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EDITED BY

DR. RICHARD GARNETT

III

LIBRARY ADMINISTRATION The Library Series

EDITED BY DR. RICHARD GARNETT

I. THE FREE LIBRARY: Its History and

Present Condition. By J. J. OGLE, of Bootle

Free Library. Cloth, 6s. net. II. LIBRARY CONSTRUCTION, ARCHITEC

TURE, AND FITTINGS. By F. J. BURGOYNE, of the Tate Central Library, Brixton.

With 141 Illustrations. Cloth, 6s. net. III. LIBRARY ADMINISTRATION. By J.

MACFARLANE, of the British Museum. Cloth,

6s. net. IV. THE PRICES OF BOOKS. By H. B.

WHEATLEY, of the Society of Arts. Cloth, 6s. net.

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LONDON
GEORGE ALLEN, 156, CHARING CROSS ROAD

1898
(All rights reserved]

“ Laudo (ut ingenue fatear) eam librorum thecam, quæ non spectabili tantum ædificio, non librorum tum copia tum splendore relucet, quæve solum præclaram ostendit supellectilem, et incomparabilem thesaurum, sed quæ eundem communicabilem exhibet, reddidit accommodam dispensationi, docet methodum, ac ordinem locandorum, inquirendorum, inveniendorum librorum.”

Florianus Treflerus : Methodus exhibens per varios indices, et classes subinde, quorumlibet librorum, cuiuslibet bibliothecæ, breuem, facilem, imitabilem ordinationem, &c. Augustæ [1560]. 8vo.

EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

Ozosan&os,

THE subject of library administration, treated by Mr. MACFARLANE in the following pages, is one upon which, from one point of view, it is difficult to say too much, and upon which, from another, it is difficult to say anything. So far as the description of existing systems and the exposition of important details are concerned, the extent of the subject, had more space been available, would have justified a treatment yet fuller than it has here received, but the scope for positive precept is very limited. So dissimilar are the extent, the characteristics, and the needs of libraries, that few rules of universal application can be given, and the attempt to deduce such from the practice of exceptional libraries can only end in disappointment. In fact, any particular system, such, for instance, as the card-catalogue, which may suit any given library perfectly well at certain stages of its development, may diminish in efficiency in proportion to its growth, and eventually become impracticable. The Museum manuscriptcatalogue on movable slips affords a striking instance. Nothing could have been more convenient

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