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Being the full titles, with descriptive notes, of all books recorded in the Publishers'
annual lists and directory of publishers
THE ANNUAL AMERICAN CATALOGUE for 1886 was intended as the first volume of a yearly series which should complete the system of trade bibliography connected with the office of the PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY, and it gave for the first time in continuous annual form the full information as to all the books entered by that journal during the year. Its success, though moderate, was sufficient to justify the continuation of the enterprise, and the ANNUAL AMERICAN CATALOGUE for 1887 is accordingly presented herewith. It follows the same general plan as the preceding volume-a plan which is more nearly complete and we trust more satisfactory than that of any Annual Catalogue issued in any other country or previously in our own.
The Catalogue of last year was, however, made by a photographic process, which had certain advantages, but also certain defects. This year an experiment has been made of electrotyping the title of each book as it was recorded in the PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY and preserving these in individual electrotype plates. At the end of the year, these tiny plates were alphabeted and tacked upon wooden blocks, and the present Catalogue is printed, not from process plates, but from actual electrotypes. This is practically the development of a plan originally suggested by Professor Jewett, of the Smithsonian Institution, more than a generation ago—the first time, we believe, in which his plan has been put into practical operation.
It is impossible at this writting to say which of the two plans proves superior in mechanical execution and in money economy. After the issue of the present Catalogue, we shall hope to present in the PUBLISHERS' WEEKLY some statement of the comparative cost and convenience in preparation, and users of the two will be able to compare for themselves the mechanical execution. It is fair to say, however, that the gelatine process used for last year's Catalogue was worked at that time under considerable disadvantages and that its proprietors now claim to be able to do much better work. The method of the present Catalogue is a new departure in such work, and the question of method is one of much importance, not only as to the future continuation of this Catalogue, but in many relations in the library profession and the book-trade. Some few lapses of alphabeting may be discovered, owing to the difficulty of fitting the little plates accurately to the length of the column without occasional transposition.
The editor again begs to acknowledge the services of Miss M. M. Monachesi in making most of the title-entries and descriptive notes, and of Mr. A. Growoll in the practical work of arranging the Catalogue and in general oversight.
The Index has this year been made by actually preserving the type of the monthly indexes and merging these into one alphabet from time to time. This we had hoped would be a considerable saving both in editorial labor and in money cost. It is doubtful, however, whether there has been a real saving in either direction. The limits of saving in this work are reached much sooner than we had supposed, and the amount of correction