and co-operation with him to procure the choicest and best books. The commission was given to Ussher and Challoner as trustees of the singular donation which laid the foundation of the library. In the year 1601 the English army determined to commemorate their victory over the Spanish troops at Kinsale by some permanent monument. Accordingly they subscribed the sum of £1800 to establish a library in the university of Dublin. For Ussher’s own collection, consisting of 10,000 vols. and many valuable MSS., the college was also indebted to military generosity. On his death in 1655 the officers and soldiers of the English army then in Ireland purchased the whole collection for £22,000 with the design of presenting it to the college. Cromwell, however, interfered, alleging that he proposed to found a new college, where the books might more conveniently be preserved. They were deposited therefore in Dublin Castle, and the college only obtained them after the Restoration. In 1674 Sir Jerome Alexander left his law books with some valuable MSS. to the college. In 1726 Dr Palliser, archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed over 4000 vols. to the library; and ten years later Dr Gilbert gave the library nearly 13,000 vols. which he had himself collected and arranged. In 1745 the library received a valuable collection of MSS. as a bequest from Dr Stearne. In 1802 the collection formed by the pensionary Fagel, which had been removed to England on the French invasion of Holland, was acquired for £10,000. It consisted of over 20,000 vols. In 1805 Mr Quin bequeathed a choice collection of classical and Italian books. There have been many other smaller donations, in addition to which the library is continually increased by the books received under the Copyright Act. The library now contains 300,000 vols. and over 2000 MSS. There is no permanent endowment, and purchases are made by grants from the board. The whole collections are contained in one building, erected in 1732, consisting of eight rooms. The great library hall is a magnificent apartment over 200 ft. long. A new reading-room was opened in 1848. A catalogue of the books acquired before 1872 has been printed (1887). There is a printed catalogue of the MSS. and Incunabula (1890). Graduates of Dublin, Oxford, and Cambridge are admitted to read permanently, and temporary admission is granted by the board to any fit person who makes application.
The library of Queen’s College, Belfast (1849), contains about 60,000 vols., while Queen’s College, Cork (1849), has over 32,000 vols. St Patrick’s College, Maynooth (1795), has about 60,000, and other collegiate libraries are well supplied with books.
With one or two exceptions, libraries are attached to the cathedrals of England and Wales. Though they are of course intended for the use of the cathedral or diocesan clergy, they are in most cases open to any respectable person who may be properly introduced. They seldom Cathedral and church libraries. contain very much modern literature, chiefly consisting of older theology, with more or less addition of classical and historical literature. They vary in extent from a few volumes, as at Llandaff or St David’s, to 20,000 vols., as at Durham. Together they possess nearly 150,000 printed and manuscript vols. As a rule, very little is spent upon them, and they are very little used. The chamber in the old cloisters, in which the library of the dean and chapter of Westminster is preserved, is well known from the charming description by Washington Irving in his Sketch Book. There are about 14,000 vols., mostly of old theology and history, including many rare Bibles and other valuable books. The library of the dean and chapter of St Paul’s Cathedral was founded in very early times, and now numbers some 22,000 vols. and pamphlets, mainly theological, with a good collection of early Bibles and Testaments, Paul’s Cross Sermons, and works connected with the cathedral.
Perhaps the best library of Catholic theology in London is that of the Oratory at South Kensington, established in 1849, and now containing nearly 35,000 vols. The Catholic Cathedral of Westminster, of recent foundation, contains about 22,000 vols. The archiepiscopal library at Lambeth was founded in 1610 by Archbishop Bancroft, and has been enriched by the gifts of Laud, Tenison, Manners Sutton, and others of his successors; it is now lodged in the noble hall built by Juxon. The treasures consist of the illuminated MSS., and a rich store of early printed books; of the latter two catalogues have been issued by Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792–1866). The MSS. are described in H. J. Todd’s catalogue, 1812. The total number of printed books and manuscripts is nearly 45,000.
The library of Christ Church, Oxford, belongs alike to the college and the cathedral, but will be more properly described as a college library. The cathedral library of Durham dates from monastic times, and possesses many of the books which belonged to the monastery. These were added to by Dean Sudbury, the second founder of the library, and Bishop Cosin. The collection has been considerably increased in more modern times, and now contains 15,000 vols. It is especially rich in MSS., some of which are of great beauty and value; a catalogue of them was printed in 1825. The library has good topographical and entomological collections. The chapter spend £370 per annum in salaries and in books. The library at York numbers about 11,000 vols., and has been very liberally thrown open to the public. It is kept in the former chapel of the archbishop’s palace, and has many valuable MSS. and early printed books. The foundation of the library at Canterbury dates probably from the Roman mission to England, A.D. 596, although the library does not retain any of the books then brought over, or even of the books said to have been sent by Pope Gregory to the first archbishop in 601. It is recorded that among Lanfranc’s buildings was a new library, and Becket is said to have collected books abroad to present to the library. The collection now numbers about 9900 printed books, with about 110 MS. vols., and between 6000 and 7000 documents. A catalogue was printed in 1802. The present building was erected in 1867 on part of the site of the monastic dormitory. The library at Lincoln contains 7400 vols., of which a catalogue was printed in 1859. It possesses a fine collection of political tracts of the age of Elizabeth, James and Charles I. The present collection at Chichester dates from the Restoration only; that at Ely is rich in books and tracts relating to the non-jurors. The library at Exeter possesses many Saxon MSS. of extreme interest, one of them being the gift of Leofric, the first bishop. The treasures of Lichfield were destroyed by the Puritans during the civil war, and the existing library is of later formation. Frances, duchess of Somerset, bequeathed to it nearly 1000 vols., including the famous Evangeliary of St Chad. The collection at Norwich is chiefly modern, and was presented by Dr Sayers. The earlier library at Peterborough having almost wholly perished in the civil war, Bishop White Kennett became the virtual founder of the present collection. Salisbury is rich in incunabula, and a catalogue has recently been printed. Winchester Cathedral Library is mainly the bequest of Bishop Morley in the 17th century. The library at Bristol, then numbering 6000 or 7000 vols., was burnt and pillaged by the mob in the riots of 1831. Only about 1000 vols. were saved, many of which were recovered, but few additions have been made to them. At Chester in 1691 Dean Arderne bequeathed his books and part of his estate “as the beginning of a public library for the clergy and city.” The library of Hereford is a good specimen of an old monastic library; the books are placed in the Lady Chapel, and about 230 choice MSS. are chained to oaken desks. The books are ranged with the edges outwards upon open shelves, to which they are attached by chains and bars. Another most interesting “chained” library is that at Wimborne Minster, Dorset, which contains about 280 books in their original condition. The four Welsh cathedrals were supplied with libraries by a deed of settlement in 1709. The largest of them, that of St Asaph, has about 1750 vols. The Bibliotheca Leightoniana, or Leightonian Library, founded by Archbishop Leighton in 1684 in Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland, contains about 2000 vols., and is the only cathedral library in Scotland of any historic interest. The library of St Benedict’s Abbey, Fort Augustus (1878) with 20,000 vols. is an example of a recent foundation. The public library in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, sometimes called Marsh’s Library after its founder, was established about 1694 by Archbishop Marsh, was incorporated by act of parliament in 1707, and endowed by its founder at his death in 1713. The building was erected by the founder, and the original oak fittings still remain. There is no room for additions, and a large collection of modern books was refused a few years ago on that account. The endowment is too small to allow of purchases from the funds of the library, so that it still retains the character of a 17th-century library. The books are chiefly theological, and in the learned languages; they include the libraries of Bishop Stillingfleet and of Elias Bouhereau, a French refugee, who was the first librarian.
Endowed libraries may be defined as those which have been directly established by the bequests of individuals or corporate bodies, excluding those which have been assisted by donors or are merely named after them. As compared with the United States, the endowed libraries of Endowed libraries. Britain are few in number, although several are of great importance. London possesses very few libraries which have been endowed by individual donors. The principal are the Bishopsgate Institute (1891), which was founded out of sundry City of London charities, and now contains about 44,000 vols., and is celebrated for a fine collection of local prints, drawings and maps. It is open free to persons in the east part of the City. The Cripplegate Institute (1896) in Golden Lane, also founded out of charity moneys, has three branches—St Bride’s Foundation Institute (18,000 vols.), jointly; Queen Street, Cheapside, Branch (8000 vols.); and St Luke’s Institute (5000 vols.)—and contains 28,000 vols. Lectures and other entertainments are features of both these libraries. Dr Williams’ library was founded by the will of an eminent Presbyterian divine of that name; it was opened in 1729. The books (50,000) are housed in a new building in Gordon Square, completed in 1873. Theology of all schools of opinion is represented, and there are special collections of theosophical books and MSS., the works of Boehme, Law, and other mystical writers. The MSS. include the original minutes of the Westminster Assembly, letters and treatises of Richard Baxter, &c. The St Bride Foundation Technical Reference Library (1895) is a very complete collection of books and specimens of printing and the allied arts, including the libraries of William Blades and Talbot Baines Reed, and a number of more modern books presented by Mr Passmore Edwards. It contains about 18,000 vols., and is open to all persons interested in printing, lithography, &c., and also to the general public.
The most notable of the English provincial endowed libraries are those established in Manchester. The fine old library established by Humphrey Chetham in 1653 is still housed in the old collegiate buildings where Sir Walter Raleigh was once entertained by Dr Dee. The collection consists largely of older literature, and numbers about 60,000 volumes and MSS. It is freely open to the public, and may be said to have been the first free library in England. Catalogues in broad classified form were issued in 1791–1863, and there have been supplements since. A remarkable instance of a great library established by private munificence is that of the John Rylands Library at Manchester, which was founded, erected and endowed by Mrs E. A. Rylands in memory of her husband, and is contained in a magnificent building designed by Basil Champneys and opened in 1899. The collection was formed largely on the famous Althorp Library, made by Earl Spencer (40,000 vols.), one of the most remarkable collections of early printed books and rare Bibles ever brought together. The present number of volumes is about 115,000, of which over 2500 are incunabula. A short-title catalogue, 3 vols. 4to., and one of English books, have been published, and a manuscript dictionary catalogue has been provided. Several valuable special catalogues and descriptive lists have been issued, one of the latest being a special catalogue of the architectural works contained in all the Manchester libraries.
The William Salt Library, a special Staffordshire library with numerous MSS. and other collections, formed to bring together materials for a history of Staffordshire, was opened to the public in 1874 in the town of Stafford. It contains nearly 20,000 books, prints and other items.
Other endowed libraries in the English provinces which deserve mention are the Bingham Public Library (1905) at Cirencester; the Guille-Allès Library (1856), Guernsey; St Deiniol’s Library (1894), Hawarden, founded by William Ewart Gladstone, the great statesman; and the Shakespeare Memorial Library and theatre (1879) at Stratford-upon-Avon.
The most important endowed library in Scotland is the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, founded by Stephen Mitchell, tobacco-manufacturer (1874), who left £70,000 for the purpose. It was opened in 1877 in temporary premises, and after various changes will soon be transferred to a very fine new building specially erected. It contains some very valuable special collections, among which may be mentioned Scottish poetry, Burns’ works, Glasgow books and printing, and a choice collection of fine books on art and other subjects given by Robert Jeffrey. It contains nearly 200,000 vols. and is the reference library for the Glasgow public library system. Another older Glasgow public library, also founded by a tobacco merchant, is Stirling’s and Glasgow Public Library (1791), which was endowed by Walter Stirling, and amalgamated with an existing subscription library. It contains 60,000 vols. and is free to reference readers, but a subscription is charged for borrowing privileges. Still another Glasgow institution is Baillie’s Institution Free Reference Library, established under the bequest of George Baillie (1863), but not opened till 1887. It contains over 24,000 vols. Other Scottish endowed libraries are the Anderson Library, Woodside, Aberdeen (1883); the Taylor Free Library, Crieff (1890); the Elder Free Library, Govan (1900); and the Chambers Institution, Peebles (1859), founded by William Chambers, the well-known publisher. The public library of Armagh, Ireland, was founded by Lord Primate Robinson in 1770, who gave a considerable number of books and an endowment. The books are freely available, either on the spot, or by loan on deposit of double the value of the work applied for.
There are many libraries belonging to societies devoted to the study of every kind of subject, and it is only necessary to mention a few of the principal. Full particulars of most of them will be found in Reginald A. Rye’s Libraries of societies and learned bodies. Libraries of London: a Guide for Students (1910), a work of accuracy and value.
Of the law libraries, that at Lincoln’s Inn, London, is the oldest and the largest. It dates from 1497, when John Nethersale, a member of the society, made a bequest of forty marks, part of which was to be devoted to the building of a library for the benefit of the students of the laws of England. A catalogue of the printed books was published in 1859 and since supplemented, and the MSS. were catalogued by the Rev. Joseph Hunter in 1837. There are about 72,000 vols. The library of the Inner Temple is known to have existed in 1540. In the middle of the 17th century it received a considerable benefaction from William Petyt, the well-known keeper of the Tower records. There are now about 60,000 vols., including the pamphlets collected by John Adolphus for his History of England, books on crime and prisons brought together by Mr Crawford, and a selection of works on jurisprudence made by John Austin. A library in connexion with the Middle Temple was in existence during the reign of Henry VIII., but the date usually assigned to its foundation is 1641, when Robert Ashley left his books to the inn of which he had been a member. There are now about 50,000 vols. Gray’s Inn Library (21,000 vols.) was perhaps established before 1555. In 1669 was made the first catalogue of the books, and the next, still extant, in 1689. The Law Society (1828) has a good law and general library (50,000 vols.), including the best collection of private acts of parliament in England. The library of the Royal Society (1667), now housed in Burlington House, contains over 80,000 vols., of which many are the transactions and other publications of scientific bodies. The Royal Institution of Great Britain (1803) possesses a reference library of 60,000 vols. Some of its early catalogues were in classified form. The London Institution (1805), in the City, is a general library of reference and lending books open to members only. There are about 150,000 vols., and lectures are given in connexion with the institution. The Royal Society of Arts has a library numbering about 11,000 vols., chiefly the publications of other learned bodies.
The best library of archaeology and kindred subjects is that of the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, consisting of nearly 40,000 printed vols. and many MSS. It is rich in early printed books, topography, heraldry and numismatics, and includes a curious collection of books on pageants presented by Mr Fairholt, and the remarkable assemblage of lexicographical works formerly belonging to Albert Way.
Of libraries devoted to the natural sciences may be mentioned those of the Geological Society of London (1807), with over 30,000 vols. and maps; the Linnean Society (1788), 35,000 vols.; the Zoological Society (1829), about 31,000 vols. Of libraries associated with medicine there are those of the Royal Society of Medicine (1907), incorporating a number of medical societies, over 95,000 vols., about to be housed in a new building; the Royal College of Physicians (1525), 26,000 vols.; the British Medical Association, 20,000 vols.; the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1800), 60,000 vols., with a MS. catalogue on cards; the Chemical Society (1841), over 25,000 vols.; and the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (1841), about 15,000 vols. Other important London society libraries are—the Royal Geographical Society (1830), 50,000 vols., and numerous maps in a special room, open to the public for reference; the Royal Colonial Institute (1868), 70,000 vols. of British colonial literature; the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall (1831), has 32,000 works on military and naval subjects and a museum. Large and interesting collections of books are owned by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers (containing the Ronalds Library), the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of British Architects, and practically every other working society in London.
The English provincial libraries connected with societies or learned bodies are mostly attached to those concerned with law, medicine, and various antiquarian, literary and scientific subjects. The headquarters of most national societies being in London to some extent accounts for the comparatively small number of these special libraries in the provinces.
The most important libraries of this description outside London are situated in Scotland and Ireland, and one at least is practically a national collection.
The principal library in Scotland is that of the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh, who in 1680 appointed a committee of their number, which reported that “it was fitt that, seeing if the recusants could be made pay their entire money, there wold be betwixt three thousand and four thousand pounds in cash; that the same be imployed on the best and fynest lawers and other law bookes, conforme to a catalogue to be condescended upon by the Facultie, that the samen may be a fonde for ane Bibliothecque whereto many lawers and others may leave their books.” In 1682 the active carrying out of the scheme was committed to the Dean of Faculty, Sir George Mackenzie of Rosehaugh, who may be regarded as the founder of the library. In 1684 the first librarian was appointed, and the library appears to have made rapid progress, since it appears from the treasurer’s accounts that in 1686 the books and furniture were valued at upwards of £11,000 Scots, exclusive of donations. In the year 1700, the rooms in the Exchange Stairs, Parliament Close, in which the library was kept, being nearly destroyed by fire the collection was removed to the ground floor of the Parliament House, where it has ever since remained. The library retains the copyright privilege conferred upon it in 1709. Of the special collections the most important are the Astorga collection of old Spanish books, purchased by the faculty in 1824 for £4000; the Thorkelin collection, consisting of about 1200 vols., relating chiefly to the history and antiquities of the northern nations, and including some rare books on old Scottish poetry; the Dietrich collection of over 100,000 German pamphlets and dissertations, including many of the writings of Luther and Melanchthon, purchased for the small sum of £80; and the Combe collection.
The faculty appear early to have turned their attention to the collection of MSS., and this department of the library now numbers about 3000 vols. Many of them are of great interest and value, especially for the civil and ecclesiastical history of Scotland before and after the Reformation. There are thirteen monastic chartularies which escaped the destruction of the religious houses to which they belonged. The MSS. relating to Scottish church history include the collections of Spottiswoode, Wodrow and Calderwood. The Wodrow collection consists of 154 vols., and includes his correspondence, extending from 1694 to 1726. Sir James Balfour’s collection and the Balcarres papers consist largely of original state papers, and include many interesting royal letters of the times of James V., Queen Mary and James VI. The Sibbald papers, numbering over 30 vols., are largely topographical. The Riddel notebooks, numbering 156 vols., contain collections to illustrate the genealogy of Scottish families. There are about one hundred volumes of Icelandic MSS., purchased in 1825 from Professor Finn Magnusson, and some Persian and Sanskrit, with a few classical, manuscripts. The department has some interesting treasures of old poetry, extending to 73 vols. The most important are the Bannatyne MS., in 2 vols. folio, written by George Bannatyne in 1568, and the Auchinleck MS., a collection of ancient English poetry, named after Alexander Boswell of Auchinleck, who presented it in 1774.
The first catalogue of the printed books was compiled in 1692, and contains a preface by Sir George Mackenzie. Another was prepared under the care of Ruddiman in 1742. In 1853 the late Mr Halkett commenced a catalogue, which has been printed in 6 vols. 4to, with a supplement, and includes all the printed books in the library at the end of 1871, containing about 260,000 entries. The library, managed by a keeper and staff, under a board of six curators, is easily accessible to all persons engaged in literary work, and now contains about 500,000 vols.
The library of the Writers to the Signet was established by the Society at Edinburgh in 1755. At first it consisted of law books exclusively, but in 1788 they began to collect the best editions of works in other departments of literature. During the librarianship of Macvey Napier (1805–1837) the number of volumes was more than sextupled, and in 1812 the library was removed to the new hall adjoining the Parliament House. In 1834 the upper hall was devoted to the collection. This is a magnificent apartment 142 ft. long, with a beautiful cupola painted by Stothard. The library now contains over 110,000 vols. and includes some fine specimens of early printing, as well as many other rare and costly works. It is especially rich in county histories and British topography and antiquities. A catalogue of the law books was printed in 1856. The late David Laing, who became librarian in 1837, published the first volume of a new catalogue in 1871, and in 1891 this was completed with a subject index. The books are lent out to the writers and even to strangers recommended by them.
The library of the Royal Irish Academy at Dublin was established on the formation of the Academy in 1785 for the purpose of promoting the study of science, literature and antiquities in Ireland. The library possesses about 80,000 printed vols. and MSS. There is a large collection of MSS. and books relating to the history, ancient language, and antiquities of Ireland. They include the Betham collection, acquired partly by public subscription in 1851. The library is partly supported by a government grant and is freely open on a proper introduction. The publication of Irish MSS. in the library was begun in 1870, and has since continued; the general catalogue is in manuscript form.
The library of King’s Inns was founded, pursuant to a bequest of books and legal MSS. under the will of Mr Justice Robinson in 1787, to form the nucleus of a library for law students. It is partly supported from the funds of the benchers, but partly also by a treasury grant in lieu of the copyright privilege.
It is needless to describe the other society libraries, as most of them are described in annuals like the Literary Year-book and similar publications, with statistics of stock, issues, &c., brought up to date.
Proprietary and subscription libraries were at one time more common than now, as, owing to the steady advance of the municipal library, the minor subscription libraries have been gradually extinguished. A striking example of this is furnished by the mechanics’ institutes which Proprietary and subscription libraries. used to flourish all over the country. In most cases these have been handed over to the local authorities by the owners to form the nucleus of the public rate-supported library, and in this way the older libraries have been preserved and valuable aid has been given to the popular library movement. Somewhat akin to the mechanics’ institutes are the libraries established in connexion with various co-operative societies in the north of England. Together with working men’s club libraries, there must be nearly 100 libraries of the class just mentioned, ranging in size from a few hundred vols. to 30,000 or 40,000 vols. The affiliated clubs of the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union possess among them over 100,000 vols.
Among subscription libraries, the London Library stands first in order of importance. It was founded in 1841 as a lending library for the use of scholars, and Dean Milman, Sir G. C. Lewis, W. E. Gladstone, Thomas Carlyle, Henry Hallam and other eminent men took part in its formation. By means of a moderate subscription, funds were raised for the purchase of books on general subjects, which now amount to about 250,000 vols. Of these elaborate and excellent author and subject catalogues have been printed. The last is valuable as a classified guide to the contents of the library.
Some mention should be made also of the more important subscription or proprietary libraries, which were formed for the most part in the latter half of the 18th century. The earliest circulating library in the metropolis was established about the middle of the 18th century. The first in Birmingham was opened by Hutton in 1757. The idea of a proprietary library appears to have been first carried out at Liverpool in 1758. The library then formed still flourishes at the Lyceum, and possesses a collection of 55,000 vols. and an income of £1000 a year. In 1760 a library was formed at Warrington which has been merged in the Warrington Museum. The Leeds library was established in 1768, and now has 64,000 vols. In 1772 the Bristol museum and library was formed, and numbered Coleridge, Southey and Landor among its earlier members. It has now been merged in the reference collection of the Bristol public libraries. The Birmingham (old) library was formed in 1779, and its rules were drawn up by Dr Priestley. The library has now about 80,000 vols.
Other English proprietary libraries have been established at Leicester, Liverpool (Athenaeum, 1798), Manchester, Nottingham and elsewhere. In Scotland the first subscription library was started by Allan Ramsay, the poet, at Edinburgh in 1725, and since that time commercial subscription libraries have increased greatly in number and size, Mudie’s and The Times Book Club being typical modern examples.
Many of the principal clubs possess libraries; that of the Athenaeum (London) is by far the most important. It now numbers about 75,000 vols. of books in all departments of literature, and is especially rich in well-bound and fine copies of works on the fine arts, archaeology, Club libraries. topography and history. The pamphlets, of which there is a complete printed catalogue, as well as of the books, form a remarkable series, including those collected by Gibbon and Mackintosh. Next comes the Reform Club, with about 60,000 vols., chiefly in belles-lettres, with a fair proportion of parliamentary and historical works. The National Liberal Club, containing the Gladstone Library, has about 45,000 vols., and may be used occasionally by non-members. The Oxford and Cambridge Club has 30,000 vols. in general and classical literature. At the Garrick there is a small dramatic collection; and the (Senior) United Service Club, besides a number of books on professional subjects, possesses the fine library which formerly belonged to Dugald Stewart.
