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By Order of the Lords of the Committee of Council on Education.
Vol. I.-A to K.
LONDON: PUBLISHED BY CHAPMAN AND HALL, 193, PICCADILLY, W.,
43, WELLINGTON STREET, W.C.
The Proof Sheets of which this Volume consists are circulated for the purpose of obtaining additional information and corrections.
Liberma 5-21-27 15081 avols.
BY THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LORDS OF THE COMMITTEE OF HER MAJESTY'S MOST HONOURABLE PRIVY COUNCIL ON EDUCATION.
At South Kensington, 25th day of January 1870.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE EARL THE RIGHT HONOURABLE W. E.
MY LORDS read the following Memorandum, prepared by Mr. Cole, on the Proofs of the Universal Catalogue of Books on Art, which They direct shall be inserted in the first volume of the Catalogue.
1. On the 5th April 1864 I had the honour to submit the following Memorandum to the Lord President of the Council (the Earl Granville, K.G.) and the Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education (the Right Hon. H. A. Bruce, M.P.), who were pleased to approve of the proposal.
1. Instead of making the Catalogues for the Art Library and the educational and other scientific divisions of the South Kensington Museum dependent upon the accidental collection of works, I recommend that measures be taken for forming a Catalogue of all those works in the languages of all countries, which ought if possible to be found in the respective divisional libraries.
2. To do this, it would be necessary to search the Catalogues of the British Museum, the Bodleian and other British libraries, as well as the libraries of continental Europe and the United States.
3. The proposed Catalogues would therefore represent certain classes of literature tolerably complete up to a given date.
4. Such Catalogues being once printed, would supersede the necessity for the editions at present constantly recurring.
5. By indicating in the Catalogues the works as they are obtained, the deficiencies of the collection, as well as its possessions, would always be patent.
6. Such Catalogues would be useful in all libraries, and to students in all parts of the world, and would in the end prove more economical and much more useful than the present system.
This recommendation is based on a suggestion of Mr. Dilke's, made in the Athenæum before 1851. (Mr. Dilke died in 1864.)
(Signed) HENRY COLE, General Superintendent.
At a subsequent Board meeting, 12th October 1865, the following minute was passed :
1. The South Kensington Museum has been furnished with an Art Library which is always on the increase, and for this Library, as far as it has been practicable, every important work has been collected, bearing on the history, literature, and illustration of Fine Art, and Art applied to industry.
2. Several editions of the Catalogue of the Library have been printed and published from time to time; but these, from the daily increase of the Library, have become imperfect almost as soon as they have been issued.
3. With the object of providing against an imperfection of continual recurrence such as the foregoing, and for other considerations, my Lords have ordered the compilation of a Catalogue on a basis altogether new.
4. It is proposed that the New Catalogue shall include not only the books in the Library, but all books printed and published, at the date of the issue of the Catalogue, that could be required to make the Library perfect; that is, to compile a universal record of printed Art books which are known to exist up to that period, wherever they may happen to be at the time.
5. It is obvious that immediate perfection cannot be expected in such a work, and that many deficiencies, errors, and imperfections must constantly be met with. It is therefore proposed, by means of occasional supplements, to rectify them and to add notices of any books not brought to light at the time of issue, as well as of such further publications as continue to appear.
6. By reference to the proposed Catalogue, any reader in the Art Library of the Museum would thus find a clue, not only to the works he was looking for in the actual collections of the Library, but to other works bearing on his course of studies which had not as yet been obtained, but which had been ascertained to form part of other libraries, whether public or not, either in our own or in any foreign country. All rare books would have a reference given to the libraries in which they are to be ..found. By this means also the deficiencies of the Art Library would be demonstrated, and provision made for its ultimate completion.
7. Such a Catalogue, it is thought, would prove a valuable acquisition to Art literature throughout the world, and would have such an international interest as. to justify Her Majesty's Government in inviting the co-operation of other Governments towards its accomplishment.
8. The nature, however, of such an undertaking entails difficulties partly inherent, as having reference to the proper limits of the special subject-matter of the Catalogue itself, and partly from the scattered position of libraries and collections, many of them unfurnished with any trustworthy and attainable account, either printed or manuscript, of their own contents, from which the Catalogue, so far as it refers to books not in the South Kensington Library, must of necessity be compiled.
2. Accordingly the materials for the titles of the books have been obtained, with the uniformly courteous assistance of the Librarians, from the Catalogues of the Libraries of the British Museum, the Bodleian Library Oxford, Trinity College Dublin, Royal Society London, London Institution, Royal Institute of British Architects, London Library, the Athenæum, Soane Museum, the Cicognara Collection, and numerous Foreign Libraries, together with those in the National Art Library at the South Kensington Museum. These materials have been enriched by notices which have been furnished from time to time, and received from the commencement of the Catalogue to the close of 1869, from upwards of 400 correspondents (see note, page vi.) in different parts of the world. The following
return will show the various languages in which titles of books have been received towards the completion of the Catalogue :
3. Instead of waiting for years before printing the titles in course of being collected, it was decided to publish portions of the Catalogue in "Notes and Queries," as proofs. This work must therefore only be judged as one subject to future revision, condensation, and additions. There is no doubt that a mass of information has been obtained through this mode of publication which would have been impossible except by some such process.
4. After preparation of the rough titles so collected they have been revised by Mr. John Hungerford Pollen, M.A., late Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, who was appointed the editor of the Catalogue. It is right to mention that in the official preparation of the work assistance has been given by Mr. Philip Cunliffe Owen, an assistant director of the Museum, by Dr. Appell, an Assistant Keeper, and by the following provisional assistants, Mr. H. Vernon, Mr. A. Masson, Mr. Kesson, and Mr. Macaulife.
5. It is estimated that these proofs will furnish about sixty-seven thousand notices of printed works relating to Art interpreted in a wide sense, but many additional titles of works printed before 1870 will be hereafter obtained. The collection of them will be a work of considerable time. In the preparation of the first proofs it was necessary to adopt the usual principle of arranging the titles under the authors' names, as far as possible. It is intended to complete the Catalogue by sub-classifications, 1st under subjects, 2nd according to chronology, 3rd according to the country where the work was printed; and I recommend that this be proceeded with through the ordinary staff of the Art Library.
6. I am happy to be able to report that the cost of this work will be within the original estimate.* Its use, I feel confident, will be great in the Schools of Art in the United Kingdom and all other similar institutions, as well as to students of Art in all countries.
22nd January 1870.
Director of the South Kensington Museum.
* See Parliamentary Paper, " Universal Art Catalogue," ordered to be printed, 18th June 1867.