Other London clubs which possess libraries are the Carlton with 25,000 vols.; the Constitutional with 12,000 vols.; Grand Lodge of Freemasons, 10,000 vols.; Alpine, 5000 vols.; Travellers, 8000 vols.; and Junior Carlton, 6000 vols. In the provinces and in Scotland and Ireland every club of a social character has a reading-room, and in most cases a library is attached.
The first act of parliament authorizing the establishment of public libraries in England was obtained by William Ewart, M.P. for the Dumfries Burghs, in 1850. This arose out of the report of a special parliamentary committee appointed to enquire into the management of the Municipal libraries. British Museum in 1835, and a more general report on libraries in 1849, at which much evidence was submitted to prove the necessity for providing public libraries. Ewart obtained both committees and also, in 1845, procured an act for “encouraging the establishment of museums in large towns.” Neither the 1845 nor 1850 acts proved effective, owing chiefly to the limitation of the library rate to 1d. in the £ of rental, which produced in most cases an insufficient revenue. In 1853 the Library Act of 1850 was extended to Ireland and Scotland, and in 1854 Scotland obtained an act increasing the rate limit from 1d. to 1d. in the £. In 1855 Ireland also obtained a penny rate, and later in the same year England obtained the same power by an act which remained the principal library act, with some intermediate amendments, till 1892, when a Public Library Consolidation Act was passed. In the following year, 1893, the power of adopting the acts, or putting them in operation, was transferred from the ratepayers to the local authority, save in the case of rural parishes and the metropolitan vestries. By the London Government Act of 1899, however, the metropolitan boroughs were given the power of adopting the acts of 1892–1893 without consulting the ratepayers, so that as the law at present stands, any urban district can put the public libraries acts in force without reference to the voters. Rural parishes are still required by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1894 to adopt the 1892 Libraries Act by means of a parish meeting, or if a poll is demanded, by means of a poll of the voters.
The main points in British library legislation are as follows:—
(a) The acts are permissive in character and not compulsory, and can only be put in force by a vote of a majority of members in an urban district or city, or of a majority of voters in rural districts.
(b) The amount of rate which can be collected is limited to one penny in the pound of the rateable value of the district, though in some towns power has been obtained by special legislation for local purposes to increase the amount to 2d. In a few cases, as at Birmingham, no limit is fixed. The incomes produced by the penny in the pound range from less than £10 in a rural district to over £25,000 in a large city.
(c) Municipal libraries are managed by committees appointed by the local authorities, who may, if so disposed, delegate to them all their powers and duties under section 15 of the act of 1892. The local authorities in England have also power to appoint persons on such committees who are not members of the council. By the Scottish principal act of 1887 committees are to consist of one-half councillors and one-half non-councillors, not to exceed a total of 20, and these committees become independent bodies not subject to the councils. Glasgow has contracted out of this arrangement by means of a special act. In Ireland, committees are appointed much on the same system as in England.
(d) Power is given to provide libraries, museums, schools for science, art galleries, and schools for art. Needless to say it is impossible to carry on so many departments with the strictly limited means provided by the acts, although some towns have attempted to do so. The Museums and Gymnasiums Act of 1891 enables an additional rate of 1d. to be raised for either purpose, and many places which have established museums or art galleries under the provisions of the Libraries Acts have also adopted the Museums Act in order to increase their revenues.
(e) The regulation and management of public libraries are entrusted to the library authority, which may either be the local authority, or a committee with a full or partial delegation of powers. The library authority can buy books, periodicals, specimens of art and science, and make all necessary rules for the proper working of the libraries. A staff can be appointed, and arrangements may be made with adjoining local authorities for the joint use of one or more libraries. Buildings may also be erected, and money borrowed for the purpose on the security of the local rates. These are the main provisions of the library legislation of the United Kingdom as at present existing. Revision and amendment are wanted as regards the abolition or raising of the rate limitation, and some clearer definitions as to powers which can be exercised, as, for example, the right to spend money on lectures. The rate limitation is the most serious obstacle to progress, and it affects the smaller towns to a much greater degree than large cities or areas.
Between 1850 and 1910 about 630 local government areas of all kinds adopted the Public Libraries Acts. Of these a considerable number had in 1910 not yet put the acts in operation, whilst the London Government Act 1899, by joining various previously independent vestries or boards, extinguished about 23 library areas. The Metropolitan County of London in 1910 comprised 25 library areas, or counting also the City, 26, and only Marylebone, Bethnal Green and parts of Finsbury and Paddington remained unprovided. Practically every large city or district council has adopted the Public Libraries Acts or obtained special legislation, and the only important places, in addition to Marylebone and Bethnal Green, unprovided in 1910 were Bacup, Crewe, Dover, Jarrow, Scarborough, Swindon, Weymouth, Llandudno, Govan, Leith, Pollokshaws and Wishaw. In all, 556 places had library systems in operation, and among them they possessed about 925 buildings.
The progress of the public library movement was very slow up to 1887, the year of Queen Victoria’s jubilee. From 1887, however, when many districts established libraries as memorials to Queen Victoria, the progress has been much more rapid. An immense stimulus to the movement was given from about 1900, when Mr Andrew Carnegie (q.v.) began to present library buildings to towns in England as well as to Scotland and the United States. The result of this action was to increase the number of municipal libraries from 146 in 1886 to 556 in 1910; and in the 10 years up to 1910 during which Mr Carnegie’s gifts had been offered, no fewer than 163 places had put the acts in operation, a yearly average of over 16 adoptions.
There is one municipal library whose importance demands special mention, although it is not rate-supported under the provisions of the Public Libraries Acts. This is the Guildhall library of the Corporation of the City of London, which is a free public reference library with a periodicals reading-room, and a lending department for officials and members of the corporation. A library was established for London by Sir Richard Whittington between 1421–1426, and several notices in the civic records show how well in those times the citizens cared for their books. But it did not remain without accident; in 1522 the Lord Protector Somerset carried off three cart-loads of books, and during the great fire of 1666 the remainder was destroyed together with the library buildings. Nothing was done to repair the loss until 1824, when a committee was appointed, and rooms set apart for library purposes. In 1840 a catalogue of 10,000 vols. was printed, and in 1859 a second was prepared of 40,000 vols. In consequence of the large and increasing number of the readers, the present fine building was commenced about ten years later, and, after having cost £90,000, was opened in 1873 as a free public library.
There are now upwards of 136,000 printed vols. and 5900 MSS. in the Guildhall library. The contents are of a general character, and include a special collection of books about London, the Solomons Hebrew and rabbinical library, and the libraries of the Clockmakers Company and the old Dutch church in Austin Friars. Recently the fine collection of books by and about Charles Dickens, called the National Dickens Library, was added, and other special libraries of a valuable nature, as well as an extensive and well-cared-for collection of London prints, and drawings.
There is such a variety of library buildings in the United Kingdom that it is not possible to single out examples for special description, but a brief statement of their work and methods will help to give some idea of the extent of British library administration.their activities.
The total number of borrowers enrolled in 1910 was about 2,200,000, 59% males and 41% females, 48% under 20 years of age and 52% over 20. Industrial and commercial occupations were followed by 49% of the borrowers, the balance of 51% being domestic, professional, unstated, and including 20% of students and scholars. To these borrowers 60,000,000 vols. are circulated every year for home-reading, and of this large number 54% represented fiction, including juvenile literature. The Reference libraries issued over 11,000,000 vols., exclusive of books consulted at open shelves, and to the Reading-rooms, Magazines, Newspapers, Directories, Time-tables, &c., allowing only one consultation for each visit, 85,000,000 visits are made per annum. Allowing 5% for the reading of fiction in current magazines, it appears that the percentage of fiction read in British municipal libraries, taking into account the work of every issuing or consulting department, is only about 24%. This fact should be carefully recorded, as in the past municipal libraries have suffered in the esteem of all sections of the public, by being erroneously described as mere centres for the distribution of common novels. The quality of the fiction selected is the best obtainable, and, as shown above, it is not read to an unreasonable or unnecessary extent.
The changes in character, policy and methods which have marked library administration in the United Kingdom, have affected libraries of all kinds, but on the whole the municipal libraries have been most active in the promotion of improvements. It is evident, moreover, even to the most casual observer, that a complete revolution in library practice has been effected since 1882, not only in the details of administration, but in the initiation of ideas and experiments. One of the most notable changes has been the gradual disappearance of the unclassified library. Previous to 1882 very little had been accomplished in the way of scientific classification schemes equipped with suitable notations, although the Decimal method of Mr Melvil Dewey had been applied in the United States. After that date this system began to be adopted for reference departments in British municipal libraries, till in 1910 at least 120 places had been classified by means of the scheme. An English scheme, called the “Adjustable,” with a notation, but not fully expanded, has been adopted in 53 places, and a very complete and minute scheme called the “Subject,” also English, has been used in nearly 40 libraries, although it only dates from 1906. That much remains to be accomplished in this direction is indicated by the fact that over 340 municipal libraries were in 1910 not closely classified, but only arranged in broad numerical or alphabetical divisions. The adoption of exact schemes of classification for books in libraries may be said to double their utility almost mechanically, and in course of time an unclassified municipal library will be unknown. The other kinds of library—state, subscription, university, &c.—are very often not classified, but some use the Decimal system, while others, like the Patent Office, have systems peculiar to themselves.
The catalogue, as a means of making known the contents of books, has also undergone a succession of changes, both in policy and mechanical construction. At one period, before access to the shelves and other methods of making known the contents of libraries had become general, the printed catalogue was relied upon as practically the sole guide to the books. Many excellent examples of such catalogues exist, in author, subject and classified form, and some of them are admirable contributions to bibliography. Within recent years, however, doubts have arisen in many quarters, both in Europe and America, as to the wisdom of printing the catalogues of general popular libraries which possess comparatively few rare or extraordinary books. A complete catalogue of such a library is out of date the moment it is printed, and in many cases the cost is very great, while only a small number is sold. For these and other reasons, modern libraries have begun to compile complete catalogues only in MS. form, and to issue comparatively cheap class-lists at intervals, supplemented by monthly or quarterly bulletins or lists of recent accessions, which in combination will answer most of the questions likely to be put to a catalogue. Various improvements in the mechanical construction of manuscript catalogues have contributed to popularize them, and many libraries use the card, sheaf and other systems which allow constant and infinite intercalation coupled with economy and ease in making additions.
The idea of using separate slips or cards for cataloguing books, in order to obtain complete powers of arrangement and revision is not new, having been applied during the French revolutionary period to the cataloguing of libraries. More recently the system has been applied to various commercial purposes, such as book-keeping by what is known as the “loose-leaf ledger,” and in this way greater public attention has been directed to the possibilities of adjustable methods both in libraries and for business. The card system is perhaps the most generally used at present, but many improvements in the adjustable binders, called by librarians the “sheaf system,” will probably result in this latter form becoming a serious rival. The card method consists of a series of cards in alphabetical or other order kept on edge in trays or drawers, to which projecting guides are added in order to facilitate reference. Entries are usually made on one side of the card, and one card serves for a single entry. The sheaf method provides for slips of an uniform size being kept in book form in volumes capable of being opened by means of a screw or other fastening, for the purpose of adding or withdrawing slips. In addition to the advantage of being in book-form the sheaf system allows both sides of a slip to be used, while in many cases from two to twelve entries may be made on one slip. This is a great economy and leads to considerable saving of space. A great advantage resulting from the use of an adjustable manuscript catalogue, in whatever form adopted, is the simplicity with which it can be kept up-to-date. This is an advantage which in the view of many librarians outweighs the undoubted valuable qualities of comparative safety and multiplication of copies possessed by the printed form. There are many different forms of both card and sheaf systems, and practically every library now uses one or other of them for cataloguing or indexing purposes.
One other modification in connexion with the complete printed catalogue has been tried with success, and seems worthy of brief mention. After a complete manuscript catalogue has been provided in sheaf form, a select or eclectic catalogue is printed, comprising all the most important books in the library and those that represent special subjects. This, when supplemented by a printed list or bulletin of additions, seems to supply every need.
The most striking tendency of the modern library movement is the great increase in the freedom allowed to readers both in reference and lending departments. Although access to the shelves was quite a common feature in the older subscription libraries, and in state libraries like the British Museum and Patent Office, it is only within comparatively recent years that lending library borrowers were granted a similar privilege. Most municipal reference libraries grant access to a large or small collection of books, and at Cambridge, Birmingham and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, the practice is of long standing. So also in the United States, practically every library has its open shelf collection. On the continent of Europe, however, this method is not at all general, and books are guarded with a jealousy which in many cases must militate against their utility. The first “safe-guarded” open access municipal lending library was opened at Clerkenwell (now Finsbury), London, in 1893, and since then over one hundred cities and districts of all sizes in Britain have adopted the system. The British municipal libraries differ considerably from those of the United States in the safeguards against abuse which are employed, and the result is that their losses are insignificant, whilst in America they are sometimes enormous. Pawtucket and Cleveland in America were pioneers to some extent of the open shelf system for lending libraries, but the methods employed had little resemblance to the safe-guarded system of British libraries. The main features of the British plan are: exact classification; class, shelf and book guiding; the provision of automatic locking wickets to regulate the entrance and exit of borrowers, and the rule that borrowers must be registered before they can obtain admission. This last rule is not always current in America, and in consequence abuses are liable to take place. The great majority of British and American libraries, whether allowing open access or not, use cards for charging or registering books loaned to borrowers. In the United Kingdom a considerable number of places still use indicators for this purpose, although this mechanical method is gradually being restricted to fiction, save in very small places.
Other activities of modern libraries which are common to both Britain and America are courses of lectures, book exhibitions, work with children, provision of books for the blind and for foreign residents, travelling libraries and the education of library assistants. In many of the recent buildings, especially in those erected from the gifts of Mr Andrew Carnegie, special rooms for lectures and exhibitions and children are provided. Courses of lectures in connexion with the Liverpool and Manchester public libraries date from 1860, but during the years 1900–1910 there was a very great extension of this work. As a rule these courses are intended to direct attention to the literature of the subjects treated, as represented in the libraries, and in this way a certain amount of mutual advantage is secured. In some districts the libraries work in association with the education authorities, and thus it is rendered possible to keep schools supplied with books, over which the teachers are able to exercise supervision. This connexion between libraries and schools is much less common in the United Kingdom than in the British colonies and the United States, where the libraries are regarded as part of the national system of education. Excellent work has been accomplished within recent years by the Library Association in the training of librarians, and it is usual for about 300 candidates to come forward annually for examination in literary history, bibliography, classification, cataloguing, library history and library routine for which subjects certificates and diplomas are awarded. The profession of municipal librarian is not by any means remunerative as compared with employment in teaching or in the Civil Service, and until the library rate is increased there is little hope of improvement.
The usefulness of public libraries has been greatly increased by the work of the Library Association, founded in 1877, during the first International Library Conference held in London in October 1877. A charter of incorporation was granted to the association in 1898. It holds monthly and annual meetings, publishes a journal, conducts examinations, issues certificates, holds classes for instruction, and has greatly helped to improve the public library law. The Library Assistants Association (1895) publishes a journal. A second International Library Conference was held at London in 1897, and a third at Brussels in 1910. Library associations have been started in most of the countries of Europe, and the American Library Association, the largest and most important in existence, was established in 1876. These associations are giving substantial aid in the development and improvement of library methods and the status of librarians, and it is certain that their influence will in time produce a more scientific and valuable type of library than at present generally exists.
British Colonies and India.
The majority of the British Colonies and Dependencies have permissive library laws on lines very similar to those in force in the mother country. There are, however, several points of difference which are worth mention. The rate limit is not so strict in every case, and an effort is made to bring the libraries into closer relations with the educational machinery of each colony. There is, for example, no rate limit in Tasmania; and South Australia may raise a library rate equivalent to 3d. in the £, although, in both cases, owing to the absence of large towns, the legislation existing has not been adopted. In Africa, Australia and Canada the governments make grants to public libraries up to a certain amount, on condition that the reading-rooms are open to the public, and some of the legislatures are even in closer touch with the libraries. The Canadian and Australian libraries are administered more or less on American lines, whilst those of South Africa, India, &c., are managed on the plan followed in England.
There are several important libraries in South Africa, and many small town libraries which used to receive a government grant equal to the subscriptions of the members, but in no case did such grants exceed £150 for any one library in one year. These grants fluctuate considerably owing to the changes and temper of successive governments, and since the last war they have been considerably reduced everywhere. One of the oldest libraries is the South African Public Library at Cape Town established in 1818, which enjoys the copyright-privilege of receiving a free copy of every publication issued in Cape Colony. This library contains the great collection of colonial books bequeathed by Sir George Grey. The libraries of the various legislatures are perhaps the best supported and most important, but mention should be made of the public libraries of Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, which published an excellent catalogue, and the public libraries at Kimberley; Durban, Natal; Bloemfontein, Orange River Colony; Bulawayo, Rhodesia; Johannesburg, Transvaal; and the public and university libraries at Pretoria. None of the libraries of North Africa are specially notable, although there are considerable collections at Cairo and Algiers.
All the public libraries, mechanics’ institutes, schools of arts and similar institutes receive aid from the government, either in the form of grants of money or boxes of books sent from some centre. The public library of New South Wales, Sydney (1869), which includes the Mitchell Library of over 50,000 vols., now possesses a total of nearly 250,000 vols., and circulates books to country libraries, lighthouses and teachers’ associations to the number of about 20,000 vols. per annum. The public library of Victoria, Melbourne (1853), with about 220,000 vols., also sends books to 443 country libraries of various kinds, which among them possess 750,000 vols., and circulate annually considerably over 21 million vols. The university library at Melbourne (1855) has over 20,000 vols., and the libraries connected with the parliament and various learned societies are important. The public library of South Australia, Adelaide, has about 75,000 vols., and is the centre for the distribution of books to the institutes throughout the colony. These institutes possess over 325,000 vols. There is a good public library at Brisbane, Queensland, and there are a number of state-aided schools of arts with libraries attached. The Library of Parliament in Brisbane possesses over 40,000, and the Rockhampton School of Arts has 10,000 vols. Western Australia has a public library at Perth, which was established in 1887, and the small town institutes are assisted as in the other colonies.
Tasmania has several good libraries in the larger towns, but none of them had in 1910 taken advantage of the act passed in 1867 which gives municipalities practically unlimited powers and means as far as the establishment and maintenance of public libraries are concerned. At Hobart the Tasmanian Public Library (1849) is one of the most important, with 25,000 vols.
New Zealand is well equipped with public libraries established under acts dating from 1869 to 1877, as well as subscription, college and government libraries. At Auckland the Free Public Library (1880) has 50,000 vols., including Sir George Grey’s Australasian collection; the Canterbury Public Library, Christchurch (1874), has 40,000 vols.; the University of Otago Library, Dunedin (1872), 10,000 vols.; and the public library at Wellington (1893) contains 20,000 vols.
India and the East.
Apart from government and royal libraries, there are many college, society, subscription and others, both English and oriental. It is impossible to do more than name a few of the most notable. Lists of many of the libraries in private hands including descriptions of their MS. contents have been issued by the Indian government. At Calcutta the Sanskrit college has 1652 printed Sanskrit volumes and 2769 Sanskrit MSS., some as old as the 14th century; there is also a large collection of Jain MSS. The Arabic library attached to the Arabic department of the Madrasa was founded about 1781, and now includes 731 printed volumes, 143 original MSS. and 151 copies; the English library of the Anglo-Persian department dates from 1854, and extends to 3254 vols. The library of the Asiatic Society of Bengal was founded in 1784, and now contains 15,000 printed vols., chiefly on eastern and philological subjects, with a valuable collection of 9500 Arabic and Persian MSS.
At Bombay the library of the Bombay branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, established in 1804 as the Literary Society of Bengal, is now an excellent general and oriental collection of 75,000 printed vols. and MSS., described in printed catalogues. The Moolla Feroze Library was bequeathed for public use by Moolla Feroze, head priest of the Parsis of the Kudmi sect in 1831, and consisted chiefly of MSS., in Arabic and Persian on history, philosophy and astronomy; some additions of English and Gujarati works have been made, as well as of European books on Zoroastrianism. The Native General Library (1845) has 11,000 vols., and there are libraries attached to Elphinstone College and the university of Bombay.
The library of Tippoo Sahib, consisting of 2000 MSS., fell into the hands of the British, and a descriptive catalogue of them by Charles Stewart was published at Cambridge in 1809, 4to. A few were presented to public libraries in England, but the majority were placed in the college of Fort William, then recently established. The first volume, containing Persian and Hindustani poetry, of the Catalogue of the Libraries of the King of Oudh, by A. Sprenger, was published at Calcutta in 1854. The compiler shortly afterwards left the Indian service, and no measures were taken to complete the work. On the annexation of the kingdom in 1856 the ex-king is believed to have taken some of the most valuable MSS. to Calcutta, but the largest portion was left behind at Lucknow. During the siege the books were used to block up windows, &c., and those which were not destroyed were abandoned and plundered by the soldiers. Many were burnt for fuel; a few, however, were rescued and sold by auction, and of these some were purchased for the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
Perhaps the most remarkable library in India is that of the rājā of Tanjore, which dates from the end of the 16th or beginning of the 17th century, when Tanjore was under the rule of the Telugu Nāiks, who collected Sanskrit MSS. written in the Telugu character. In the 18th century the Mahrattas conquered the country, and since that date the library increased but slowly. By far the greater portion of the store was acquired by Sharabhojī Rājā during a visit to Benares in 1820–1830; his successor Sivajī added a few, but of inferior value. There are now about 18,000 MSS. written in Devanāgarī, Nandināgarī, Telugu, Kannada, Granthī, Malayālam, Bengalī, Panjābī or Kashmirī, and Uriya; 8000 are on palm leaves. Dr Burnell’s printed catalogue describes 12,375 articles.
The Royal Asiatic Society has branches with libraries attached in many of the large cities of India, the Straits Settlements, Ceylon, China, Japan, &c. At Rangoon in Burma there are several good libraries. The Raffles Library at Singapore was established as a proprietary institution in 1844, taken over by the government in 1874, and given legal status by an ordinance passed in 1878. It now contains about 35,000 vols. in general literature, but books relating to the Malayan peninsula and archipelago have been made a special feature, and since the acquisition of the collection of J. R. Logan in 1879 the library has become remarkably rich in this department. In Ceylon there is the Museum Library at Colombo (1877), which is maintained by the government, and there are many subscription and a few oriental libraries.
The public libraries of the various provinces of Canada have grown rapidly in importance and activity, and, assisted as they are by government and municipal grants, they promise to rival those of the United States in generous equipment. Most of the library work in Canada is on the same lines as that of the United States, and there are no special points of difference worth mention. The library laws of the Dominion are embodied in a series of acts dating from 1854, by which much the same powers are conferred on local authorities as by the legislation of Britain and the United States. An important feature of the Canadian library law is the close association maintained between schools and libraries, and in some provinces the school libraries are established by the school and not the library laws. There is also an important extension of libraries to the rural districts, so that in every direction full provision is being made for the after-school education and recreation of the people.
The province of Ontario has a very large and widespread library system of which full particulars are given in the annual reports of the minister of education. The library portion has been printed separately, and with its illustrations and special articles forms quite a handbook of Canadian library practice. There are now 413 public libraries described as free and not free, and of these 131 free and 234 not free reported in 1909. The free libraries possessed 775,976 vols. and issued 2,421,049 vols. The not free libraries, most of which receive legislative or municipal grants, possessed 502,879 vols. and issued 650,826 vols. This makes a grand total of 1,278,855 vols. in municipal and assisted subscription libraries without counting the university and other libraries in the province. The most important other libraries in Ontario are—Queen’s University, Kingston (1841), 40,000 vols.; Library of Parliament, Ottawa, about 250,000 vols.; university of Ottawa, 35,000 vols.; Legislative Library of Ontario, Toronto, about 100,000 vols.; university of Toronto (1856), 50,000 vols. The Public (municipal) Library of Toronto has now over 152,000 vols.
In the province of Quebec, in addition to the state-aided libraries there are several large and important libraries, among which may be mentioned the Fraser Institute, Montreal, 40,000 vols.; McGill University, Montreal (1855), 125,000 vols., comprising many important collections; the Seminary of St Sulpice, Montreal, about 80,000 vols.; Laval University, Quebec, 125,000 vols.; and the library of the Legislature (1792), about 100,000 vols. In the western provinces several large public, government and college libraries have been formed, but none of them are as old and important as those in the eastern provinces.
In Nova Scotia there are now 279 cases of books circulating among the school libraries, containing about 40,000 vols., and in addition 2800 vols. were stocked for the use of rural school libraries. The rural school libraries of Nova Scotia are regulated by a special law, and a little handbook has been printed, somewhat similar to that published by the French educational authorities for the communale libraries. The Legislative Library at Halifax contains nearly 35,000 vols., and the Dalhousie University (1868), in the same town, contains about 20,000 vols. The Legislative Library of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, containing the Dodd Library, issues books for home use. The school law of New Brunswick provides for grants being made in aid of school libraries by the Board of Education equal to one half the amount raised by a district, and a series of rules has been published. The only other British libraries in America of much consequence are those in the West Indian Islands. The Institute of Jamaica, Kingston (1879) has about 15,000 vols.; the Trinidad Public Library (1841), recently revised and catalogued, 23,000 vols.; and there are a few small legislative and college libraries in addition.
Authorities.—For the history of British libraries see H. B. Adams, Public Libraries and Popular Education (Albany, N.Y., 1900); J. D. Brown, Guide to Librarianship (1909); G. F. Chambers and H. W. Fovargue, The Law relating to Public Libraries (4th ed., 1899); J. W. Clark, The Care of Books (1909); E. Edwards, Memoirs of Libraries (1859); T. Greenwood, Edward Edwards (1901) and Public Libraries (4th ed., revised, 1891); J. J. Ogle, The Free Library (1897); Maurice Pellisson, Les Bibliothèques populaires à l’etranger et en France (Paris, 1906); R. A. Rye, The Libraries of London (1910); E. A. Savage, The Story of Libraries and Book-Collectors (1909).
For library economy consult J. D. Brown, Manual of Library Economy (1907); F. J. Burgoyne, Library Construction, &c. (1897); A. L. Champneys, Public Libraries: a Treatise on their Design (1907); J. C. Dana, A Library Primer (Chicago, 1910); Arnim Graesel, Handbuch der Bibliothekslehre (Leipzig, 1902); Albert Maire, Manuel pratique du bibliothécaire (Paris, 1896). On the subject of classification consult J. D. Brown, Manual of Library Classification (1898) and Subject Classification (1906); C. A. Cutter, Expansive Classification (1891–1893) (not yet completed); M. Dewey, Decimal Classification (6th ed., 1899), and Institut International de Bibliographie: Classification bibliographique décimale (Brussels, 1905); E. C. Richardson, Classification: Theoretical and Practical (1901).
Various methods of cataloguing books are treated in Cataloguing Rules, author and title entries, compiled by the Committees of the American Library Association and the Library Association (1908); C. A. Cutter, Rules for a Printed Dictionary Catalogue (Washington, 1904); M. Dewey, Rules for Author and Classed Catalogues (1892); T. Hitchler, Cataloguing for Small Libraries (Boston, 1905); K. A. Linderfelt, Eclectic Card Catalog Rules (Boston, 1890); J. H. Quinn, Manual of Library Cataloguing (1899); E. A. Savage, Manual of Descriptive Annotation (1906); J. D. Stewart, The Sheaf Catalogue (1909); H. B. Wheatley, How to Catalogue a Library (1889).
United States of America.
The libraries of the United States are remarkable for their number, size, variety, liberal endowment and good administration. The total number of libraries with over 1000 vols. was 5383 in 1900, including those attached to schools and institutions, and in 1910 there were probably at least 10,000 libraries having 1000 vols. and over. It is impossible to do more than glance at the principal libraries and activities, where the field is so immense, and a brief sketch of some of the chief federal, state, university, endowed and municipal libraries will therefore be presented.
The Library of Congress was first established in 1800 at Washington, and was burned together with the Capitol by the British army in 1814. President Jefferson’s books were purchased to form the foundation of a new library, which continued to increase slowly until 1851, Federal libraries. when all but 20,000 vols. were destroyed by fire. From this time the collection has grown rapidly, and now consists of about 1,800,000 vols. In 1866 the library of the Smithsonian Institution, consisting of 40,000 vols., chiefly in natural science, was transferred to the Library of Congress. The library is specially well provided in history, jurisprudence, the political sciences and Americana. Since 1832 the law collections have been constituted into a special department. This is the national library. In 1870 the registry of copyrights was transferred to it under the charge of the librarian of Congress, and two copies of every publication which claims copyright are required to be deposited. Cards for these are now printed and copies are sold to other libraries for an annual subscription fixed according to the number taken. The building in which the library is now housed was opened in 1897. It covers 31 acres of ground, contains 10,000,000 cub. ft. of space, and has possible accommodation for over 4 million vols. Its cost was $6,500,000, or including the land, $7,000,000. It is the largest, most ornate and most costly building in the world yet erected for library purposes. Within recent years the appropriation has been largely increased, and the bibliographical department has been able to publish many valuable books on special subjects. The A.L.A. Catalog (1904) and A.L.A. Portrait Index (1906), may be mentioned as of especial value. The classification of the library is being gradually completed, and in every respect this is the most active government library in existence.
Other important federal libraries are those attached to the following departments at Washington: Bureau of Education (1868); Geological Survey (1882); House of Representatives; Patent Office (1836); Senate (1868); Surgeon General’s Office (1870), with an elaborate analytical printed catalogue of world-wide fame.
Although the state libraries of Pennsylvania and New Hampshire are known to have been established as early as 1777, it was not until some time after the revolution that any general tendency was shown to form official libraries in connexion with the state system. It is especially State libraries. within the last thirty years that the number of these libraries has so increased that now every state and territory possesses a collection of books and documents for official and public purposes. These collections depend for their increase upon annual appropriations by the several states, and upon a systematic exchange of the official publications of the general government and of the several states and territories. The largest is that of the state of New York at Albany, which contains nearly 500,000 vols., and is composed of a general and a law library. Printed and MS. card catalogues have been issued. The state libraries are libraries of reference, and only members of the official classes are allowed to borrow books, although any well-behaved person is admitted to read in the libraries.
The earliest libraries formed were in connexion with educational institutions, and the oldest is that of Harvard (1638). It was destroyed by fire in 1764, but active steps were at once taken for its restoration. From that time to the present, private donations have been the great University libraries. resource of the library. In 1840 the collection was removed to Gore Hall, erected for the purpose with a noble bequest from Christopher Gore (1758–1829), formerly governor of Massachusetts. There are also ten special libraries connected with the different departments of the university. The total numbers of vols. in all these collections is over 800,000. There is a MS. card-catalogue in two parts, by authors and subjects, which is accessible to the readers. The only condition of admission to use the books in Gore Hall is respectability; but only members of the university and privileged persons may borrow books. The library of Yale College, New Haven, was founded in 1701, but grew so slowly that, even with the 1000 vols. received from Bishop Berkeley in 1733, it had only increased to 4000 vols. in 1766, and some of these were lost in the revolutionary war. During the 19th century the collection grew more speedily, and now the library numbers over 550,000 vols.
Other important university and college libraries are Amherst College, Mass. (1821), 93,000 vols.; Brown University, R.I. (1767), 156,000 vols.; Columbia University, N.Y. (1763), 430,000 vols.; Cornell University, N.Y. (1868), 355,000 vols.; Dartmouth College, N.H. (1769), 106,000 vols.; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (1876), 220,000 vols.; Lehigh University, Pa. (1877), 150,000 vols.; Leland Stanford University, Cal. (1891), 113,000 vols.; Princeton University, N.J. (1746), 260,000 vols.; University of California (1868), 240,000 vols.; University of Chicago, Ill. (1892), 480,000 vols.; University of Michigan (1837), 252,000 vols.; University of Pennsylvania (1749), 285,000 vols. There are numerous other college libraries, several of them even larger than some of those named above.
The establishment of proprietary or subscription libraries runs back into the first half of the 18th century, and is connected with the name of Benjamin Franklin. It was at Philadelphia, in the year 1731, that he set on foot what he called “his first project of a public nature, that Subscription and Endowed Libraries. for a subscription library. . . . The institution soon manifested its ability, was imitated by other towns and in other provinces.” The Library Company of Philadelphia was soon regularly incorporated, and gradually drew to itself other collections of books, including the Loganian Library, which was vested in the company by the state legislature in 1792 in trust for public use. Hence the collection combines the character of a public and of a proprietary library, being freely open for reference purposes, while the books circulate only among the subscribing members. It numbers at present 226,000 vols., of which 11,000 belong to the Loganian Library, and may be freely lent. In 1869 Dr James Rush left a bequest of over one million dollars for the purpose of erecting a building to be called the Ridgeway branch of the library. The building is very handsome, and has been very highly spoken of as a library structure. Philadelphia has another large proprietary library—that of the Mercantile Library Company, which was established in 1821. It possesses 200,000 vols., and its members have always enjoyed direct access to the shelves. The library of the Boston Athenaeum was established in 1807, and numbers 235,000 vols. It has published an admirable dictionary-catalogue. The collection is especially rich in art and in history, and possesses a part of the library of George Washington. The Mercantile Library Association of New York, which was founded in 1820, has over 240,000 vols. New York possesses two other large proprietary libraries, one of which claims to have been formed as early as 1700 as the “public” library of New York. It was organized as the New York Society Library in 1754, and has been especially the library of the old Knickerbocker families and their descendants, its contents bearing witness to its history. It contains about 100,000 vols. The Apprentices’ Library (1820) has about 100,000 vols., and makes a special feature of works on trades and useful arts.
The Astor Library in New York was founded by a bequest of John Jacob Astor, whose example was followed successively by his son and grandson. The library was opened to the public in 1854, and consists of a careful selection of the most valuable books upon all subjects. It is a library of reference, for which purpose it is freely open, and books are not lent out. It is “a working library for studious persons.” The Lenox Library was established by James Lenox in 1870, when a body of trustees was incorporated by an act of the legislature. In addition to the funds intended for the library building and endowment, amounting to $1,247,000, the private collection of books which Mr Lenox had long been accumulating is extremely valuable. Though it does not rank high in point of mere numbers, it is exceedingly rich in early books on America, in Bibles, in Shakesperiana and in Elizabethan poetry. Both those libraries are now merged in the New York Public Library. The Peabody Institute at Baltimore was established by George Peabody in 1857, and contains a reference library open to all comers. The institute has an endowment of $1,000,000, which, however, has to support, besides the library, a conservatoire of music, an art gallery, and courses of popular lectures. It has a very fine printed dictionary catalogue and now contains nearly 200,000 vols. In the same city is the Enoch Pratt Free Library (1882) with 257,000 vols. In the city of Chicago are two very important endowed libraries, the Newberry Library (1887) with over 200,000 vols., and the John Crerar Library (1894), with 235,000 vols. Both of these are reference libraries of great value, and the John Crerar Library specializes in science, for which purpose its founder left $3,000,000.
It will be sufficient to name a few of the other endowed libraries to give an idea of the large number of donors who have given money to libraries. Silas Bronson (Waterbury), Annie T. Howard (New Orleans), Joshua Bates (Boston), Charles E. Forbes (Northampton, Mass.), Mortimer F. Reynolds (Rochester, N.Y.), Leonard Case (Cleveland), I. Osterhout (Wilkes-Barré, Pa.), and above all Andrew Carnegie, whose library benefactions exceed $53,000,000.
It remains to mention another group of proprietary and society libraries.
Since the organization of the government in 1789, no less than one hundred and sixty historical societies have been formed in the United States, most of which still continue to exist. Many of them have formed considerable libraries, and possess extensive and valuable manuscript collections. The oldest of them is the Massachusetts Historical Society, which dates from 1791.
The earliest of the scientific societies, the American Philosophical Society (1743), has 73,000 vols. The most extensive collection is that of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, which consists of 80,000 vols. and pamphlets. For information as to the numerous professional libraries of the United States—theological, legal and medical—the reader may be referred to the authorities quoted below.
In no country has the movement for the development of municipal libraries made such progress as in the United States; these institutions called free or public as the case may be are distinguished for their work, enterprise and the liberality with which they are supported. They are Municipal Libraries. established under laws passed by the different states, the first to pass such an enactment being Massachusetts, which in 1848 empowered the city of Boston to establish a free public library. This was subsequently extended to the whole state in 1851. Other states followed, all with more or less variation in the provisions, till practically every state in the Union now has a body of library laws. In general the American library law is much on the same lines as the English. In most states the acts are permissive. In New Hampshire aid is granted by the state to any library for which a township contracts to make a definite annual appropriation. A limit is imposed in most states on the library tax which may be levied, although there are some, like Massachusetts and New Hampshire, which fix no limit. In every American town the amount derived from the library tax usually exceeds by double or more the same rate raised in Britain in towns of similar size. For example, East Orange, N.J., with a population of 35,000, expends £2400, while Dumfries in Scotland, with 23,000 pop. expends £500. Cincinnati, 345,000 pop., expenditure £26,000; Islington (London), 350,000 pop., expenditure £8200, is another example. In the smaller towns the difference is not so marked, but generally the average American municipal library income is considerably in excess of the British one. Many American municipal libraries have also endowments which add to their incomes.
In one respect the American libraries differ from those of the United Kingdom. They are usually managed by a small committee or body of trustees, about five or more in number, who administer the library independent of the city council. This is akin to the practice in American Library Administration. Scotland, although there, the committees are larger. In addition to the legislation authorizing town libraries to be established, thirty-two states have formed state library commissions. These are small bodies of three or five trained persons appointed by the different states which, acting on behalf of the state, encourage the formation of local libraries, particularly in towns and villages, and in many cases have authority to aid their establishment by the grant out of the state funds of a certain sum (usually $100) towards the purchase of books, upon the appropriation of a similar sum by the local authorities. These commissions are prepared to aid further with select lists of desirable books, and with suggestions or advice in the problems of construction and maintenance. Such commissions are in existence in Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
The reports and other documents issued by some of these commissioners are very interesting and valuable, especially as regards the light they throw on the working of the travelling libraries in country districts. These to some extent are a revival of the “itinerating” library idea of Samuel Brown of Haddington in Scotland, who from 1817 to 1836 carried on a system of travelling subscription libraries in that country. At the time of his death there were 3850 vols. in 47 libraries. The American travelling libraries, often under state supervision, are well organized and numerous, and the books are circulated free. New York was the pioneer in this movement which now extends to most of the states which have established library commissions. There are also town travelling libraries and deposit stations in addition to branches, so that every effort is made to bring people in outlying districts into touch with books.
The municipal libraries of the United States work in conjunction with the schools, and it is generally considered that they are part of the educational machinery of the country. In the case of New York the state libraries have been put under the control of the university of the state of New York, which also inaugurated the travelling libraries. Work with the schools and children generally is more cultivated in the libraries of the United States than elsewhere. In some cases the libraries send collections of books to the schools; in others provision is made for children’s reading-rooms and lending departments at the library buildings. At Cleveland (Ohio), Pittsburg (Pa.), New York and many other places, elaborate arrangements are in force for the convenience and amusement of children. There is a special school, the Carnegie Library training school for children’s librarians, at Pittsburg, and within recent years the instruction has included the art of telling stories to children at the libraries. This “story-hour” idea has been the cause of considerable discussion in the United States, librarians and teachers being divided in opinion as to the value of the service. The chief factors in children’s work in American libraries, often overlooked by critics, are the number of non-English reading adults and the large number of children of foreign origin. The adults do not use the libraries to any large extent, but the children, who learn English at the schools, are brought into close touch with the juvenile departments of the libraries. In this way many libraries are obliged to undertake special work for children, and as a rule it is performed in a sane, practical and economical manner. The preponderance of women librarians and their natural sentimental regard for children has tended to make this work loom rather largely in some quarters, but with these exceptions the activity on behalf of children is justified on many grounds. But above all, it is manifest that a rapidly growing nation, finding homes for thousands of foreigners and their children annually, must use every means of rapidly educating their new citizens, and the public library is one of the most efficient and ready ways of accomplishing this great national object.
With regard to methods, the American libraries are working on much the same plan as those of the United Kingdom. They allow access to the shelves more universally, and there is much more standardization in classification and other internal matters. The provision of books is more profuse, although there is, on the whole, more reading done in the United Kingdom. The largest municipal library system in America, and also in the world, is that of New York City, which, after struggling with a series of Free Circulating Libraries, blossomed out in 1895 into the series of combinations which resulted in the present great establishment. In that year, the Astor and Lenox libraries (see above) were taken over by the city, and in addition, $2,000,000 was given by one of the heirs of Mr S. J. Tilden, who had bequeathed about $4,000,000 for library purposes in New York but whose will had been upset in the law courts. In 1901 Mr Andrew Carnegie gave about £1,500,000 for the purpose of providing 65 branches, and these are now nearly all erected. A very fine central library building has been erected, and when the organization is completed there will be no system of municipal libraries to equal that of New York. It possesses about 1,400,000 vols. in the consolidated libraries. Brooklyn, although forming part of Greater New York, has an independent library system, and possesses about 560,000 vols. distributed among 26 branches and including the old Brooklyn Library which has been absorbed in the municipal library system. At Boston (Mass.) is one of the most renowned public libraries in the United States, and also the oldest established by act of legislature. It was first opened to the public in 1854, and is now housed in a very magnificently decorated building which was completed in 1895. The central library contains many fine special collections, and there are 28 branch and numerous school libraries in connexion. It possesses about 1,000,000 vols. altogether, its annual circulation is about 1,500,000 vols., and its annual expenditure is nearly £70,000.
Other notable municipal libraries are those of Philadelphia (1891), Chicago (1872); Los Angeles (Cal.), 1872; Indianapolis (1868), Detroit (1865), Minneapolis (1885), St Louis (1865), Newark, N.J. (1889), Cincinnati (1856), Cleveland (1869), Allegheny (1890), Pittsburg (1895), Providence, R.I. (1878), Milwaukee (1875), Washington, D.C. (1898), Worcester, Mass. (1859), Buffalo (1837).
Authorities.—The Annual Library Index (New York, 1908)—contains a select list of libraries in the United States; Arthur E. Bostwick, The American Public Library, illust. (New York, 1910)—the most comprehensive general book; Bureau of Education, Statistics of Public Libraries in the United States and Canada (1893)—this has been succeeded by a list of “Public, Society and School Libraries,” reprinted at irregular intervals from the Report of the Commissioner of Education and giving a list of libraries containing over 5000 vols. with various other particulars; Clegg, International Directory of Booksellers (1910) and earlier issues—contains a list of American libraries with brief particulars; John C. Dana, A Library Primer (Chicago, 1910)—the standard manual of American library practice; Directory of Libraries in the United States and Canada (6th ed.; Minneapolis, 1908)—a brief list of 4500 libraries, with indication of the annual income of each; Wm. I. Fletcher, Public Libraries in America (2nd ed., Boston, 1899), illust.; T. W. Koch, Portfolio of Carnegie Libraries (1908); Cornelia Marvin, Small Library Buildings (Boston, 1908); A. R. Spofford, A Book for all Readers. . . the Formation of Public and Private Libraries (1905).
French libraries (other than those in private hands) belong either to the state, to the departments, to the communes, or to learned societies, educational establishments and other public institutions; the libraries of judicial or administrative bodies are not considered to be owned by them, but to be state property. Besides the unrivalled library accommodation of the capital, France possesses a remarkable assemblage of provincial libraries. The communal and school libraries also form striking features of the French free library system. Taking as a basis for comparison the Tableau statistique des bibliothèques publiques (1857), there were at that date 340 departmental libraries with a total of 3,734,260 vols., and 44,436 MSS. In 1908 the number of volumes in all the public libraries; communal, university, learned societies, educational and departmental, was more than 20,060,148 vols., 93,986 MSS. and 15,530 incunabula. Paris alone now possesses over 10,570,000 printed vols., 147,543 MSS., 5000 incunabula, 609,439 maps and plans, 2,000,000 prints (designs and reproductions).
The Bibliothèque Nationale (one of the most extensive libraries in the world) has had an advantage over others in the length of time during which its contents have been accumulating, and in the great zeal shown for it by several kings and other eminent men. Paris.Enthusiastic writers find the original of this library in the MS. collections of Charlemagne and Charles the Bald, but these were dispersed in course of time, and the few precious relics of them which the national library now possesses have been acquired at a much later date. Of the library which St Louis formed in the 13th century (in imitation of what he had seen in the East) nothing has fallen into the possession of the Bibliothèque Nationale, but much has remained of the royal collections made by kings of the later dynasties. The real foundation of the institution (formerly known as the Bibliothèque du Roi) may be said to date from the reign of King John, the Black Prince’s captive, who had a considerable taste for books, and bequeathed his “royal library” of MSS. to his successor Charles V. Charles V. organized his library in a very effective manner, removing it from the Palais de la Cité to the Louvre, where it was arranged on desks in a large hall of three storeys, and placed under the management of the first librarian and cataloguer, Claude Mallet, the king’s valet-de-chambre. His catalogue was a mere shelf-list, entitled Inventaire des Livres du Roy nostre Seigneur estans au chastel du Louvre; it is still extant, as well as the further inventories made by Jean Blanchet in 1380, and by Jean le Bègue in 1411 and 1424. Charles V. was very liberal in his patronage of literature, and many of the early monuments of the French language are due to his having employed Nicholas Oresme, Raoul de Presle and other scholars to make translations from ancient texts. Charles VI. added some hundreds of MSS. to the royal library, which, however, was sold to the regent, duke of Bedford, after a valuation had been established by the inventory of 1424. The regent transferred it to England, and it was finally dispersed at his death in 1435. Charles VII. and Louis XI. did little to repair the loss of the precious Louvre library, but the news of the invention of printing served as a stimulus to the creation of another one, of which the first librarian was Laurent Paulmier. The famous miniaturist, Jean Foucquet of Tours, was named the king’s enlumineur, and although Louis XI. neglected to avail himself of many precious opportunities that occurred in his reign, still the new library developed gradually with the help of confiscation. Charles VIII. enriched it with many fine MSS. executed by his order, and also with most of the books that had formed the library of the kings of Aragon, seized by him at Naples. Louis XII., on coming to the throne, incorporated the Bibliothèque du Roi with the fine Orleans library at Blois, which he had inherited. The Blois library, thus augmented, and further enriched by plunder from the palaces of Pavia, and by the purchase of the famous Gruthuyse collection, was described at the time as one of the four marvels of France. Francis I. removed it to Fontainebleau in 1534, enlarged by the addition of his private library. He was the first to set the fashion of fine artistic bindings, which was still more cultivated by Henry II., and which has never died out in France. During the librarianship of Amyot (the translator of Plutarch) the library was transferred from Fontainebleau to Paris, not without the loss of several books coveted by powerful thieves. Henry IV. removed it to the Collége de Clermont, but in 1604 another change was made, and in 1622 it was installed in the Rue de la Harpe. Under the librarianship of J. A. de Thou it acquired the library of Catherine de’ Medici, and the glorious Bible of Charles the Bald. In 1617 a decree was passed that two copies of every new publication should be deposited in the library, but this was not rigidly enforced till Louis XIV.’s time. The first catalogue worthy of the name was finished in 1622, and contains a description of some 6000 vols., chiefly MSS. Many additions were made during Louis XIII.’s reign, notably that of the Dupuy collection, but a new era dawned for the Bibliothèque du Roi under the patronage of Louis XIV. The enlightened activity of Colbert, one of the greatest of collectors, so enriched the library that it became necessary for want of space to make another removal. It was therefore in 1666 installed in the Rue Vivien (now Vivienne) not far from its present habitat. The departments of engravings and medals were now created, and before long rose to nearly equal importance with that of books. Marolles’s prints, Foucquet’s books, and many from the Mazarin library were added to the collection, and, in short, the Bibliothèque du Roi had its future pre-eminence undoubtedly secured. Nic. Clément made a catalogue in 1684 according to an arrangement which has been followed ever since (that is, in twenty-three classes, each one designated by a letter of the alphabet), with an alphabetical index to it. After Colbert’s death Louvois emulated his predecessor’s labours, and employed Mabillon, Thevenot and others to procure fresh accessions from all parts of the world. A new catalogue was compiled in 1688 in 8 vols. by several distinguished scholars. The Abbé Louvois, the minister’s son, became head of the library in 1691, and opened it to all students—a privilege which although soon withdrawn was afterwards restored. Towards the end of Louis XIV.’s reign it contained over 70,000 vols. Under the management of the Abbé Bignon numerous additions were made in all departments, and the library was removed to its present home in the Rue Richelieu. Among the more important acquisitions were 6000 MSS. from the private library of the Colbert family, Bishop Huet’s forfeited collection, and a large number of Oriental books imported by missionaries from the farther East, and by special agents from the Levant. Between 1739 and 1753 a catalogue in 11 vols. was printed, which enabled the administration to discover and to sell its duplicates. In Louis XVI.’s reign the sale of the La Vallière library furnished a valuable increase both in MSS. and printed books. A few years before the Revolution broke out the latter department contained over 300,000 vols. and opuscules. The Revolution was serviceable to the library, now called the Bibliothèque Nationale, by increasing it with the forfeited collections of the émigrés, as well as of the suppressed religious communities. In the midst of the difficulties of placing and cataloguing these numerous acquisitions, the name of Van Praet appears as an administrator of the first order. Napoleon increased the amount of the government grant; and by the strict enforcement of the law concerning new publications, as well as by the acquisition of several special collections, the Bibliothèque made considerable progress during his reign towards realizing his idea that it should be universal in character. At the beginning of last century the recorded numbers were 250,000 printed vols., 83,000 MSS., and 1,500,000 engravings. After Napoleon’s downfall the MSS. which he had transferred from Berlin, Hanover, Florence, Venice, Rome, the Hague and other places had to be returned to their proper owners. The MacCarthy sale in 1817 brought a rich store of MSS. and incunabula. From that time onwards to the present, under the enlightened administration of MM. Taschereau and Delisle and Marcel, the accessions have been very extensive.
According to the statistics for 1908 the riches of the Bibliothèque Nationale may be enumerated as follows: (1) Département des Imprimés: more than 3,000,000 vols.; Maps and plans, 500,000 in 28,000 vols. (2) Département des Manuscrits: 110,000 MSS. thus divided: Greek 4960, Latin 21,544, French 44,913, Oriental and miscellaneous 38,583. (3) Département des Estampes: 1,000,000 pieces. (4) Département des Medailles: 207,096 pieces.
Admittance to the “salle de travail” is obtained through a card procured from the secretarial office; the “salle publique” contains 344 places for readers, who are able to consult more than 50,000 vols. of books of reference. Great improvements have lately been introduced into the service. A “salle de lecture publique” is free to all readers and is much used. New buildings are in process of construction. The slip catalogue bound in volumes dates from 1882 and gives a list of all accessions since that date; it is divided into two parts, one for the names of authors and the other for subjects. There is not yet, as at the British Museum, an alphabetical catalogue of all the printed works and kept up by periodical supplements, but since 1897 a Catalogue général des livres imprimés has been begun. In 1909 the 38th vol. containing letters A to Delp had appeared. Some volumes are published each year, but the earlier volumes only contain a selection of the books; this inconvenience has now been remedied. Among the other catalogues published by the Printed Book Department, the following may be mentioned: Répertoire alphabétique des livres mis à la disposition des lecteurs dans la salle de travail (1896, 8vo), Liste des périodiques français et étrangers mis à la disposition des lecteurs (1907, 4to, autogr.), Liste des périodiques étrangers (new ed., 1896, 8vo) and Supplément (1902, 8vo), Bulletin des récentes publications françaises (from 1882, 8vo), Catalogue des dissertations et écrits académiques provenant des échanges avec les universités étrangères (from 1882, 8vo). The other extensive catalogues apart from those of the 18th century are: Catalogue de l’histoire de France (1885–1889, 4to, 11 vols.); Table des auteurs, par P. Marchal (1895, 4to), with the following autographed supplements: Histoire locale (1880); Histoire généalogique et biographies (1884); Mœurs et coutumes, archéologie (1885); Histoire maritime et militaire (1894); Histoire constitutionnelle (1895); Sciences médicales (1857–1889, 3 vols., 4to); Histoire de la Grande-Bretagne (1875–1878, autogr.); Histoire de l’Espagne et du Portugal (1883, autogr.); Histoire de l’Asie (1894); Histoire de l’Afrique (1895, autogr.); Histoire de l’Amérique, par G. Barringer (1903–1908, autogr.); Factums et autres documents judiciaires antérieurs à 1790, par Corda et A. Trudon des Ormes (1890–1907, 8 vols., 8vo); Catalogue général des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France, par M. Pellechet et L. Polain, t. i.-iii. (1897–1909, 8vo); Livres d’heures imprimés au XV e siècle conservés dans les bibliothèques publiques de Paris, par P. Lacombe (1907, 8vo), &c. In the Geographical section there is L. Vallée’s Catalogue des cartes et plans relatifs à Paris et aux environs de Paris (1908, 8vo). The following should be mentioned: Bibliographie générale des travaux historiques et archéologiques publiés par les sociétés savantes de la France, par R. de Lasteyrie avec la collaboration d’E. Lefèvre-Pontalis, S. Bougenot, A. Vidier, t. i.-vi. (1885–1908, 4to). The scientific division of this work (in two parts) is by Deniker. The printed catalogues and the autographed and manuscript lists of the Département des Manuscrits are very numerous and greatly facilitate research. For the French there are: H. Omont, Catalogue général des manuscrits français (1895–1897, 9 vols. 8vo); H. Omont, Nouvelles acquisitions (continuation of the same catalogue, 1899–1900, 3 vols. 8vo); H. Omont, Anciens Inventaires de la Bibliothèque Nationale (1908–1909, 2 vols. 8vo); E. Coyecque, Inventaire de la Collection Anisson sur l’histoire de l’imprimerie et de la librairie (1900, 2 vols. 8vo). Without repeating the catalogues mentioned in the tenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it is yet necessary to mention the following: Catalogue de la collection Baluze; Inventaire des sceaux de la collection Clairambault; Catalogue de la collection des cinq-cents et des mélanges Colbert; Catalogue des collections Duchesne et de Bréquigny; those of the Dupuy, Joly de Fleury, and Moreau collections, and that of provincial history, &c. For the Greek collection the most important catalogues have been made by H. Omont, the present Keeper of the Manuscripts, and these are: Inventaire sommaire des MSS. grecs (1886–1898, 4 vols. 8vo); Catalogus codicum hagiographicorum graecorum (1896, 8vo); Facsimilés des plus anciens MSS. grecs en onciale et en minuscule du IXe au XIVe siècle (1891, fol.); as well as Description des peintures et autres ornements contenus dans les MSS. latins, par H. Bordier (1883, 4to). The lists of the Latin MSS. are: Inventaire des manuscrits latins et nouvelles acquisitions jusqu’en 1874 (1863–1874, 7 pts. 8vo) and Manuscrits latins et français ajoutés aux fonds des nouvelles acquisitions 1875–1881 (1891, 2 vols. 8vo), by M. Delisle; M. Omont published Nouvelles Acquisitions du département des manuscrits (1892–1907, 8 pts. 8vo), and B. Haureau, Notices et extraits de quelques manuscrits latins (1890–1893, 6 vols. 8vo). The principal modern catalogues of the oriental collection are: B. de Slane, Catalogue des MSS. arabes, avec supplément (1883–1895, 4to); E. Blochet, Catalogue des MSS. arabes, persans, et turcs de la collection Schefer (1900); E. Blochet, Inventaire des MSS. arabes de la collection Decourtemanche (1906); F. Macler, Catalogue des MSS. arméniens et géorgiens (1908). For other oriental languages the following catalogues have been compiled: MSS. birmans et cambodgiens (1879); MSS. chinois, coréens et japonais (1900–1907); MSS. coptes (1906); MSS. éthiopiens (1859–1877); MSS. hébreux et samaritains (1867–1903); MSS. indo-chinois (in the press); MSS. malayo-polynésiens (in the press); MSS. mazdéens (1900); MSS. mexicains (1899); MSS. persans, t. i. (1905); MSS. sanscrits et pâlis (1899, 1907–1908); MSS. siamois (1887); MSS. syriaques et sabéens (1874–1896); MSS. thibétains (in the press), &c. The catalogues of manuscripts in modern languages are nearly all completed. The Départements des Médailles et des Estampes possess excellent catalogues, and the following should be mentioned: E. Babelon, Catalogue des monnaies grecques (1890–1893); E. Babelon, Inventaire sommaire de la collection Waddington (1898); Médailles fausses recueillies, par Hoffmann (1902); Muret et Chabouillet, Catalogue des monnaies gauloises (1889–1892); Prou, Catalogue des monnaies françaises (1892–1896); H. de la Tour, Catalogue de la collection Rouyer, 1re partie (1899); Catalogues des monnaies et médailles d’Alsace (1902); Cat. des monnaies de l’Amérique du Nord (1861); Cat. des monnaies musulmanes (1887–1891); Cat. des plombs (1900); Cat. des bronzes antiques (1889); Cat. des camées antiques et modernes (1897–1899); Cat. des vases peints (1902–1904, 2 vols.). In the Département des Estampes the following should be mentioned: F. Courboin, Catalogue sommaire des gravures et lithographies de la Réserve (1900–1901); Duplessis, Cat. des portraits français et étrangers (1896–1907, 6 vols.); H. Bouchot, Les Portraits au crayon des XVIe et XVIIe siècles (1884); Cat. des dessins relatifs à l’histoire du théâtre (1896); F. Courboin, Inventaire des dessins, photographies et gravures relatives à l’histoire générale de l’art (1895, 2 vols.), &c.
The Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal was founded by the marquis de Paulmy (Antoine-René d’Argenson) in the 18th century; it received in 1786 80,000 vols. from the duc de La Vallière. Before its confiscation as national property it had belonged to the comte d’Artois, who had bought it from the marquis de Paulmy in his lifetime. It contains at the present time about 600,000 vols., 10,000 manuscripts, 120,000 prints and the Bastille collection (2500 portfolios) of which the inventory is complete; it is the richest library for the literary history of France and has more than 30,000 theatrical pieces.
L’Inventaire des manuscrits was made by H. Martin (1885–1899, t. i.-viii.); the other catalogues and lists are: Extrait du catalogue des journaux conservés à la Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (“Bulletin des biblioth. et des archives” t. i.); Archives de la Bastille, par F. Funck-Brentano (1892–1894, 3 vols. 8vo); Notice sur les dépôts littéraires par J. B. Labiche (1880, 8vo); Catalogue des estampes, dessins et cartes composant le cabinet des estampes de la bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, par G. Schefer (1894–1905, 8 pts. 8vo).
The Bibliothèque Mazarine owes its origin to the great cardinal, who confided the direction to Gabriel Naudé; it was open to the public in 1642, and was transferred to Rue de Richelieu in 1648. Dispersed during the Fronde in the lifetime of Mazarin, it was reconstituted after the death of the cardinal in 1661, when it contained 40,000 vols. which were left to the Collège des Quatre-Nations, which in 1691 made it again public. It now has 250,000 vols.; with excellent manuscript catalogues.
The catalogues of incunabula and manuscripts are printed: P. Marais et A. Dufresne de Saint-Léon, Catalogue des incunables de la bibliothèque Mazarine (1893, 8vo); Supplément, additions et corrections (1898, 4 vols. 8vo); Catalogue des MSS., par A. Molinier (1885–1892, 4 vols. 8vo); Inventaire sommaire des MSS. grecs, par H. Omont.
The first library of the Genovéfains had nearly disappeared owing to bad administration when Cardinal François de la Rochefoucauld, who had charge of the reformation of that religious order, constituted in 1642 a new library with his own books. The Bibliothèque Ste-Geneviève in 1716 possessed 45,000 vols.; important gifts were made by Letellier in 1791, and the duc d’Orléans increased it still more. It became national property in 1791, and was called the Bibliothèque du Panthéon and added to the Lycée Henri IV. under the empire. In 1908 the library contained 350,000 printed vols., 1225 incunabula, 3510 manuscripts, 10,000 prints (including 7357 portraits and 3000 maps and plans).
The printed catalogues at present comprise: Poirée et Lamoureux, Catalogue abrégé de la bibliothèque Ste-Geneviève (1891, 8vo); 3 supplements (1890–1896, 1897–1899, 1900–1902); Catalogue des incunables de la bibliothèque Ste-Geneviève, rédigé par Daunou, publié par M. Pellechet (1892, 8vo); Catalogue général des MSS., par Ch. Kohler (1894–1896, 2 vols. 8vo); Inventaire sommaire des MSS. grecs, par H. Omont; Notices sur quelques MSS. normands, par E. Deville (1904–1906, 10 pts. 8vo), &c.
The Bibliothèque des Archives nationales, founded in 1808 by Daunou, contains 30,000 vols. on sciences auxiliary to history. It is only accessible to the officials.
It would be impossible to describe all the official, municipal and academic libraries of Paris more or less open to the public, which are about 200 in number, and in the following survey we deal only with those having 10,000 vols. and over.
The Bibliothèque du Ministère des affaires étrangères was founded by the marquis de Torcy, minister for foreign affairs under Louis XIV.; it contains 80,000 vols. and is for official use only. The Bibliothèque du Ministère de l’Agriculture dates from 1882 and has only 4000 vols. At the Ministry for the Colonies the library (of 10,000 vols.) dates from 1897; the catalogue was published in 1905; the library of the Colonial office is attached to this ministry; suppressed in 1896, it was re-established in 1899, and now contains 6000 vols., 7400 periodicals and 5000 photographs; it is open to the public. There are 30,000 vols. in the Bibliothèque du Ministère du commerce et de l’industrie; the Bibliothèque du Ministère des finances was burnt at the Commune, but has been reconstituted and now contains 35,000 vols.; connected with it are the libraries of the following offices: Contributions directes, Contributions indirectes, Enregistrement et inspection des finances; the contents of these four libraries make a total of 13,500 vols. The Bibliothèque du Ministère de la Guerre was formed by Louvois and possesses 130,000 vols. and 800 MSS. and an income of 20,000 francs; the catalogues are Bibliothèque du dépôt de la guerre: Catalogue (1883–1890); Suppléments (1893–1896); Catalogue des MSS., par J. Lemoine (1910). The following libraries are connected with this department: Comité de santé (10,000 vols.), École supérieure de guerre (70,000 vols.), Comité technique de l’artillerie (24,000 vols.). The Bibliothèque du Ministère de l’Intérieur was founded in 1793 and has 80,000 vols. The Bibliothèque du Ministère de la Justice possesses 10,000 vols., and L’Imprimerie Nationale which is connected with it has a further 19,000 vols. There are also the following law libraries: Cour d’appel (12,000 vols.); Ordre des avocats, dating from 1871 (56,000 vols., with a catalogue printed in 1880–1882); the Bibliothèque des avocats de la cour de Cassation (20,000 vols.); that of the Cour de Cassation (40,000 vols.). The Bibliothèque du Ministère de la Marine is of old formation (catalogue 1838–1843); it contains 100,000 vols. and 356 MSS.; the catalogue of manuscripts was compiled in 1907. The Bibliothèque du service hydrographique de la Marine has 65,000 vols. and 250 MSS. The Ministère des Travaux publics possesses 12,000 vols., and the Sous-Secrétariat des postes et télégraphes a further 30,000 vols. The Bibliothèque de la Chambre des députés (1796) possesses 250,000 printed books and 1546 MSS. (Catalogue des manuscrits, by E. Coyecque et H. Debray, 1907; Catalogue des livres de jurisprudence, d’économie politique, de finances, et d’administration, 1883). The Bibliothèque du Sénat (1818) contains 150,000 vols. and 1343 MSS. The Bibliothèque du Conseil d’État has 30,000 vols. All these libraries are only accessible to officials except by special permission.
The Bibliothèque Historique de la ville de Paris was destroyed in 1871, but Jules Cousin reconstituted it in 1872; it possesses 400,000 vols., 3500 MSS. and 14,000 prints; the principal printed catalogues are Catalogue des imprimés de la Réserve by M. Poète (1910), Catalogue des manuscrits, by F. Bournon (1893); a Bulletin has been issued periodically since 1906. The Bibliothèque administrative de la préfecture de la Seine is divided into two sections: French (40,000 vols.) and foreign (22,000 vols.); it is only accessible to officials and to persons having a card of introduction; the catalogues are printed.
The other libraries connected with the city of Paris are that of the Conseil municipal (20,000 vols.), the Bibliothèques Municipales Populaires, 82 in number with a total of 590,000 books; those of the 22 Hospitals (92,887 vols.), the Préfecture de police (10,000 vols.), the Bibliothèque Forney (10,000 vols. and 80,000 prints), the five Écoles municipales supérieures (19,700 vols.), the six professional schools (14,200 vols.).
The libraries of the university and the institutions dealing with higher education in Paris are well organized and their catalogues generally printed.
The Bibliothèque de l’Université, although at present grouped as a system in four sections in different places, historically considered is the library of the Sorbonne. This was founded in 1762 by Montempuis and only included the faculties of Arts and Theology. It changed its name several times; in 1800 it was the Bibliothèque du Prytanée, in 1808 Bibliothèque des Quatre Lycées and in 1812 Bibliothèque de l’Université de France. The sections into which the Bibliothèque de l’Université is now divided are: (1) Facultés de Sciences et des Lettres à la Sorbonne, (2) Faculté de Médecine, (3) Faculté de droit, (4) École supérieure de pharmacie. Before the separation of Church and State there was a fifth section, that of Protestant theology. After the Bibliothèque nationale it is the richest in special collections, and above all as regards classical philology, archaeology, French and foreign literature and literary criticism, just as the library of the Faculté des Sciences et des Lettres is notable for philosophy, mathematics and chemico-physical sciences. The great development which has taken place during the last thirty years, especially under the administration of M. J. de Chantepie du Dézert, its installation since 1897 in the buildings of the New Sorbonne, have made it a library of the very first rank. The reading-room only seats about 300 persons. The average attendance per day is 1200, the number of books consulted varies from 1500 to 3000 vols. a day, and the loans amount to 14,000 vols. per year. The store-rooms, although they contain more than 1200 mètres of shelves and comprise two buildings of five storeys each, are insufficient for the annual accessions, which reach nearly 10,000 vols. by purchase and presentation. Amongst the latter the most important are the bequests of Leclerc, Peccot, Lavisse, Derenbourg and Beljame; the last-named bequeathed more than 3000 vols., including an important Shakespearean library. The first section contains more than 550,000 vols., 2800 periodicals which include over 70,000 vols., 320 incunabula, 2106 MSS., more than 2000 maps and plans and some prints. The alphabetical catalogues are kept up day by day on slips. The classified catalogues were in 1910 almost ready for printing, and some had already been published: Périodiques (1905); Cartulaires (1907); Mélanges jubilaires et publications commémoratives (1908); Inventaires des MSS., by E. Chatelain (1892); Incunables, by E. Chatelain (1902); and Supplément, Réserve de la bibliothèque 1401–1540, by Ch. Beaulieux (1909); Nouvelles acquisitions (1905–1908); Catalogue des livres de G. Duplessis donnés à l’Université de Paris (1907), Catalogue collectif des bibliothèques universitaires by Fécamp (1898–1901). For French thèses, of which the library possesses a rich collection, the catalogues are as follows: Mourier et Deltour, Catalogue des thèses de lettres (1809, &c.); A. Maire, Répertoire des thèses de lettres (1809–1900); A. Maire, Catalogue des thèses de sciences (1809–1890) with Supplément to 1900 by Estanave; Catalogue des thèses publié par le Ministère de l’Instruction publique (1882, &c.).
At the Sorbonne are also to be found the libraries of A. Dumont and V. Cousin (15,000 vols.), and those of the laboratories, of which the richest is the geological (30,000 specimens and books). The section relating to medicine, housed since 1891 in the new buildings of the Faculté de Médecine, includes 180,000 vols. and 88 MSS. (catalogue 1910). The Bibliothèque de la faculté de droit dates from 1772 and contains 80,000 vols., 239 MSS. The fourth section, l’École supérieure de pharmacie, greatly developed since 1882, now contains 50,000 vols.
The other libraries connected with higher education include that of the École des Beaux-Arts (40,000 vols., 100,000 reproductions, 14,000 drawings). The library of the École normale supérieure (1794), established in the Rue d’Ulm in 1846, has received legacies from Verdet (1867), Caboche (1887), Lerambert-Whitcomb (1890), and a portion of Cuvier’s library; the system of classification in use is practically the same as that of the Sorbonne, being devised by Philippe Lebas (librarian of the Sorbonne) about 1845; there are 200,000 vols. The library of the Muséum d’histoire naturelle dates from the 18th century, and contains 220,000 vols., 2000 MSS., 8000 original drawings on vellum beginning in 1631. The Bibliothèque de l’Office et Musée de l’Instruction publique (formerly Musée pédagogique), founded only in 1880, has 75,000 vols. In 1760 was founded the Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, which is very rich; its acquisitions come particularly from gifts and exchanges (400,000 vols., numerous and scarce; valuable MSS., especially modern ones).
The following may be briefly mentioned: Conservatoire national de musique (1775), which receives everything published in France relating to music (200,000 vols.); the Bibliothèque du théâtre de l’Opéra (25,000 vols., 5000 songs, 20,000 romances, and a dramatic library of 12,000 vols. and 20,000 prints); the Théâtre français (40,000 vols.); the Académie de médecine (15,000 vols., 10,000 vols. of periodicals, 5000 portraits), l’Observatoire (18,400 vols.); the Bureau des Longitudes (15,000 vols. and 850 MSS.). The scholastic libraries are: L’École centrale des arts et manufactures (16,000 vols.); l’École coloniale (11,000 vols.); l’École d’application du service de santé militaire (23,000 vols.); l’École d’application du génie maritime (14,000 vols.); l’École libre des sciences politiques (25,000 vols., 250 periodicals); l’École normale d’instituteurs de la Seine (10,000 vols.); l’École normale israélite (30,000 vols., 250 MSS.); l’École nationale des ponts-et-chausées (9000 vols., 5000 MSS., 5000 photographs); Bibliothèque de l’Institut catholique (160,000 vols.); l’Institut national agronomique (25,000 vols.); Faculté libre de théologie protestante (36,000 vols.); Conservatoire des arts et métiers (46,000 vols., 2500 maps and plans); Bibliothèque polonaise, administered by the Académie des Sciences de Cracovie (80,000 vols., 30,000 prints); Séminaire des Missions étrangères (25,000 vols.); l’Association Valentin Haüy, established 1885 (2000 vols. printed in relief) which lends out 40,000 books per annum; l’Association générale des Étudiants (22,000 vols.), which lends and allows reference on the premises to books by students; Bibliothèque de la Chambre de Commerce (40,000 vols.), the catalogues of which were printed in 1879, 1889 and 1902; the Société nationale d’agriculture (20,000 vols.); the Société d’anthropologie (23,000 vols.); the Société asiatique (12,000 vols., 200 MSS.); the Société chimique de France (10,000 vols.), the catalogue of which was published in 1907; the Société de chirurgie, dating from 1843 (20,000 vols.); the Société entomologique (30,000 vols.); the Société de géographie founded 1821 (60,000 vols., 6000 maps, 22,000 photographs, 2200 portraits, 80 MSS. of which the catalogue was printed in 1901); the Société géologique de France (15,000 vols., 30,000 specimens, 800 periodicals); the Société de l’histoire du protestantisme français, founded in 1852 (50,000 vols., 1000 MSS.; income 25,000 frs.); the Société d’encouragement pour l’industrie nationale (50,000 vols., income 8000 frs.); the Société des Ingénieurs civils (47,000 vols.; catalogue made in 1894); the Société de legislation comparée (15,000 vols., 4500 pamphlets); and lastly the Bibliothèque de la Société de Statistique de Paris, founded in 1860 (60,000 vols., with a printed catalogue).
Before the Revolution there were in Paris alone 1100 libraries containing altogether 2,000,000 vols. After the suppression of the religious orders the libraries were confiscated, and in 1791 more than 800,000 vols. were seized in 162 religious houses and transferred to eight literary foundations in accordance with a decree of November 14, 1789. In the provinces 6,000,000 vols. were seized and transferred to local depositories. The organization of the central libraries under the decree of 3 Brumaire An IV. (October 25, 1795) came to nothing, but the consular edict of January 28, 1803 gave definitive organization to the books in the local depositories. From that time the library system was reconstituted, alike in Paris and the provinces. Unfortunately many precious books and MSS. were burnt, since by the decree of 4 Brumaire An II. (October 25, 1793) the Committee of Instruction ordered, on the proposition of its president the deputy Romme, the destruction or modification of books and objects of art, under the pretext that they recalled the outward signs of feudalism.
The books in the provincial libraries, not including those in private hands or belonging to societies, number over 9,200,000 vols., 15,540 incunabula and 93,986 MSS. The number in the colonies and protected states outside France is uncertain, but it extends to more than 200,000 vols.; to this number must be added the 2,428,954 vols. contained in the university libraries. There are over 300 departmental libraries, and as many Libraries of the Departments. belong to learned societies. The increase in the provincial libraries is slower than that of the Parisian collections. With the exception of 26 libraries connected specially with the state, the others are municipal and are administered under state control by municipal librarians. The original foundation of most of the libraries dates but a short time before the Revolution, but there are a few exceptions. Thus the Bibliothèque d’Angers owes its first collection to Alain de la Rue about 1376; it now contains 72,485 vols., 134 incunabula and 2039 MSS. That of Bourges dates from 1466 (36,856 vols., 325 incunabula, 741 MSS.). The library of Carpentras was established by Michel Anglici between 1452 and 1474 (50,000 vols., 2154 MSS.). Mathieu de la Porte is said to be the founder of the library at Clermont-Ferrand at the end of the 15th century; it contained rather more than 49,000 vols. at the time of its union with the Bibliothèque Universitaire.
Amongst the libraries which date from the 16th century must be mentioned that at Lyons founded by François I. in 1527; it possesses 113,168 vols., 870 incunabula and 5243 MSS. That of the Palais des Arts has 82,079 vols., 64 incunabula and 311 MSS.
In the 17th century were established the following libraries: Abbeville, by Charles Sanson in 1685 (46,929 vols., 42 incunabula, 342 MSS.); Besançon by Abbé Boisot in 1696 (93,580 vols., 1000 incunabula, 2247 MSS.). In 1604 the Consistoire réformé de la Rochelle established a library which possesses to-day 58,900 vols., 14 incunabula, 1715 MSS. St Étienne, founded by Cardinal de Villeroi, has 50,000 vols., 8 incunabula, 343 MSS.
The principal libraries founded during the 18th century are the following: Aix-en-Provence, established by Tournon and Méjane in 1705 (160,000 vols., 300 incunabula, 1351 MSS.); Bordeaux, 1738 (200,000 vols., 3491 MSS.); Chambéry, 1736 (64,200 vols., 47 incunabula, 155 MSS.); Dijon, 1701, founded by P. Fevret (125,000 vols., 211 incunabula, 1669 MSS.); Grenoble, 1772 (260,772 vols., 635 incunabula, 2485 MSS.); Marseilles, 1799 (111,672 vols., 143 incunabula, 1691 MSS.); Nancy, founded in 1750 by Stanislas (126,149 vols., 205 incunabula, 1695 MSS.); Nantes, 1753 (103,328 vols., 140 incunabula, 2750 MSS.); Nice, founded in 1786 by Abbé Massa (55,000 vols., 300 incunabula, 150 MSS.); Nîmes, founded by J. T. de Séguier in 1778 (80,000 vols., 61 incunabula, 675 MSS.); Niort, by Jean de Dieu and R. Bion in 1771 (49,413 vols., 67 incunabula, 189 MSS.); Perpignan, by Maréchal de Mailly in 1759 (27,200 vols., 80 incunabula, 127 MSS.); Rennes, 1733 (110,000 vols., 116 incunabula, 602 MSS., income 8950 frs.); Toulouse, by archbishop of Brienne in 1782 (213,000 vols., 859 incunabula, 1020 MSS.).
Nearly all the other municipal libraries date from the Revolution, or rather from the period of the redistribution of the books in 1803. The following municipal libraries possess more than 100,000 vols.: Avignon (135,000 vols., 698 incunabula, 4152 MSS.), of which the first collection was the legacy of Calvet in 1810; Caen (122,000 vols., 109 incunabula, 665 MSS.); Montpellier (130,300 vols., 40 incunabula, 251 MSS.); Rouen (140,000 vols., 400 incunabula, 4000 MSS.); Tours (123,000 vols., 451 incunabula, 1999 MSS.); Versailles (161,000 vols., 436 incunabula, 1213 MSS.).
The following towns have libraries with more than 50,000 volumes: Amiens, Auxerre, Beaune, Brest, Douai, le Hâvre, Lille, le Mans, Orléans, Pau, Poitiers, Toulon and Verdun.
The catalogues of the greater part of the municipal libraries are printed. Especially valuable is the Catalogues des MSS. des bibliothèques de Paris et des Départements, which began to appear in 1885; the MSS. of Paris fill 18 octavo volumes, and those of the provinces 50.
The libraries of the provincial universities, thanks to their reorganization in 1882 and to the care exhibited by the general inspectors, are greatly augmented. Aix has 74,658 vols.; Alger 160,489; Besançon 24,275; Bordeaux 216,278; Caen 127,542; Clermont 173,000; Dijon 117,524; Grenoble 127,400; Lille 215,427; Lyons 425,624; Marseilles 53,763; Montpellier 210,938; Nancy 139,036; Poitiers 180,000; Rennes 166,427; Toulouse 232,000.
Since 1882 the educational libraries have largely developed; in 1877 they were 17,764 in number; in 1907 they were 44,021, containing 7,757,917 vols. The purely scholastic libraries have decreased; in 1902 there were 2674 libraries with 1,034,132 vols., whilst after the reorganization (Circulaire of March 14, 1904) there were only 1131 with 573,279 vols. The Société Franklin pour la propagation des bibliothèques populaires et militaires distributed among the libraries which it controls 55,185 vols., between the years 1900 and 1909.
Authorities.—Information has been given for this account by M. Albert Maire, librarian at the Sorbonne. See also the following works:—Bibliothèque Nationale: I. Bâtiments, collections, organisation, département des estampes, département des médailles et antiques, par Henri Marcel, Henri Bouchot et Ernest Babelon. II. Le Département des imprimés et la section de géographie. Le Département des manuscrits, par Paul Marchal et Camille Couderc (Paris, 1907, 2 vols.); Félix Chambon, Notes sur la bibliothèque de l’Université de Paris de 1763 à 1905 (Ganat, 1905); Fosseyeux, La Bibliothèque des hôpitaux de Paris (Revue des bibliothèques, t. 18, 1908); Alfred Franklin, Guide des savants, des littérateurs et des artistes dans les bibliothèques de Paris (Paris, 1908); Instruction du 7 Mars 1899 sur l’organisation des bibliothèques militaires (Paris, 1899); Henri Jadart, Les Anciennes bibliothèques de Reims, leur sort en 1790–1791 et la formation de la bibliothèque publique (Reims, 1891); Henry Marcel, Rapport adressé au Ministre de l’Instruction Publique, sur l’ensemble des services de la bibliothèque nationale en 1905 (Journal Officiel, 1906); Henry Martin, Histoire de la bibliothèque de l’Arsenal (Paris, 1899); E. Morel, Le Développement des bibliothèques publiques (Paris, 1909); Théod. Mortreuil, La Bibliothèque nationale, son origine et ses accroissements; notice historique (Paris, 1878); Abbé L. V. Pécheur, Histoire des bibliothèques publiques du département de l’Aisne existant à Soissons, Laon et Saint-Quentin (Soissons, 1884); M. Poète, E. Beaurepaire and E. Clouzot, Une visite à la bibliothèque de la ville de Paris (Paris, 1907); E. de Saint-Albin, Les Bibliothèques municipales de la ville de Paris (Paris, 1896); B. Subercaze, Les Bibliothèques populaires, scolaires et pédagogiques (Paris, 1892).
Germany (with Austria-Hungary and Switzerland).
Germany is emphatically the home of large libraries; her former want of political unity and consequent multiplicity of capitals have had the effect of giving her many large state libraries, and the number of her universities has tended to multiply considerable Germany.collections; 1617 libraries were registered by P. Schwenke in 1891. As to the conditions, hours of opening, &c., of 200 of the most important of them, there is a yearly statement in the Jahrbuch der deutschen Bibliotheken, published by the Verein deutscher Bibliothekare.
The public libraries of the German empire are of four distinct types: state libraries, university libraries, town libraries and popular libraries. The administration and financial affairs of the state and university libraries are under state control. The earlier distinction between these two classes has become less and less marked. Thus the university libraries are no longer restricted to professors and students, but they are widely used by scientific workers, and books are borrowed extensively, especially in Prussia. In Prussia, as a link between the state and the libraries, there has been since 1907 a special office which deals with library matters at the Ministry of Public Instruction. Generally the state does not concern itself with the town libraries and the popular libraries, but there is much in common between these two classes. Sometimes popular libraries are under the supervision of a scientifically administered town library as in Berlin, Dantzig, &c.; elsewhere, as at Magdeburg, we see an ancient foundation take up the obligations of a public library. Only in Prussia and Bavaria are regulations in force as to the professional education of librarians. Since 1904 the librarians of the Prussian state libraries have been obliged to complete their university courses and take up their doctorate, after which they have to work two years in a library as volunteers and then undergo a technical examination. The secretarial officials since 1909 have to reach a certain educational standard and must pass an examination. This regulation has been in force as regards librarians in Bavaria from 1905.
Berlin is well supplied with libraries, 268 being registered by P. Schwenke and A. Hortzschansky in 1906, with about 5,000,000 printed vols. The largest of them is the Royal Library, which was founded by the “Great Elector” Frederick William, and opened as a public library in a wing of the electoral Berlin. palace in 1661. From 1699 the library became entitled to a copy of every book published within the royal territories, and it has received many valuable accessions by purchase and otherwise. It now includes 1,230,000 printed vols. and over 30,000 MSS. The amount yearly expended upon binding and the acquisition of books, &c., is £11,326. The catalogues are in manuscript, and include two general alphabetical catalogues, the one in volumes, the other on slips, as well as a systematic catalogue in volumes. The following annual printed catalogues are issued: Verzeichnis der aus der neu erschienenen Literatur von der K. Bibliothek und den Preussischen Universitäts-Bibliotheken erworbenen Druckschriften (since 1892); Jahresverzeichnis der an den Deutschen Universitäten erschienenen Schriften (since 1887); Jahresverzeichnis der an den Deutschen Schulanstalten erschienenen Abhandlungen (since 1889). There is besides a printed Verzeichnis der im grossen Lesesaal aufgestellten Handbibliothek (4th ed. 1909), the alphabetical Verzeichnis der laufenden Zeitschriften (last ed., 1908), and the classified Verzeichnis der laufenden Zeitschriften (1908). The catalogue of MSS. are mostly in print, vols. 1-13, 16–23 (1853–1905). The library is specially rich in oriental MSS., chiefly due to purchases of private collections. The musical MSS. are very remarkable and form the richest collection in the world as regards autographs. The building, erected about 1780 by Frederick the Great, has long been too small, and a new one was completed in 1909. The building occupies the whole space between the four streets: Unter den Linden, Dorotheenstrasse, Universitätsstrasse and Charlottenstrasse, and besides the Royal Library, houses the University Library and the Academy of Sciences. The conditions as to the use of the collections are, as in most German libraries, very liberal. Any adult person is allowed to have books in the reading-room. Books are lent out to all higher officials, including those holding educational offices in the university, &c., and by guarantee to almost any one recommended by persons of standing; borrowing under pecuniary security is also permitted. By special leave of the librarian, books and MSS. may be sent to a scholar at a distance, or, if especially valuable, may be deposited in some public library where he can conveniently use them. In 1908–1909 264,000 vols. were used in the reading-rooms, 312,000 were lent inside Berlin, and 32,000 outside. There is a regular system of exchange between the Royal Library and a great number of Prussian libraries. It is the same in Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden; the oldest system is that between Darmstadt and Giessen (dating from 1837). There is either no charge for carriage to the borrower or the cost is very small. The reading-room and magazine hall are, with the exception of Sundays and holidays, open daily from 9 to 9, the borrowing counter from 9 to 6.
Associated with the Royal Library are the following undertakings: the Gesamtkatalog der Preussischen wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken (describing the printed books in the Royal Library and the Prussian University Libraries in one general catalogue upon slips), the Auskunftsbureau der Deutschen Bibliotheken (bureau to give information where any particular book may be consulted), and the Kommission für den Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (to draw up a complete catalogue of books printed before 1500).
The University Library (1831) numbers 220,000 vols. together with 250,000 academical and school dissertations. The number of volumes lent out in 1908–1909 was 104,000. The library possesses the right to receive a copy of every work published in the province of Brandenburg.
Some of the governmental libraries are important, especially those of the Statistisches Landesamt (184,000 vols.); Reichstag (181,000 vols.); Patent-Amt (118,000 vols.); Haus der Abgeordneten (100,000 vols.); Auswärtiges-Amt (118,000 vols.).
The public library of Berlin contains 102,000 vols.; connected therewith 28 municipal Volksbibliotheken and 14 municipal reading-rooms. The 28 Volksbibliotheken contain (1908) 194,000 vols.
The Prussian university libraries outside Berlin include Bonn (332,000 printed vols., 1500 MSS.); Breslau (330,000 printed vols., 3700 MSS.); Göttingen, from its foundation in 1736/7 the best administered library of the 18th century (552,000 printed vols., 6800 MSS.); Greifswald (200,000 printed vols., 800 MSS.); Halle (261,000 printed vols., 2000 MSS.); Kiel (278,000 printed vols., 2400 MSS.); Königsberg (287,000 printed vols., 1500 MSS.); Marburg (231,000 printed vols. and about 800 MSS.); Münster (191,000 printed vols., 800 MSS.). Under provincial administration are the Königliche and Provinzialbibliothek at Hanover (203,000 printed vols., 4000 MSS.); the Landesbibliothek at Cassel (230,000 printed vols., 4400 MSS.); and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Bibliothek at Posen (163,000 printed vols.). A number of the larger towns possess excellent municipal libraries; Aix-la-Chapelle (112,000 vols.); Breslau (164,000 vols., 4000 MSS.); Dantzig (145,600 vols., 2900 MSS.); Frankfort a/M (342,000 vols. besides MSS.); Cassel Murhardsche Bibliothek (141,000 vols., 6300 MSS.); Cologne (235,000 vols.); Treves (100,000 vols., 2260 MSS.); Wiesbaden (158,000 vols.).
The libraries of Munich, though not so numerous as those of Berlin, include two of great importance. The Royal Library, for a long time the largest collection of books in Germany, was founded by Duke Albrecht V. of Bavaria (1550–1579), who made numerous purchases from Italy, and incorporated the libraries of the Munich. Nuremberg physician and historian Schedel, of Widmannstadt, and of J. J. Fugger. The number of printed vols. is estimated at about 1,100,000 and about 50,000 MSS. The library is especially rich in incunabula, many of them being derived from the libraries of over 150 monasteries closed in 1803. The oriental MSS. are numerous and valuable, and include the library of Martin Haug. The amount annually spent upon books and binding is £5000. The catalogues of the printed books are in manuscript, and include (1) a general alphabetical catalogue, (2) an alphabetical repertorium of each of the 195 subdivisions of the library, (3) biographical and other subject catalogues. A printed catalogue of MSS. in 8 vols. was in 1910 nearly complete; the first was published in 1858. The library is open on weekdays from 8 to 1 (November to March 8.30 to 1), and on Monday to Friday (except from August 1 to September 15) also from 3 to 8. The regulations for the use of the library are very similar to those of the Royal Library at Berlin. The building was erected for this collection under King Louis I. in 1832–1843. The archives are bestowed on the ground floor, and the two upper floors are devoted to the library, which occupies seventy-seven apartments. The University Library was originally founded at Ingolstadt in 1472, and removed with the university to Munich in 1826. At present the number of vols. amounts to 550,000; the MSS. number 2000. Forty-six Munich libraries are described in Schwenke’s Adressbuch, 15 of which possessed in 1909 about 2,000,000 printed vols. and about 60,000 MSS. After the two mentioned above the most noteworthy is the Königlich Bayrische Armee-Bibliothek (100,000 printed vols., 1000 MSS.).
The chief Bavarian libraries outside Munich are the Royal Library at Bamberg (350,000 vols., 4300 MSS.) and the University Library at Würzburg (390,000 vols., 1500 MSS.); both include rich monastic libraries. The University Library at Erlangen has 237,000 vols. The Staats-Kreis and Stadtbibliothek at Augsburg owns 200,000 vols., and 2000 MSS.; Nuremberg has two great collections, the Bibliothek des Germanischen National-museums (250,000 vols., 3550 MSS.) and the Stadtbibliothek (104,000 vols., 2500 MSS.).
In 1906 there were in Dresden 78 public libraries with about 1,495,000 vols. The Royal Public Library in the Japanese Palace was founded in the 16th century. Among its numerous acquisitions have been the library of Count Bünau in 1764, and the MSS. of Ebert. Special attention is devoted to history Dresden. and literature. The library possesses more than 520,000 vols. (1909); the MSS. number 6000. Admission to the reading-room is granted to any respectable adult on giving his name, and books are lent out to persons qualified by their position or by a suitable guarantee. Here, as at other large libraries in Germany, works of belles-lettres are only supplied for a literary purpose. The number of persons using the reading-room in a year is about 14,000, and about 23,000 vols. are lent. The second largest library in Dresden, the Bibliothek des Statistischen Landes-Amtes, has 120,000 vols.
Leipzig is well equipped with libraries; that of the University has 550,000 vols. and 6500 MSS. The Bibliothek des Reichsgerichts has 151,000 vols., the Pädagogische Central-Bibliothek der Comenius-Stiftung 150,000 vols., and the Stadtbibliothek 125,000 vols., with 1500 MSS.
The Royal Public Library of Stuttgart, although only established in 1765, has grown so rapidly that it now possesses about 374,000 vols. of printed works and 5300 MSS. There is a famous collection of Bibles, containing over 7200 vols. The annual expenditure devoted to books and binding is £2475. The Stuttgart. library also enjoys the copy-privilege in Württemberg. The annual number of borrowers is over 2600, who use nearly 29,000 vols. The number issued in the reading-room is 41,000. The number of parcels despatched from Stuttgart is nearly 23,000. Admission is also gladly granted to the Royal Private Library, founded in 1810, which contains about 137,000 vols.
Of the other libraries of Württemberg the University Library of Tübingen (500,000 vols. and 4100 MSS.) need only be noted.
The Grand-ducal Library of Darmstadt was established by the grand-duke Louis I. in 1819, on the basis of the still older library formed in the 17th century, and includes 510,000 vols. and about 3600 MSS. (1909). The number of vols. used in the course of the year is Darmstadt. about 90,000, of which 14,000 are lent out.
Among the other libraries of the Grand Duchy of Hesse the most remarkable are the University Library at Giessen (230,000 vols., 1500 MSS.), and the Stadtbibliothek at Mainz (220,000 vols., 1200 MSS.) to which is attached the Gutenberg Museum.
In the Grand Duchy of Baden are the Hof- und Landesbibliothek at Carlsruhe (202,000 vols., 3800 MSS.), the University Library at Freiburg i/B (300,000 vols., 700 MSS.), and the University Library at Heidelberg. This, the oldest of the German University libraries, was founded in 1386. In 1623 the whole collection, described by Joseph Scaliger in 1608 as “locupletior et meliorum librorum quam Vaticana,” was carried as a gift to the pope and only the German MSS. were afterwards returned. The library was re-established in 1703, and after 1800 enriched with monastic spoils; it now contains about 400,000 vols. and 3500 MSS. for the most part of great value.
Among the State or University libraries of other German states should be mentioned Detmold (110,000 vols.); Jena (264,000 vols.); Neustrelitz (130,000 vols.); Oldenburg (126,000 vols.); Rostock (275,000 vols.); Schwerin (225,000 vols.); and Weimar (270,000), all possessing rich collections of MSS.
The Ducal Library of Gotha was established by Duke Ernest the Pious in the 17th century, and contains many valuable books and MSS. from monastic collections. It numbers about 192,000 vols., with 7400 MSS. The catalogue of the oriental MSS., chiefly collected Gotha. by Seetzen, and forming one-half of the collection, is one of the best in existence.
The Ducal Library at Wolfenbüttel, founded in the second half of the 16th century by Duke Julius, was made over to the university of Helmstedt in 1614, whence the most important treasures were returned to Wolfenbüttel in the 19th century; it now numbers 300,000 vols., 7400 MSS.
The chief libraries of the Hanse towns are: Bremen (Stadtbibliothek, 141,000 vols.), and Lübeck (Stadtbibliothek, 121,000 vols.); the most important being the Stadtbibliothek at Hamburg, made public since 1648 (383,000 vols., 7300 MSS., among them many Mexican). Hamburg has also in the Kommerzbibliothek (120,000 vols.) a valuable trade collection, and the largest Volksbibliothek (about 100,000 vols.) after that at Berlin. Alsace-Lorraine has the most recently formed of the great German collections—the Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek at Strassburg, which, though founded only in 1871 to replace that which had been destroyed in the siege, already ranks amongst the largest libraries of the empire. Its books amount to 922,000 vols., the number of MSS. is 5900.
The Adressbuch der Bibliotheken der Oesterreich-ungarischen Monarchie by Bohatta and Holzmann (1900) describes 1014 libraries in Austria, 656 in Hungary, and 23 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Included in this list, however, are private lending Austria. libraries.
The largest library in Austria, and one of the most important collections in Europe, is the Imperial Public Library at Vienna, apparently founded by the emperor Frederick III. in 1440, although its illustrious librarian Lambecius, in the well-known inscription over the entrance to the library which summarizes its history attributes this honour to Frederick’s son Maximilian. However this may be, the munificence of succeeding emperors greatly added to the wealth of the collection, including a not inconsiderable portion of the dispersed library of Corvinus. Since 1808 the library has also been entitled to the copy-privilege in respect of all books published in the empire. The sum devoted to the purchase and binding of books is £6068 annually. The number of printed vols. is 1,000,000; 8000 incunabula. The MSS. amount to 27,000, with 100,000 papyri of the collection of Archduke Rainer. The main library apartment is one of the most splendid halls in Europe. Admission to the reading-room is free to everybody, and books are also lent out under stricter limitations. The University Library of Vienna was established by Maria Theresa. The reading-room is open to all comers, and the library is open from 1st Oct. to 30th June from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; in the other months for shorter hours. In 1909 447,391 vols. were used in the library, 45,000 vols. lent out in Vienna, and 6519 vols. sent carriage free to borrowers outside Vienna. The number of printed vols. is 757,000. For the purchase of books and binding the Vienna University Library has annually 60,000 crowns from the state as well as 44,000 crowns from matriculation fees and contributions from the students.
The total number of libraries in Vienna enumerated by Bohatta and Holzmann is 165, and many of them are of considerable extent. One of the oldest and most important libraries of the monarchy is the University Library at Cracow, with 380,000 vols. and 8169 MSS.
The number of monastic libraries in Austria is very considerable. They possess altogether more than 2,500,000 printed vols., 25,000 incunabula and 25,000 MSS. The oldest of them, and the oldest in Austria, is that of the monastery of St Peter at Salzburg, which was established by Archbishop Arno (785–821). It includes 70,000 vols., nearly 1500 incunabula. The three next in point of antiquity are Kremsmünster (100,000), Admont (86,000) and Melk (70,000), all of them dating from the 11th century. Many of the librarians of these monastic libraries are trained in the great Vienna libraries. There is no official training as in Prussia and Bavaria.
Information about income, administration, accessions, &c., of the chief libraries in the Hungarian kingdom, are given in the Hungarian Statistical Year Book annually. The largest library in Hungary is the Széchenyi-Nationalbibliothek at Budapest, founded in 1802 by the gift of the library of Count Hungary. Franz Széchenyi. It contains 400,000 printed vols., 16,000 MSS., and has a remarkable collection of Hungarica. The University Library of Budapest includes 273,000 printed books and more than 2000 MSS. Since 1897 there has been in Hungary a Chief Inspector of Museums and Libraries whose duty is to watch all public museums and libraries which are administered by committees, municipalities, religious bodies and societies. He also has undertaken the task of organizing a general catalogue of all the MSS. and early printed books in Hungary.
The libraries of the monasteries and other institutions of the Catholic Church are many in number but not so numerous as in Austria. The chief among them, the library of the Benedictines at St Martinsberg, is the central library of the order in Hungary and contains nearly 170,000 vols. It was reconstituted in 1802 after the re-establishment of the order. The principal treasures of this abbey (11th century) were, on the secularization of the monasteries under Joseph II., distributed among the state libraries in Budapest.
Among the Swiss libraries, which numbered 2096 in 1868, there is none of the first rank. Only three possess over 200,000 vols.—the University Library at Basle founded in 1460, the Cantonal Library at Lausanne, and the Stadtbibliothek at Berne, which since 1905 is united to the University Switzerland. Library of that city. One great advantage of the Swiss libraries is that they nearly all possess printed catalogues, which greatly further the plan of compiling a great general catalogue of all the libraries of the republic. A valuable co-operative work is their treatment of Helvetiana. All the literature since 1848 is collected by the Landes-Bibliothek at Berne, established in 1895 for this special object. The older literature is brought together in the Bürgerbibliothek at Lucerne, for which it has a government grant. The monastic libraries of St Gall and Einsiedeln date respectively from the years 830 and 946, and are of great historical and literary interest.
Authorities.—Information has been supplied for this account by Professor Dr A. Hortzschansky, librarian of the Royal Library, Berlin. See also Adressbuch der deutschen Bibliotheken by Paul Schwenke (Leipzig, 1893); Jahrbuch der deutschen Bibliotheken (Leipzig, 1902–1910); Berliner Bibliothekenführer, by P. Schwenke and A. Hortzschansky (Berlin, 1906); A. Hortzschansky, Die K. Bibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin, 1908); Ed. Zarncke, Leipziger Bibliothekenführer (Leipzig, 1909); J. Bohatta and M. Holzmann, Adressbuch der Bibliotheken der österreich-ungarischen Monarchie (Vienna, 1900); Ri. Kukula, Die österreichischen Studienbibliotheken (1905); A. Hübl, Die österreichischen Klosterbibliotheken in den Jahren 1848–1908 (1908); P. Gulyas, Das ungarische Oberinspektorat der Museen und Bibliotheken (1909); Die über 10,000 Bände zählenden öffentlichen-Bibliotheken Ungarns, im Jahre 1908 (Budapest, 1910); H. Escher, “Bibliothekswesen” in Handbuch der Schweizer Volkswirtschaft, vol. i. (1903).
As the former centre of civilization, Italy is, of course, the country in which the oldest existing libraries must be looked for, and in which the rarest and most valuable MSS. are preserved. The Vatican at Rome and the Laurentian Library at Florence are sufficient in themselves to entitle Italy to rank before most other states in that respect, and the venerable relics at Vercelli, Monte Cassino and La Cava bear witness to the enlightenment of the peninsula while other nations were slowly taking their places in the circle of Christian polity. The local rights and interests which so long helped to impede the unification of Italy were useful in creating and preserving at numerous minor centres many libraries which otherwise would probably have been lost during the progress of absorption that results from such centralization as exists in England. In spite of long centuries of suffering and of the aggression of foreign swords and foreign gold, Italy is still rich in books and MSS. The latest official statistics (1896) give particulars of 1831 libraries, of which 419 are provincial and communal. In 1893 there were 542 libraries of a popular character and including circulating libraries.
The governmental libraries (biblioteche governative) number 36 and are under the authority of the minister of public instruction. The Regolamento controlling them was issued in the Bolletino Ufficiale, 5 Dec. 1907. They consist of the national central libraries of Rome (Vittorio Emanuele) and Governmental libraries. Florence, of the national libraries of Milan (Braidense), Naples, Palermo, Turin and Venice (Marciana); the Biblioteca governativa at Cremona; the Marucelliana, the Mediceo-Laurenziana and the Riccardiana at Florence; the governativa at Lucca; the Estense at Modena; the Brancacciana and that of San Giacomo at Naples; the Palatina at Parma; the Angelica, the Casanatense, and the Lancisiana at Rome; the university libraries of Bologna, Cagliari, Catania, Genoa, Messina, Modena, Naples, Padua, Pavia, Pisa, Rome and Sassari; the Ventimiliana at Catania (joined to the university library for administrative purposes); the Vallicelliana and the musical library of the R. Accad. of St Cecilia at Rome; the musical section of the Palatine at Parma; and the Lucchesi-Palli (added to the national library at Naples). There are provisions whereby small collections can be united to larger libraries in the same place and where there are several government libraries in one city a kind of corporate administration can be arranged. The libraries belonging to bodies concerned with higher education, to the royal scientific and literary academies, fine art galleries, museums and scholastic institutions are ruled by special regulations. The minister of public instruction is assisted by a technical board.
The librarians and subordinates are divided into (1) librarians, or keepers of MSS.; (2) sub-librarians, or sub-keepers of MSS.; (3) attendants, or book distributors; (4) ushers, &c. Those of class 1 constitute the “board of direction,” which is presided over by the librarian, and meets from time to time to consider important measures connected with the administration of the library. Each library is to possess, alike for books and MSS., a general inventory, an accessions register, an alphabetical author-catalogue and a subject-catalogue. When they are ready, catalogues of the special collections are to be compiled, and these the government intends to print. A general catalogue of the MSS. was in 1910 being issued together with catalogues of oriental codices and incunabula. Various other small registers are provided for. The sums granted by the state for library purposes must be applied to (1) salaries and the catalogues of the MSS.; (2) maintenance and other expenses; (3) purchase of books, binding and repairs, &c. Books are chosen by the librarians. In the university libraries part of the expenditure is decided by the librarians, and part by a council formed by the professors of the different faculties. The rules (Boll. Ufficiale, Sept. 17, 1908) for lending books and MSS. allow them to be sent to other countries under special circumstances.
The 36 biblioteche governative annually spend about 300,000 lire in books. From the three sources of gifts, copyright and purchases, their accessions in 1908 were 142,930, being 21,122 more than the previous year. The number of readers is increasing. In 1908 there were 1,176,934, who made use of 1,650,542 vols., showing an increase of 30,456 readers and 67,579 books as contrasted with the statistics of the previous year. Two monthly publications catalogue the accessions of these libraries, one dealing with copyright additions of Italian literature, the other with all foreign books.
The minister of public instruction has kept a watchful eye upon the literary treasures of the suppressed monastic bodies. In 1875 there were 1700 of these confiscated libraries, containing two millions and a half of volumes. About 650 of the collections were added to the contents of the public libraries already in existence; the remaining 1050 were handed over to the different local authorities, and served to form 371 new communal libraries, and in 1876 the number of new libraries so composed was 415.
The Biblioteca Vaticana stands in the very first rank among European libraries as regards antiquity and wealth of MSS. We can trace back the history of the Biblioteca Vaticana to the earliest records of the Scrinium Sedis Apostolicae, which was enshrined in safe custody at the Vatican. Lateran, and later on partly in the Turris Chartularia; but of all the things that used to be stored there, the only survival, and that is a dubious example, is the celebrated Codex Amiatinus now in the Laurentian Library at Florence. Of the new period inaugurated by Innocent III. there but remains to us the inventory made under Boniface VIII. The library shared in the removal of the Papal court to Avignon, where the collection was renewed and increased, but the Pontifical Library at Avignon has only in part, and in later times, been taken into the Library of the Vatican. This latter is a new creation of the great humanist popes of the 15th century. Eugenius IV. planted the first seed, but Nicholas V. must be looked upon as the real founder of the library, to which Sixtus IV. consecrated a definite abode, ornate and splendid, in the Court of the Pappagallo. Sixtus V. erected the present magnificent building in 1588, and greatly augmented the collection. The library increased under various popes and librarians, among the most noteworthy of whom were Marcello Cervini, the first Cardinale Bibliotecario, later Pope Marcel II., Sirleto and A. Carafa. In 1600 it was further enriched by the acquisition of the valuable library of Fulvio Orsini, which contained the pick of the most precious libraries. Pope Paul V. (1605–1621) separated the library from the archives, fixed the progressive numeration of the Greek and Latin MSS., and added two great halls, called the Pauline, for the new codices. Under him and under Urban VIII. a number of MSS. were purchased from the Convento of Assisi, of the Minerva at Rome, of the Capranica College, &c. Especially noteworthy are the ancient and beautiful MSS. of the monastery of Bobbio, and those which were acquired in various ways from the monastery of Rossano. Gregory XV. (1622) received from Maximilian I., duke of Bavaria, by way of compensation for the money supplied by him for the war, the valuable library of the Elector Palatine, which was seized by Count Tilly at the capture of Heidelberg. Alexander VII. (1658), having purchased the large and beautiful collection formerly belonging to the dukes of Urbino, added the MSS. of it to the Vatican library. The Libreria della Regina, i.e. of Christina, queen of Sweden, composed of very precious manuscripts from ancient French monasteries, from St Gall in Switzerland, and others—also of the MSS. of Alexandre Petau, of great importance for their history and French literature, was purchased and in great part presented to the Vatican library by Pope Alexander VIII. (Ottoboni) in 1689, while other MSS. came in later with the Ottoboni library. Under Clement XI. there was the noteworthy purchase of the 54 Greek MSS. which had belonged to Pius II., and also the increase of the collection of Oriental MSS. Under Benedict XIV. there came into the Vatican library, as a legacy, the library of the Marchese Capponi, very rich in rare and valuable Italian editions, besides 285 MSS.; and by a purchase, the Biblioteca Ottoboniana, which, from its wealth in Greek, Latin, and even Hebrew MSS., was, after that of the Vatican, the richest in all Rome. Clement XIII. in 1758, Clement XIV. in 1769, and Pius VI. in 1775 were also benefactors. During three centuries the vast and monumental library grew with uninterrupted prosperity, but it was to undergo a severe blow at the end of the 18th century. In 1798, as a sequel to the Treaty of Tolentino, 500 MSS. picked from the most valuable of the different collections were sent to Paris by the victorious French to enrich the Bibliothèque Nationale and other libraries. These, however, were chiefly restored in 1815. Most of the Palatine MSS., which formed part of the plunder, found their way back to the university of Heidelberg. Pius VII. acquired for the Vatican the library of Cardinal Zelada in 1800, and among other purchases of the 19th century must be especially noted the splendid Cicognara collection of archaeology and art (1823); as well as the library in 40,000 vols. of Cardinal Angelo Mai (1856). Recent more important purchases, during the Pontificate of Leo XIII., have been the Borghese MSS., about 300 in number, representing part of the ancient library of the popes at Avignon; the entire precious library of the Barberini; the Borgia collection De Propaganda Fide, containing Latin and Oriental MSS., and 500 incunabula.
Few libraries are so magnificently housed as the Biblioteca Vaticana. The famous Codici Vaticani are placed in the salone or great double hall, which is decorated with frescoes depicting ancient libraries and councils of the church. At the end of the great hall an immense gallery, also richly decorated, and extending to 1200 ft., opens out from right to left. Here are preserved in different rooms the codici Palatini, Regin., Ottoboniani, Capponiani, &c. The printed books only are on open shelves, the MSS. being preserved in closed cases. The printed books that were at first stored in the Borgia Apartment, now with the library of Cardinal Mai, constitute in great part the Nuova Sala di Consultazione, which was opened to students under the Pontificate of Leo XIII. Other books, on the other hand, are still divided into 1a and 2da raccolta, according to the ancient denomination, and are stored in adjacent halls.
Well-reasoned calculations place the total number of printed books at 400,000 vols.; of incunabula about 4000, with many vellum copies; 500 Aldines and a great number of bibliographical rarities. The Latin manuscripts number 31,373; the Greek amount to 4148; the Oriental MSS., of which the computation is not complete, amount to about 4000. Among the Greek and Latin MSS. are some of the most valuable in the world, alike for antiquity and intrinsic importance. It is sufficient to mention the famous biblical Codex Vaticanus of the 4th century, the two Virgils of the 4th and 5th centuries, the Bembo Terence, the palimpsest De Republica of Cicero, conjectured to be of the 4th century, discovered by Cardinal Mai, and an extraordinary number of richly ornamented codices of great beauty and costliness. The archives are apart from the library, and are accessible in part to the public under conditions. Leo XIII. appointed a committee to consider what documents of general interest might expediently be published.
The Biblioteca Vaticana is now open from October 1st to Easter every morning between 9 and 1 o’clock, and from Easter to June 29 from 8 o’clock to 12, with the exception of Sundays, Thursdays and the principal feast days.
Catalogues of special classes of MSS. have been published. The Oriental MSS. have been described by J. S. Assemani, Bibliotheca orientalis Clementino-Vaticana (Rome, 1719–1728, 4 vols. folio), and Bibl. Vat. codd. MSS. catalogus ab S. E. et J. S. Assemano redactus (ib., 1756–1759, 3 vols. folio), and by Cardinal Mai in Script. Vet. nova collectio. The Coptic MSS. have been specially treated by G. Zoega (Rome, 1810, folio) and by F. G. Bonjour (Rome, 1699, 4to). There are printed catalogues of the Capponi (1747) and the Cicognara (1820) libraries. The following catalogues have lately been printed: E. Stevenson, Codd. Palatini Graeci (1885), Codd. Gr. Reg. Sueciae et Pii II. (1888); Feron-Battaglini, Codd. Ottobon. Graeci (1893); C. Stornaiolo, Codd. Urbinates Gr. (1895); E. Stevenson, Codd. Palatini Lat. tom. 1 (1886); G. Salvo-Cozzo, Codici Capponiani (1897); M. Vattasso and P. Franchi de’ Cavalieri, Codd. Lat. Vaticani, tom. 1 (1902); C. Stornaiolo, Codices Urbinates Latini, tom. 1 (1902); E. Stevenson, Inventario dei libri stampati Palatino-Vaticani (1886–1891); and several volumes relating to Egyptian papyri by O. Marucchi. Some of the greatest treasures have been reproduced in facsimile.
The most important library in Italy for modern requirements is the Nazionale Centrale Vittorio Emanuele. From its foundation in 1875, incorporating the biblioteca maior o secreta of the Jesuits in the Collegio Romano, and all the cloister libraries of the Provincia Romana which had devolved to Other Roman libraries. the state through the suppression of the Religious Orders, it has now, by purchases, by donations, through the operation of the law of the press increased to about 850,000 printed vols., and is continually being ameliorated. It possesses about 1600 incunabula and 6200 MSS. Noteworthy among these are the Farfensi and the Sessoriani MSS. of Santa Croce in Jerusalem, and some of these last of the 6th to the 8th centuries are real treasures. The library has been recently reorganized. It is rich in the history of the renaissance, Italian and foreign reviews, and Roman topography. A monthly Bollettino is issued of modern foreign literature received by the libraries of Italy.
The Biblioteca Casanatense, founded by Cardinal Casanate in 1698, contains about 200,000 printed vols., over 2000 incunabula, with many Roman and Venetian editions, and more than 5000 MSS., among which are examples of the 8th, 9th and 10th centuries. They are arranged in eleven large rooms, the large central hall being one of the finest in Rome. It is rich in theology, the history of the middle ages, jurisprudence and the economic, social and political sciences. An incomplete catalogue of the printed books by A. Audiffredi still remains a model of its kind (Roma, 1761–1788, 4 vols. folio, and part of vol. v.).
The Biblioteca Angelica was founded in 1605 by Monsignor Angelo Rocca, an Augustinian, and was the first library in Rome to throw open its doors to the public. It contains about 90,000 vols., of which about 1000 are incunabula; 2570 MSS., of which 120 are Greek, and 91 Oriental. It includes all the authentic acts of the Congregatio de Auxiliis and the collections of Cardinal Passionei and Lucas Holstenius.
The Biblioteca Universitaria Alessandrina was founded by Pope Alexander VII., with the greater part of the printed books belonging to the dukes of Urbino, and was opened in 1676. In 1815 Pius VII. granted to it the right to receive a copy of every printed book in the States of the Church, which grant at the present time, by virtue of the laws of Italy, is continued, but limited to the province of Rome. The library possesses 130,000 printed books, 600 incunabula, 376 MSS.
The library of the Senate was established at Turin in 1848. It contains nearly 87,000 vols. and is rich in municipal history and the statutes of Italian cities, the last collection extending to 2639 statutes or vols. for 679 municipalities. The library of the Chamber of Deputies contains 120,000 vols. and pamphlets. It is rich in modern works, and especially in jurisprudence, native and foreign history, economics and administration.
The Biblioteca Vallicelliana was founded by Achille Stazio (1581), and contains some valuable manuscripts, including a Latin Bible of the 8th century attributed to Alcuin, and some inedited writings of Baronius. It now contains 28,000 vols. and 2315 MSS. Since 1884 it has been in the custody of the R. Società Romana di Storia Patria. The Biblioteca Lancisiana, founded in 1711 by G. M. Lancisi, is valuable for its medical collections.
In 1877 Professor A. Sarti presented to the city of Rome his collection of fine-art books, 10,000 vols., which was placed in charge of the Accademia di San Luca, which already possessed a good artistic library. The Biblioteca Centrale Militare (1893) includes 66,000 printed vols. and 72,000 maps and plans relating to military affairs; and the Biblioteca della R. Accad. di S. Cecilia (1875), a valuable musical collection of 40,000 volumes and 2300 MSS.
Among the private libraries accessible by permission, the Chigiana (1660) contains 25,000 vols. and 2877 MSS. The Corsiniana, founded by Clement XII. (Lorenzo Corsini) is rich in incunabula, and includes one of the most remarkable collections of prints, the series of Marc-Antonios being especially complete. It was added to the Accademia dei Lincei in 1884 and now extends to 43,000 vols. The library of the Collegium de Propaganda Fide was established by Urban VIII. in 1626. It owes its present richness almost entirely to testamentary gifts, among which may be mentioned those of Cardinals Borgia, Caleppi and Di Pietro. It is a private collection for the use of the congregation and of those who belong to it, but permission may be obtained from the superiors. There are at least thirty libraries in Subiaco. Rome which are more or less accessible to the public. At Subiaco, about 40 m. from Rome, the library of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Scolastica is not a very large one, comprising only 6000 printed vols. and 400 MSS., but the place is remarkable as having been the first seat of typography in Italy. It was in this celebrated Protocoenobium that Schweynheim and Pannartz, fresh from the dispersion of Fust and Schoeffer’s workmen in 1462, established their press and produced a series of very rare and important works which are highly prized throughout Europe. The Subiaco library, although open daily to readers, is only visited by students who are curious to behold the cradle of the press in Italy, and to inspect the series of original editions preserved in their first home.
The Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence, formed from the union of Magliabechi’s library with the Palatina, is the largest after the Vittorio Emanuele at Rome. The Magliabechi collection became public property in 1714, and with accessions from time to time, held an independent place until 1862, when the Florence. Palatina (formed by Ferdinand III., Grand Duke of Tuscany), was incorporated with it. An old statute by which a copy of every work printed in Tuscany was to be presented to the Magliabechi library was formerly much neglected, but has been maintained more rigorously in force since 1860. Since 1870 it receives by law a copy of every book published in the kingdom. A Bollettino is issued describing these accessions. There are many valuable autograph originals of famous works in this library, and the MSS. include the most important extant codici of Dante and later poets, as well as of the historians from Villani to Machiavelli and Guicciardini. Amongst the printed books is a very large assemblage of rare early impressions, a great number of the Rappresentazioni of the 16th century, at least 200 books printed on vellum, and a copious collection of municipal histories and statutes, of testi di lingua and of maps. The Galileo collection numbers 308 MSS. The MS. portolani, 25 in number, are for the most part of great importance; the oldest is dated 1417, and several seem to be the original charts executed for Sir Robert Dudley (duke of Northumberland) in the preparation of his Arcano del Mare. The library contains (1909) 571,698 printed vols., 20,222 MSS., 9037 engravings, 21,000 portraits, 3847 maps, and 3575 incunabula. In 1902 the Italian parliament voted the funds for a new building which is being erected on the Corso dei Tintori close to the Santa Croce Church.
The Biblioteca Nazionale of Milan, better known as the Braidense, founded in 1770 by Maria Theresa, consists of 243,000 printed vols. 1787 MSS. and over 3000 autographs. It comprises nearly 2300 books printed in the 15th century (including the rare Monte Santo di Dio of Bettini, 1477), 913 Aldine impressions, Milan. and a xylographic Biblia Pauperum. Amongst the MSS. are an early Dante and autograph letters of Galileo, some poems in Tasso’s autograph, and a fine series of illustrated service-books, with miniatures representing the advance of Italian art from the 12th to the 16th century. One room is devoted to the works of Manzoni.
The Biblioteca Nazionale at Naples, though only opened to the public in 1804, is the largest library of that city. The nucleus from which it developed was the collection of Cardinal Seripando, which comprised many MSS. and printed books of great value. Acquisitions came in from other sources, especially Naples. when in the year 1848 many private and conventual libraries were thrown on the Neapolitan market, and still more so in 1860. The Biblical section is rich in rarities, commencing with the Mainz Bible of 1462, printed on vellum. Other special features are the collection of testi di lingua, that of books on volcanoes, the best collection in existence of the publications of Italian literary and scientific societies and a nearly complete set of the works issued by the Bodoni press. The MSS. include a palimpsest containing writings of the 3rd, 5th and 6th centuries under a grammatical treatise of the 8th, 2 Latin papyri of the 6th century, over 50 Latin Bibles, many illuminated books with miniatures, and the autographs of G. Leopardi. There are more than 40 books printed on vellum in the 15th and 16th centuries, including a fine first Homer; and several MS. maps and portolani, one dating from the end of the 14th century. The library contains about 389,100 printed vols., 7990 MSS. and 4217 incunabula.
The Biblioteca Nazionale of Palermo, founded from the Collegio Massimo of the Jesuits, with additions from other libraries of that suppressed order, is rich in 15th-century books, which have been elaborately described in a catalogue printed in 1875, and in Aldines and bibliographical curiosities of the 16th and Palermo. following centuries, and a very complete series of the Sicilian publications of the 16th century, many being unique. The library contains 167,898 printed vols., 2550 incunabula, 1537 MSS.
The Biblioteca Nazionale Universitatia of Turin took its origin in the donation of the private library of the House of Savoy, which in 1720 was made to the University by Vittorio Amedeo II. The disastrous fire of January 1904 destroyed about 24,000 out of the 300,000 vols. which the library possessed, and of the MSS., Turin. the number of which was 4138, there survive now but 1500 in a more or less deteriorated condition. Among those that perished were the palimpsests of Cicero, Cassidorus, the Codex Theodosianus and the famous Livre d’Heures. What escaped the fire entirely was the valuable collection of 1095 incunabula, the most ancient of which is the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum of 1459. Since the fire the library has been enriched by new gifts, the most conspicuous of which is the collection of 30,000 vols. presented by Baron Alberto Lumbroso, principally relating to the French Revolution and empire. The library was in 1910 about to be transferred to the premises of the Palazzo of the Debito Publico. The Biblioteca Marciana, or library of St Mark at Venice, was traditionally founded Venice. in 1362 by a donation of MSS. from the famous Petrarch (all of them now lost) and instituted as a library by Cardinal Bessarione in 1468. The printed vols. number 417,314. The precious contents include 12,106 MSS. of great value, of which more than 1000 Greek codices were given by Cardinal Bessarione, important MS. collections of works on Venetian history, music and theatre, rare incunabula, and a great number of volumes, unique or exceedingly rare, on the subject of early geographical research. Amongst the MSS. is a Latin Homer, an invaluable codex of the laws of the Lombards, and the autograph MS. of Sarpi’s History of the Council of Trent. Since the fall of the republic and the suppression of the monasteries a great many private and conventual libraries have been incorporated with the Marciana, which had its first abode in the Libreria del Sansovino, from which in turn it was transferred in 1812 to the Palazzo Ducale, and from this again in 1904 to the Palazzo della Zecca (The Mint).
Among the university libraries under government control some deserve special notice. First in historical importance comes the Biblioteca della Università at Bologna, founded by the naturalist U. Aldrovandi, who bequeathed by his will in 1605 to the senate of Bologna his collection of 3800 University libraries. printed books and 360 MSS. Count Luigi F. Marsili increased the library by a splendid gift in 1712 and established an Istituto delle Scienze, reconstituted as a public library by Benedict XIV. in 1756. The printed books number 255,000 vols., and the MSS. 5000. The last comprise a rich Oriental collection of 547 MSS. in Arabic, 173 in Turkish, and several in Persian, Armenian and Hebrew. Amongst the Latin codices is a Lactantius of the 6th or 7th century. The other noteworthy articles include a copy of the Armenian gospels (12th century), the Avicenna, with miniatures dated 1194, described in Montfaucon’s Diarium Italicum, and some unpublished Greek texts. Amongst the Italian MSS. is a rich assemblage of municipal histories. Mezzofanti was for a long time the custodian here, and his own collection of books has been incorporated in the library, which is remarkable likewise for the number of early editions and Aldines which it contains. A collection of drawings by Agostino Caracci is another special feature of worth. The grand hall with its fine furniture in walnut wood merits particular attention. The Biblioteca della Università at Naples was established by Joachim Murat in 1812 in the buildings of Monte Oliveto, and has thence been sometimes called the “Biblioteca Gioacchino.” Later it was transferred to the Royal University of studies, and was opened to the public in 1827. It was increased by the libraries of several monastic bodies. The most copious collections relate to the study of medicine and natural science. It possesses about 300,000 printed books, 404 incunabula, 203 Aldines, and 196 Bodoni editions, but the more important incunabula and MSS. about the middle of the 19th century went to enrich the Biblioteca Nazionale. Other important university libraries are those of Catania (1755), 130,000 vols.; Genoa (1773), 132,000 vols., 1588 MSS.; Pavia (1763), 250,000 vols., 1100 MSS.; Padua (200,000 vols., 2356 MSS.), which in 1910 was housed in a new building; Cagliari (90,000 vols.); Sassari (74,000 vols.). Messina, destroyed in the earthquake of 1908, preserved, however, beneath its ruins the more important part of its furniture and fittings, and in 1910 was already restored to active work, as regards the portion serving for the reawakened Faculty of Law in the University.
Chief among the remaining government libraries comes the world-famed Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana at Florence, formed from the collections of Cosimo the Elder, Pietro de’ Medici, and Lorenzo the Magnificent (which, however, passed away from the family after the expulsion of the Medici from Florence, and were repurchased in 1508 by Cardinal Giovanni, afterwards Leo X.). It was first Mediceo-Laurenziana. constituted as a public library in Florence by Clement VII., who charged Michelangelo to construct a suitable edifice for its reception. It was opened to the public by Cosimo I. in 1571, and has ever since gone on increasing in value, the accessions in the 18th century alone being enough to double its former importance. The printed books it contains are probably no more than 11,000 in number, but are almost all of the highest rarity and interest, including 242 incunabula of which 151 editiones principes. It is, however, the precious collection of MSS., amounting to 9693 articles, which gives its chief importance to this library. They comprise more than 700 of dates earlier than the 11th century. Some of them are the most valuable codices in the world—the famous Virgil of the 4th or 5th century, Justinian’s Pandects of the 6th, a Homer of the 10th, and several other very early Greek and Latin classical and Biblical texts, as well as copies in the handwriting of Petrarch, about 100 codices of Dante, a Decameron copied by a contemporary from Boccaccio’s own MS., and Cellini’s MS. of his autobiography. Bandini’s catalogue of the MSS. occupies 13 vols. folio, printed in 1764–1778. Administratively united to the Laurentian is the Riccardiana rich in MSS. of Italian literature, especially the Florentine (33,000 vols., 3905 MSS.). At Florence the Biblioteca Marucelliana, founded in 1703, remarkable for its artistic wealth of early woodcuts and metal engravings, was opened to the public in 1753. The number of these and of original drawings by the old masters amounts to 80,000 pieces; the printed volumes number 200,000, the incunabula 620, and the MSS. 1500. Modena. At Modena is the famous Biblioteca Estense, so called from having been founded by the Este family at Ferrara in 1393; it was transferred to Modena by Cesare D’Este in 1598. Muratori, Zaccaria and Tiraboschi were librarians here, and made good use of the treasures of the library. It is particularly rich in early printed literature and valuable codices. Between 1859 and 1867 it was known as the Biblioteca Palatina. The printed vols. number 150,570, the incunabula 1600, the MSS. 3336, besides the 4958 MSS. and the 100,000 autographs of the Campori collection.
The oldest library at Naples is the Biblioteca Brancacciana, with many valuable MSS. relating to the history of Naples. Two planispheres by Coronelli are preserved here. It was founded in 1673 by Cardinal F. M. Brancaccio, and opened by his heirs in 1675; 150,000 vols. and 3000 MSS. The Regia Biblioteca di Parma. Parma, founded definitively in 1779, owes its origin to the grand-duke Philip, who employed the famous scholar Paciaudi to organize it. It is now a public library containing 308,770 vols. and 4890 MSS. Amongst its treasures is De Rossi’s magnificent collection of Biblical and rabbinical MSS. Also worthy of note are the Bibl. Pubblica or governation of Lucca (1600) with 214,000 vols., 725 incunabula and 3091 MSS. and that of Cremona (1774), united to that of the Museo Civico.
Among the great libraries not under government control, the most important is the famous Biblioteca Ambrosiana at Milan, founded in 1609 by Cardinal Fed. Borromeo. It contains 230,000 printed vols. and 8400 MSS. Amongst the MSS. are a Greek Pentateuch of the 5th century, the famous Peshito Ambrosiana. and Syro-Hexaplar from the Nitrian convent of St Maria Deipara, a Josephus written on papyrus, supposed to be of the 5th century, several palimpsest texts, including an early Plautus, and St Jerome’s commentary on the Psalms in a volume of 7th-century execution, full of contemporary glosses in Irish, Gothic fragments of Ulfilas, and a Virgil with notes in Petrarch’s handwriting. Cardinal Mai was formerly custodian here. In 1879 Professor C. Mensinger presented his “Biblioteca Europea,” consisting of 2500 vols., 300 maps and 5000 pieces, all relating to the literature and linguistics of European countries. The Melzi and Trivulzio libraries should not pass without mention here, although they are private and inaccessible without special permission. The former is remarkable for its collection of early editions with engravings, including the Dante of 1481, with twenty designs by Baccio Bandinelli. The latter is rich in MSS. with miniatures of the finest and rarest kind, and in printed books of which many are unique or nearly so. It consists of 70,000 printed vols. At Genoa the Biblioteca Franzoniana, founded about 1770 for the instruction of the poorer classes, is noteworthy as being the first European library lighted up at night for the use of readers.
The foundation of the monastery of Monte Cassino is due to St Benedict, who arrived there in the year 529, and established the prototype of all similar institutions in western Europe. The library of printed books now extends to about 20,000 vols., chiefly relating to the theological sciences, but Monte Cassino. including some rare editions. A collection of the books belonging to the monks contains about the same number of volumes. But the chief glory of Monte Cassino consists of the archivio, which is quite apart; and this includes more than 30,000 bulls, diplomas, charters and other documents, besides 1000 MSS. dating from the 6th century downwards. The latter comprehend some very early Bibles and important codices of patristic and other medieval writings. There are good written catalogues, and descriptions with extracts are published in the Bibliotheca Casinensis. The monastery was declared a national monument in 1866. At Ravenna the Biblioteca Classense has a 10th-century codex of Aristophanes and two 14th-century codices of Dante. At Vercelli the Biblioteca dell’ Archivio Capitolare, Vercelli. the foundation of which can be assigned to no certain date, but must be referred to the early days when the barbarous conquerors of Italy had become christianized, comprises nothing but MSS., all of great antiquity and value. Amongst them is an Evangeliarium S. Eusebii in Latin, supposed to be of the 4th century; also the famous codex containing the Anglo-Saxon homilies which have been published by the Ælfric Society.
The Biblioteca del Monastero della S. Trinità, at La Cava dei Tirreni in the province of Salerno, is said to date from the foundation of the abbey itself (beginning of the 11th century). It contains only some 10,000 vols., but these include a number of MSS. of very great rarity and value, ranging from the La Cava. 8th to the 14th century. Amongst these is the celebrated Codex Legum Longobardorum, dated 1004, besides a well-known geographical chart of the 12th century, over 100 Greek MSS., and about 1000 charters beginning with the year 840, more than 200 of which belong to the Lombard and Norman periods. The library is now national property, the abbot holding the office of Keeper of the Archives.
Not a few of the communal and municipal libraries are of great extent and interest: Bologna (1801), 191,000 vols., 5060 MSS.; Brescia, Civica Quiriniana, 125,000 vols., 1500 MSS.; Ferrara (1753), 91,000 vols., 1698 MSS., many Ferrarese rarities; Macerata, the Mozzi-Borgetti (1783–1835, united 1855), 50,000 vols.; Mantua, 70,000 vols., 1300 MSS.; Novara, Negroni e Civica (1847 and 1890), 75,000 vols.; Padua, 90,000 vols., 1600 MSS.; Palermo (1760), 216,000 vols., 3263 MSS., coins and Sicilian collection; Perugia (1852), founded by P. Podiani, 70,000 vols., 915 MSS.; Siena (1758), founded by S. Bandini, fine art collection, 83,250 vols., 5070 MSS.; Venice, Museo Civico Correr, 50,000 vols., 11,000 MSS.; Verona (1792, public since 1802), 180,000 vols., 2650 MSS.; Vicenza, Bertoliana (1708), local literature, archives of religious corporations, 175,000 vols., 6000 MSS.
Popular libraries have now been largely developed in Italy, chiefly through private or municipal enterprise; they enjoy a small state subvention of £1000. The government report for 1908 stated that 319 communes possessed biblioteche popolari numbering altogether 415. Of these, 313 were established by municipalities, 113 by individuals, 8 by business houses, 80 by working men’s societies and 15 by ministers of religion; 225 are open to the public, 358 lend books, 221 gratuitously, and 127 on payment of a small fee. In order to establish these institutions throughout the kingdom, a Bollettino has been published at Milan since 1907, and a National Congress was held at Rome in December 1908.
Information has been given for this account by Dr G. Staderini of the Biblioteca Casanatense, Rome. See also F. Bluhme, Iter Italicum (Berlin, 1824–1836); Notizie sulle biblioteche governative del regno d’ Italia (Roma, 1893); Le biblioteche governative Italiane nel 1898 (Roma, 1900); Statistica delle biblioteche (Roma, 1893–1896, 2 pts.); Le biblioteche popolari in Italia, relazione al Ministro della Pubb. Istruzione (Roma, 1898); Bollettino delle biblioteche popolari (Milano, 1907, in progress); E. Fabietti, Manuale per le biblioteche popolari (2da ediz., Milano); Le biblioteche pop. al 1oCongresso Naz. 1908 (Milano, 1910).
Much interest in libraries has not been shown in south, central and other parts of Latin America. Most of the libraries which exist are national or legislative libraries.
As the libraries of the republic of Cuba are more Spanish than American in character, it will be convenient to consider them here. The chief libraries are in Havana, and the best are the Biblioteca Publica and the University Library. The Biblioteca Publica has within Cuba.recent years been completely overhauled, and is now one of the most actively-managed libraries in Latin America.
Out of the twenty-nine states and territories of the Mexican republic about half have public libraries, and only a small proportion of the contents consists of modern literature. Many possess rare and valuable books, of interest to the bibliographer and historian, which have come from the libraries of the Mexico. suppressed religious bodies. There is a large number of scientific and literary associations in the republic, each possessing books. The Society of Geography and Statistics, founded in 1851 in Mexico City, is the most important of them, and owns a fine museum and excellent library. After the triumph of the Liberal party the cathedral, university and conventual libraries of the city of Mexico came into the possession of the government, and steps were taken to form them into one national collection. No definite system was organized, however, until 1867, when the church of San Augustin was taken and fitted up for the purpose. In 1884 it was opened as the Biblioteca Nacional, and now possesses over 200,000 vols. Two copies of every book printed in Mexico must be presented to this library. Most of the libraries of Mexico, city or provincial, are subscription, and belong to societies and schools of various kinds.
The importance of public libraries has been fully recognized in Argentina, and more than two hundred of them are in the country. They are due to benefactions, but the government in every case adds an equal sum to any endowment. A central commission exists for the purpose of facilitating the acquisition Argentina. of books and to promote a uniform excellence of administration. The most considerable is the Biblioteca Nacional at Buenos Aires, which is passably rich in MSS., some of great interest, concerning the early history of the Spanish colonies. There is also the Biblioteca Municipal with about 25,000 vols. There are libraries attached to colleges, churches and clubs, and most of the larger towns possess public libraries.
The chief library in Brazil is the Bibliotheca Publica Nacional at Rio de Janeiro (1807) now comprising over 250,000 printed vols. with many MSS. National literature and works connected with South America are special features of this collection. A handsome new building has been erected which has Brazil. been fitted up in the most modern manner. Among other libraries of the capital may be mentioned those of the Faculty of Medicine, Marine Library, National Museum, Portuguese Literary Club, Bibliotheca Fluminense, Benedictine Monastery, and the Bibliotheca Municipal. There are various provincial and public libraries throughout Brazil, doing good work, and a typical example is the public library of Maranhao.
The Biblioteca Nacional at Santiago is the chief library in Chile. The catalogue is printed, and is kept up by annual supplements. It possesses about 100,000 vols. There is also a University Library at Santiago, and a fairly good Biblioteca Publica at Chile. Valparaiso.
The Biblioteca Nacional at Lima was founded by a decree of the liberator San Martin on the 28th of August 1821, and placed in the house of the old convent of San Pedro. The nucleus of the library consisted of those of the university of San Marcos and of several monasteries, and a large present of books was also made Peru. by San Martin. The library is chiefly interesting from containing so many MSS. and rare books relating to the history of Peru in vice-regal times.
Spain and Portugal.
Most of the royal, state and university libraries of Spain and Portugal have government control and support. In Portugal the work of the universities is to a certain extent connected up, and an official bulletin is published in which the laws and accessions of the libraries are contained.
The chief library in Spain is the Biblioteca Nacional (formerly the Biblioteca Real) at Madrid. The printed volumes number 600,000 with 200,000 pamphlets. Spanish literature is of course well represented, and, in consequence of the numerous accessions from the libraries of the suppressed convents, the classes of theology, canon law, history, &c., are particularly complete. There are 30,000 MSS., including some finely illuminated codices, historical documents, and many valuable autographs. The collection of prints extends to 120,000 pieces, and was principally formed from the important series bought from Don Valentin Carderera in 1865. The printed books have one catalogue arranged under authors’ names, and one under titles; the departments of music, maps and charts, and prints have subject-catalogues as well. There is a general index of the MSS., with special catalogues of the Greek and Latin codices and genealogical documents. The cabinet of medals is most valuable and well arranged. Of the other Madrid libraries it is enough to mention the Biblioteca de la Real Academia de la Historia, 1758 (20,000 vols. and 1500 MSS.), which contains some printed and MS. Spanish books of great value, including the well-known Salazar collection. The history of the library of the Escorial (q.v.) has been given elsewhere. In 1808, before the invasion, the Escorial is estimated to have contained 30,000 printed vols. and 3400 MSS.; Joseph removed the collection to Madrid, but when it was returned by Ferdinand 10,000 vols. were missing. There are now about 40,000 printed vols. The Arabic MSS. have been described by M. Casiri, 1760–1770; and a catalogue of the Greek codices by Müller was issued at the expense of the French government in 1848. There is a MS. catalogue of the printed books. Permission to study at the Escorial, which is one of the royal private libraries, must be obtained by special application. The Biblioteca Provincial y Universitaria of Barcelona (1841) contains about 155,000 vols., and that of Seville (1767) has 82,000 vols. Other cities in Spain possess provincial or university libraries open to students under various restrictions, among them may be mentioned the Biblioteca Universitaria of Salamanca (1254) with over 80,000 vols.
Among the libraries of Portugal the Bibliotheca Nacional at Lisbon (1796) naturally takes the first place. In 1841 it was largely increased from the monastic collections, which, however, seem to have been little cared for according to a report prepared by the principal librarian three years later. There are now said to Portugal. be 400,000 vols. of printed books, among which theology, canon law, history and Portuguese and Spanish literature largely predominate. The MSS. number 16,000 including many of great value. There is also a cabinet of 40,000 coins and medals. The Bibliotheca da Academia, founded in 1780, is preserved in the suppressed convent of the Ordem Terceira da Penitencia. In 1836 the Academy acquired the library of that convent, numbering 30,000 vols., which have since been kept apart. The Archivo Nacional, in the same building, contains the archives of the kingdom, brought here after the destruction of the Torre do Castello during the great earthquake.
The Biblioteca Publica Municipal at Oporto is the second largest in Portugal, although only dating from the 9th of July 1833, the anniversary of the debarcation of D. Pedro, and when the memorable siege was still in progress; from that date to 1874 it was styled the Real Biblioteca do Porto. The regent (ex-emperor of Brazil) gave to the town the libraries of the suppressed convents in the northern provinces, the municipality undertaking to defray the expense of keeping up the collection. Recent accessions consist mainly of Portuguese and French books. The important Camoens collection is described in a printed catalogue (Oporto, 1880). A notice of the MSS. may be found in Catalogo dos MSS. da B. Publica Eborense, by H. da Cunha Rivara (Lisbon, 1850–1870), 3 vols. folio, and the first part of an Indice preparatorio do Catalogo dos Manuscriptos was produced in 1880. The University Library of Coimbra (1591) contains about 100,000 vols., and other colleges possess libraries.
Since 1900 there has been considerable progress made in both Belgium and Holland in the development of public libraries, and several towns in the latter country have established popular libraries after the fashion of the municipal libraries of the United Kingdom and America.
The national library of Belgium is the Bibliothèque Royale at Brussels, of which the basis may be said to consist of the famous Bibliothèque des ducs de Bourgogne, the library of the Austrian sovereigns of the Low Countries, which had gradually accumulated during three centuries. After suffering many Belgium. losses from thieves and fire, in 1772 the Bibliothèque de Bourgogne received considerable augmentations from the libraries of the suppressed order of Jesuits, and was thrown open to the public. On the occupation of Brussels by the French in 1794 a number of books and MSS. were confiscated and transferred to Paris (whence the majority were returned in 1815); in 1795 the remainder were formed into a public library under the care of La Serna Santander, who was also town librarian, and who was followed by van Hulthem. At the end of the administration of van Hulthem a large part of the precious collections of the Bollandists was acquired. In 1830 the Bibliothèque de Bourgogne was added to the state archives, and the whole made available for students. Van Hulthem died in 1832, leaving one of the most important private libraries in Europe, described by Voisin in Bibliotheca Hulthemiana (Brussels, 1836), 5 vols., and extending to 60,000 printed vols. and 1016 MSS., mostly relating to Belgian history. The collection was purchased by the government in 1837, and, having been added to the Bibliothèque de Bourgogne (open since 1772) and the Bibliothèque de la Ville (open since 1794), formed what has since been known as the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique. The printed volumes now number over 600,000 with 30,000 MSS., 105,000 prints and 80,000 coins and medals. The special collections, each with a printed catalogue, consist of the Fonds van Hulthem, for national history; the Fonds Fétis, for music; the Fonds Goethals, for genealogy; and the Fonds Müller, for physiology. The catalogue of the MSS. has been partly printed, and catalogues of accessions and other departments are also in course of publication. There are libraries attached to most of the departments of the government, the ministry of war having 120,000 vols. and the ministry of the interior, 15,000 vols. An interesting library is the Bibliothèque Collective des Sociétés Savantes founded in 1906 to assemble in one place the libraries of all the learned societies of Brussels. It contains about 40,000 vols. which have been catalogued on cards. The Bibliothèque du Conservatoire royal de Musique (1832) contains 12,000 vols. and 6000 dramatic works. The popular or communal libraries of Brussels contain about 30,000 vols. and those of the adjoining suburbs about 50,000 vols., most of which are distributed through the primary and secondary schools. At Antwerp the Stadt Bibliothek (1805) has now 70,000 vols., and is partly supported by subscriptions and endowments. The valuable collection of books in the Musée Plantin-Moretus (1640) should also be mentioned. It contains 11,000 MSS. and 15,000 printed books, comprising the works issued by the Plantin family and many 15th-century books.
The University Library of Ghent, known successively as the Bibliothèque de l’École Centrale and Bibliothèque Publique de la Ville, was founded upon the old libraries of the Conseil de Flandres, of the College des Échevins, and of many suppressed religious communities. It was declared public in 1797, and formally opened in 1798. On the foundation of the university in 1817 the town placed the collection at its disposal, and the library has since remained under state control. The printed volumes now amount to 353,000. There are important special collections on archaeology, Netherlands literature, national history, books printed in Flanders, and 23,000 historical pamphlets of the 16th and 17th centuries. The main catalogue is in MS. on cards. There are printed catalogues of the works on jurisprudence (1839), and of the MSS. (1852). The Bibliothèque de l’Université Catholique of Louvain is based upon the collection of Beyerlinck, who bequeathed it to his alma mater in 1627; this example was followed by Jacques Romain, professor of medicine, but the proper organization of the library began in 1636. There are now said to be 211,000 vols. The Bibliothèque de l’Université of Liége dates from 1817, when on the foundation of the university the old Bibliothèque de la Ville was added to it. There are now 350,000 printed vols., pamphlets, MSS., &c. The Liége collection (of which a printed catalogue appeared in 3 vols. 8vo., 1872), bequeathed by M. Ulysse Capitaine, extends to 12,061 vols. and pamphlets. There are various printed catalogues. The Bibliothèques Populaires of Liége established in 1862, now number five, and contain among them 50,000 vols. which are circulated to the extent of 130,000 per annum among the school children. The Bibliothèque publique of Bruges (1798) contains 145,600 printed books and MSS., housed in a very artistic building, once the Tonlieu or douane, 1477. There are communal libraries at Alost, Arlon (1842), Ath (1842), Courtrai, Malines (1864), Mons (1797), Namur (1800), Ostend (1861), Tournai (1794, housed in the Hôtel des Anciens Prêtres, 1755), Ypres (1839) and elsewhere, all conducted on the same system as the French communal libraries. Most of them range in size from 5000 to 40,000 vols. and they are open as a rule only part of the day. Every small town has a similar library, and a complete list of them, together with much other information, will be found in the Annuaire de la Belgique, scientifique, artistique et littéraire (Brussels 1908 and later issues).
The national library of Holland is the Koninklijke Bibliotheek at Hague, which was established in 1798, when it was decided to join the library of the princes of Orange with those of the defunct government bodies in order to form a library for the States-General, to be called the Holland. the present name was adopted; and since 1815 it has become the national library. In 1848 the Baron W. Y. H. van Westreenen van Tiellandt bequeathed his valuable books, MSS., coins and antiquities to the country, and directed that they should be preserved in his former residence as a branch of the royal library. There are now upwards of 500,000 vols. of printed books, and the MSS. number 6000, chiefly historical, but including many fine books of hours with miniatures. Books are lent all over the country. The library boasts of the richest collection in the world of books on chess, Dutch incunabula, Elzevirs and Spinozana. There is one general written catalogue arranged in classes, with alphabetical indexes. In 1800 a printed catalogue was issued, with four supplements down to 1811; and since 1866 a yearly list of additions has been published. Special mention should be made of the excellent catalogue of the incunabula published in 1856.Bibliotheek. In 1805
The next library in numerical importance is the famous Bibliotheca Academiae Lugduno-Batavae, which dates from the foundation of the university of Leiden by William I., prince of Orange, on the 8th of February 1575. It has acquired many valuable additions from the books and MSS. of the distinguished scholars, Golius, Joseph Scaliger, Isaac Voss, Ruhnken and Hemsterhuis. The MSS. comprehend many of great intrinsic importance. The library of the Society of Netherland Literature has been placed here since 1877; this is rich in the national history and literature. The Arabic and Oriental MSS. known as the Legatum Warnerianum are of great value and interest; and the collection of maps bequeathed in 1870 by J. J. Bodel Nyenhuis is also noteworthy. The library is contained in a building which was formerly a church of the Béguines, adapted in 1860 somewhat after the style of the British Museum. The catalogues (one alphabetical and one classified) are on slips, the titles being printed. A catalogue of books and MSS. was printed in 1716, one of books added between 1814 and 1847 and a supplementary part of MSS. only in 1850. A catalogue of the Oriental MSS. was published in 6 vols. (1851–1877). The Bibliotheek der Rijks Universiteit (1575) at Leiden contains over 190,000 vols.
The University Library at Utrecht dates from 1582, when certain conventual collections were brought together in order to form a public library, which was shortly afterwards enriched by the books bequeathed by Hub. Buchelius and Ev. Pollio. Upon the foundation of the university in 1636, the town library passed into its charge. Among the MSS. are some interesting cloister MSS. and the famous “Utrecht Psalter,” which contains the oldest text of the Athanasian creed. The last edition of the catalogue was in 2 vols. folio, 1834, with supplement in 1845, index from 1845–1855 in 8vo., and additions 1856–1870, 2 vols. 8vo. A catalogue of the MSS. was issued in 1887. The titles of accessions are now printed in sheets and pasted down for insertion. There are now about 250,000 vols. in the library.
The basis of the University Library at Amsterdam consists of a collection of books brought together in the 15th century and preserved in the Nieuwe Kerk. At the time of the Reformation in 1578 they became the property of the city, but remained in the Nieuwe Kerk for the use of the public till 1632, when they were transferred to the Athenaeum. Since 1877 the collection has been known as the University Library, and in 1881 it was removed to a building designed upon the plan of the new library and reading-room of the British Museum. The library includes the best collection of medical works in Holland, and the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana of Hebrew and Talmudic literature is of great fame and value; a catalogue of the last was printed in 1875. The libraries of the Dutch Geographical and other societies are preserved here. A general printed catalogue was issued in 6 vols. 8vo., Amsterdam (1856–1877); one describing the bequests of J. de Bosch Kemper, E. J. Potgieter and F. W. Rive, in 3 vols., 8vo. (1878–1879); a catalogue of the MSS. of Professor Moll was published in 1880, and one of those of P. Camper in 1881. Other catalogues have been published up to 1902, including one of the MSS. The library contains about half a million volumes. There are popular subscription libraries with reading-rooms in all parts of Holland, and in Rotterdam there is a society for the encouragement of social culture which has a large library as part of its equipment. At Hague, Leiden, Haarlem, Dordrecht and other towns popular libraries have been established, and there is a movement of recent growth, in favour of training librarians on advanced English lines.
The library of the Genootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen at Batavia contains books printed in Netherlandish India, works relating to the Indian Archipelago and adjacent countries, and the history of the Dutch in the East. There are 20,000 printed vols. and 1630 MSS., of which 243 are Arabic, 445 Malay, 303 Javanese, 60 Batak and 517 on lontar leaves, in the ancient Kawi, Javanese and Bali languages, &c. Printed catalogues of the Arabic, Malay, Javanese and Kawi MSS. have been issued.
Owing largely to so many Scandinavian librarians having been trained and employed in American libraries, a greater approach has been made to Anglo-American library ideals in Norway, Sweden and Denmark than anywhere else on the continent of Europe.
The beginning of the admirably managed national library of Denmark, the great Royal Library at Copenhagen (Det Store Kongelige Bibliothek) may be said to have taken place during the reign of Christian III. (1533–1559), who took pride in importing foreign books and choice MSS.; but the true Denmark. founder was Frederick III. (1648–1670); to him is mainly due the famous collection of Icelandic literature and the acquisition of Tycho Brahe’s MSS. The present building (in the Christiansborg castle) was begun in 1667. Among notable accessions may be mentioned the collections of C. Reitzer, the count of Danneskjöld (8000 vols. and 500 MSS.) and Count de Thott; the last bequeathed 6039 vols. printed before 1531, and the remainder of his books, over 100,000 vols., was eventually purchased. In 1793 the library was opened to the public, and it has since remained under state control. Two copies of every book published within the kingdom must be deposited here. The incunabula and block books form an important series. There is a general classified catalogue in writing for the use of readers; and an alphabetical one on slips arranged in boxes for the officials. A good catalogue of the de Thott collection was printed in 12 vols. 8vo. (1789–1795); a catalogue of the French MSS. appeared in 1844; of Oriental MSS., 1846; of the Danish collection, 1875, 8vo. Annual reports and accounts of notable MSS. have been published since 1864. The library now contains over 750,000 vols.
The University Library, founded in 1482, was destroyed by fire in 1728, and re-established shortly afterwards. A copy of every Danish publication must be deposited here. The MSS. include the famous Arne-Magnean collection. There are now about 400,000 vols. in this library. The Statsbiblioteket of Aarhus (1902) possesses about 200,000 vols. and the Landsbókasafn Islands (National Library) of Reykjavik, Iceland, has about 50,000 printed books and 5500 MSS. In Copenhagen there are 11 popular libraries supported in part by the city, and there are at least 50 towns in the provinces with public libraries and in some cases reading-rooms. An association for promoting public libraries was formed in 1905, and in 1909 the minister of public instruction appointed a special adviser in library matters. About 800 towns and villages are aided by the above named association, the state and local authorities, and it is estimated that they possess among them 500,000 vols., and circulate over 1,000,000 vols. annually.
The chief library in Norway is the University Library at Christiania, established at the same time as the university, September 2nd, 1811, by Frederick II., with a donation from the king of many thousands of duplicates from the Royal Library at Copenhagen, and since augmented by important bequests. Annual Norway. catalogues are issued and there are now over 420,000 vols. in the collection. The Deichmanske Bibliothek in Christiania was founded by Carl Deichmann in 1780 as a free library. In 1898 it was reorganized, and in 1903 the open shelf method was installed by Haakon Nyhuus, the librarian, who had been trained in the United States. The library is partly supported by endowment, partly by grants from the municipality. It now contains about 85,000 vols., and is a typical example of a progressive library. The Free Library at Bergen (1872) has about 90,000 vols. and has recently been re-housed in a new building. A free library, with open shelves, has also been opened at Trondhjem. The library connected with the Kongellige Videnskabers Selskab at Trondhjem now contains about 120,000 vols. Owing to the absence of small towns and villages in Norway, most of the library work is concentrated in the coast towns.
The Royal Library at Stockholm was first established in 1585. The original collection was given to the university of Upsala by Gustavus II., that formed by Christina is at the Vatican, and the library brought together by Charles X. was destroyed by fire in 1697. The present library was organized shortly afterwards. Sweden. The Benzelstjerna-Engeström Library (14,500 printed vols. and 1200 MSS.) rich in materials for Swedish history, is now annexed to it. Natural history, medicine and mathematics are left to other libraries. Among the MSS. the Codex Aureus of the 6th or 7th century, with its interesting Anglo-Saxon inscription, is particularly noteworthy. The catalogues are in writing, and are both alphabetical and classified; printed catalogues have been issued of portions of the MSS. The present building was opened in 1882. The library now contains about 320,000 printed books and over 11,000 MSS. The Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, contains a library of medical books numbering over 40,000.
The University Library at Upsala was founded by Gustavus Adolphus in 1620, from the remains of several convent libraries; he also provided an endowment. The MSS. chiefly relate to the history of the country, but include the Codex Argenteus, containing the Gothic gospels of Ulfilas. The general catalogue is in writing. A catalogue was printed in 1814; special lists of the foreign accessions have been published each year from 1850; the Arabic, Persian and Turkish MSS. are described by C. J Tornberg, 1846. It now contains about 340,000 printed books and MSS. The library at Lund dates from the foundation of the university in 1668, and was based upon the old cathedral library. The MSS. include the de la Gardie archives, acquired in 1848. There are about 200,000 vols. in the library. The Stadsbibliotek of Gothenburg contains about 100,000 vols., and has a printed catalogue.
The imperial Public Library at St Petersburg is one of the largest libraries in the world, and now possesses about 1,800,000 printed vols. and 34,000 MSS., as well as large collections of maps, autographs, photographs, &c. The beginning of this magnificent collection may be said to have been the books seized by the Czar Peter during his invasion of Courland in 1714; the library did not receive any notable augmentation, however, till the year 1795, when, by the acquisition of the famous Zaluski collection, the Imperial Library suddenly attained a place in the first rank among great European libraries. The Zaluski Library was formed by the Polish count Joseph Zaluski, who collected at his own expense during forty-three years no less than 200,000 vols., which were added to by his brother Andrew, bishop of Cracow, by whom in 1747 the library was thrown open to the public. At his death it was left under the control of the Jesuit College at Warsaw; on the suppression of the order it was taken care of by the Commission of Education; and finally in 1795 it was transferred by Suwaroff to St Petersburg as a trophy of war. It then extended to 260,000 printed vols. and 10,000 MSS., but in consequence of the withdrawal of many medical and illustrated works to enrich other institutions, hardly 238,000 vols. remained in 1810. Literature, history and theology formed the main features of the Zaluski Library; the last class alone amounted to one-fourth of the whole number. Since the beginning of the 19th century, through the liberality of the sovereigns, the gifts of individuals, careful purchases, and the application of the law of 1810, whereby two copies of every Russian publication must be deposited here, the Imperial Library has attained its present extensive dimensions. Nearly one hundred different collections, some of them very valuable and extensive, have been added from time to time. They include, for example, the Tolstoi Sclavonic collection (1830), Tischendorf’s MSS. (1858), the Dolgorousky Oriental MSS. (1859), and the Firkowitsch Hebrew (Karaite) collection (1862–1863), the libraries of Adelung (1858) and Tobler (1877), that of the Slavonic scholar Jungmann (1856), and the national MSS. of Karamzin (1867). This system of acquiring books, while it has made some departments exceedingly rich, has left others comparatively meagre. The library was not regularly opened to the public until 1814; it is under the control of the minister of public instruction. There are fine collections of Aldines and Elzevirs, and the numerous incunabula are instructively arranged.
The manuscripts include 26,000 codices, 41,340 autographs, 4689 charters and 576 maps. The glory of this department is the celebrated Codex Sinaiticus of the Greek Bible, brought from the convent of St Catherine on Mount Sinai by Tischendorf in 1859. Other important Biblical and patristic codices are to be found among the Greek and Latin MSS.; the Hebrew MSS. include some of the most ancient that exist, and the Samaritan collection is one of the largest in Europe; the Oriental MSS. comprehend many valuable texts, and among the French are some of great historical value. The general catalogues are in writing, but many special catalogues of the MSS. and printed books have been published.
The nucleus of the library at the Hermitage Palace was formed by the empress Catherine II., who purchased the books and MSS. of Voltaire and Diderot. In the year 1861 the collection amounted to 150,000 vols., of which nearly all not relating to the history of art were then transferred to the Imperial Library. There are many large and valuable libraries attached to the government departments in St Petersburg, and most of the academies and colleges and learned societies are provided with libraries.
The second largest library in Russia is contained in the Public Museum at Moscow. The class of history is particularly rich, and Russian early printed books are well represented. The MSS. number 5000, including many ancient Sclavonic codices and historical documents of value. One room is devoted to a collection of Masonic MSS., which comprehend the archives of the lodges in Russia between 1816 and 1821. There is a general alphabetical catalogue in writing; the catalogue of the MSS. has been printed, as well as those of some of the special collections. This large and valuable library now contains close upon 1,000,000 printed books and MSS. The Imperial University at Moscow (1755) has a library of over 310,000 vols., and the Duchovnaja Academy has 120,000 vols. The Imperial Russian Historical Museum (1875–1883) in Moscow contains nearly 200,000 vols. and most of the state institutions and schools are supplied with libraries. All the Russian universities have libraries, some of them being both large and valuable—Dorpat (1802) 400,000 vols.; Charkov (1804) 180,000 vols.; Helsingfors (1640–1827) 193,000 vols.; Kasan (1804) 242,000 vols.; Kiev (1832) 125,000 vols.; Odessa (1865) 250,000 vols.; and Warsaw (1817) 550,000 vols. There are also communal or public libraries at Charkov (1886) 110,000 vols.; Odessa (1830) 130,000 vols.; Reval (1825) 40,000 vols.; Riga, 90,000 vols.; Vilna (1856) 210,000 vols. and many other towns. A text-book on library economy, based on Graesel and Brown, was issued at St Petersburg in 1904.
At Athens the National Library (1842) possesses about 260,000 vols., and there is also a considerable library at the university. The Public Library at Corfu has about 40,000 vols. Belgrade University Library has 60,000 vols. and the University Library of Sofia has 30,000 vols. Constantinople University in 1910 had a library in process of formation, and there are libraries at the Greek Literary Society (20,000 vols.) and Theological School (11,000 vols.).
Chinese books were first written on thin slips of bamboo, which were replaced by silk or cloth scrolls in the 3rd century B.C., paper coming into use in the beginning of the 2nd century. These methods were customary down to the 10th or 11th century. There were no public libraries in the western sense.
The practice of forming national collections of the native literature originated in the attempts to recover the works destroyed in the “burning of the books” by the “First Emperor” (220 B.C.). In 190 B.C. the law for the suppression of literary works was repealed, but towards the close of the 1st century B.C. many works were still missing. Hsiao Wu (139–86 B.C.) formed the plan of Repositories, in which books might be stored, with officers to transcribe them. Liu Hsiang (80–9 B.C.) was specially appointed to classify the literature and form a library. His task was completed by his son, and the resumé of their labours is a detailed catalogue with valuable notes describing 11,332 “sections” (volumes) by 625 authors. Similar national collections were formed by nearly every succeeding dynasty. The high estimation in which literature has always been held has led to the formation of very large imperial, official and private collections of books. Large numbers of works, chiefly relating to Buddhism and Taoism, are also stored in many of the temples. Chinese books are usually in several, and frequently in many volumes. The histories and encyclopaedias are mostly of vast dimensions. Collections of books are kept in wooden cupboards or on open shelves, placed on their sides, each set (t’ao) of volumes (pên) being protected and held together by two thin wooden or card boards, one forming the front cover (in a European book) and the other the back cover, joined by two cords or tapes running round the whole. By untying and tying these tapes the t’ao is opened and closed. The titles of the whole work and of each section are written on the edge (either the top or bottom in a European book) and so face outwards as it lies on the shelf. Catalogues are simple lists with comments on the books, not the systematic and scientific productions used in Western countries. There are circulating libraries in large numbers in Peking, Canton and other cities. See E. T. C. Werner, “Chinese Civilisation” (in H. Spencer’s Descriptive Sociology, pt. ix.).
The ancient history of libraries in Japan is analogous to that of China, with whose civilization and literature it had close relations. Since about 1870, however, the great cities and institutions have established libraries on the European model.
Perhaps the most extensive library of the empire is that of the Imperial Cabinet (1885) at Tokio with over 500,000 vols., consisting of the collections of the various government departments, and is for official use alone. The University Library (1872) is the largest open to students and the public; it contains over 400,000 vols. of which 230,000 are Chinese and Japanese. The Public Library and reading-room (Tosho-Kwan) at Ueno Park (1872) was formed in 1872 and contains over 250,000 vols., of which about one-fifth are European books. At Tokio are also to be found the Ohashi Library (1902) with 60,000 vols. and the Hibaya Library (1908) with 130,000 vols. and the Nanki Library (1899) with 86,000 vols. The library of the Imperial University of Kyoto contains nearly 200,000 vols., of which over 90,000 are in European languages. To this is attached the library of the Fukuoka Medical College with 113,000 vols. The Municipal Library of Kyoto (1898) contains 46,000 vols. Other important municipal libraries in Japan are those at Akita in the province of Ugo (1899), 47,000 vols., at Mito, province of Hitachi (1908), 25,000 vols., Narita, province of Shimosa (1901), 36,000 vols., chiefly Buddhistic, Yamaguchi, province of Suó (1907), 23,000 vols. The libraries of the large temples often contain books of value to the philologist. Lending libraries of native and Chinese literature have existed in Japan from very early times.
Library Associations and Training
The first and largest association established for the study of librarianship was the American Library Association (1876). The Library Association of the United Kingdom was formed in 1877 as an outcome of the first International Library Conference, held at London, and in 1898 it received a royal charter. It publishes a Year Book, the monthly Library Association Record, and a number of professional handbooks. It also holds examinations in Literary History, Bibliography and Library Economy, and issues certificates and diplomas. There are also English and Scottish district library associations. The Library Assistants Association was formed in 1895 and has branches in different parts of England, Wales and Ireland. It issues a monthly magazine entitled The Library Assistant. There is an important Library Association in Germany which issues a year-book giving information concerning the libraries of the country, and a similar organization in Austria-Hungary which issues a magazine at irregular intervals. An Association of Archivists and Librarians was formed at Brussels in 1907, and there are similar societies in France, Italy, Holland and elsewhere. In every country there is now some kind of association for the study of librarianship, archives or bibliography. International conferences have been held at London, 1877; London, 1897; Paris (at Exhibition), 1903; St Louis, 1904; Brussels (preliminary), 1908; and Brussels, 1910.
Library Periodicals.—The following is a list of the current periodicals which deal with library matters, with the dates of their establishment and place of publication: The Library Journal (New York, 1876); The Library (London, 1889); Public Libraries (Chicago, 1896); The Library World (London, 1898); The Library Assistant (1898); The Library Association Record (1899); Library Work (Minneapolis, U.S., 1906); Bulletin of the American Library Association (Boston, 1907); Revue des bibliothèques (Paris, 1891); Bulletin des bibliothèques populaires (Paris, 1906); Courrier des Bibliothèques (Paris); Bulletin de l’institut international de bibliographie (Brussels, 1895); Revue des bibliothèques et archives de Belgique (Brussels, 1903); Tijdschrift voor (Hague, 1903); De Boekzaal (Hague, 1907); Bogsamlingsbladet (Copenhagen, 1906); For Folke-og Barnboksamlinger (Christiania, 1906); Folkebibliotheksbladet (Stockholm, 1903); Zentralblatt für Bibliothekswesen (Leipzig, 1884); Blätter für Volksbibliotheken und Lesehallen (1899; occasional supplement to the above); Bibliographie des Bibliotheks- und Buchwesens (ed. by Adalbert Hortzschansky, 1904; issued in the Zentralblatt); Jahrbuch der Deutschen Bibliotheken (Leipzig, 1902); Minerva. Jahrbuch der gelehrten Welt (Strassburg, 1890); Mitteilungen des österreichischen Vereins für Bibliothekswesen (Vienna, 1896); Ceská Osvéta (Novy Bydzov, Bohemia, 1905); Revista delle biblioteche e degli archivi (Florence, 1890); Bollettino delle biblioteche popolari (Milan, 1907); Revista de Archivos, Bibliotecas y Museos Madrid (1907); The Gakuto (Tokio, Japan, 1897). (H. R. T.; J. D. Br.)
- See Menant, Bibliothèque du palais de Ninive (Paris, 1880).
- Grote, History of Greece, iv. 37, following Becker.
- Ritschl, Die alexandrinischen Bibliotheken, p. 22; Opusc. phil. i. § 123.
- N.A. vi. 17.
- De tranq. an. 9.
- Parthey (Alexandrinisches Museum) assigns topographical reasons for doubting this story.
- Some of the authorities have been collected by Parthey, op. cit.
- The oldest catalogue of a western library is that of the monastery of Fontanelle in Normandy compiled in the 8th century. Many catalogues may be found in the collections of D’Achery, Martene and Durand, and Pez, in the bibliographical periodicals of Naumann and Petzholdt and the Centralblatt f. Bibliothekswissenschaft. The Rev. Joseph Hunter has collected some particulars as to the contents of the English monastic libraries, and Ed. Edwards has printed a list of the catalogues (Libraries and Founders of Libraries, 1865, pp. 448–454). See also G. Becker, Catalogi Bibliothecarum Antiqui (1885). There are said to be over six hundred such catalogues in the Royal Library at Munich. In the 14th century the Franciscans compiled a general catalogue of the MSS. in 160 English libraries and about the year 1400 John Boston, a Benedictine monk of Bury, travelled over England and a part of Scotland and examined the libraries of 195 religious houses (Tanner, Bibliotheca Brit. Hibern. 1748). Leland’s list of the books he found during his visitation of the houses in 1539–1545 is printed in his Collectanea (ed. Hearne, 1715, 6 vols.). T. W. Williams has treated Gloucestershire and Bristol medieval libraries and their catalogues in a paper in the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch. Soc. vol. xxxi.
- This subject has been specially treated by J. Willis Clark in several works, of which the chief is a masterly volume, The Care of Books (1901). See also Dom Gasquet, “On Medieval Monastic Libraries,” in his Old English Bible (1897).
- Among the Arabs, however, as among the Christians, theological bigotry did not always approve of non-theological literature, and the great library of Cordova was sacrificed by Almanzor to his reputation for orthodoxy, 978 A.D.
- Guide to Librarianship by J. D. Brown (1909).