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further was done till Mr. Buckingham introduced a short bill into Parliament in 1836, which proposed to abolish the gratuitous delivery of eleven copies, and to make a grant to the British Museum, sufficient to buy one copy of each published book, at the wholesale price. It was on this occasion that a Professor of the University of Cambridge and a Library Syndic, took occasion to declare himself in favour of the motion. On account of the office connected with the Library which he had held, he claimed some authority for what he said. He had "been assured by the Librarian of that University, they had a great many books transmitted to them which were not worth a place in the Library, and that many works of great value never "reached them until a very long period after the time of their publica"tion." (Hansard, April 28, 1836). If the honourable gentleman had turned to the Act of Parliament, he would have discovered that the delay complained of rested with the governing body of the Library, of which he himself was a member. After this patriotic proceeding, it is somewhat curious to find the Professor of Political Economy offering his services to the University, and aspiring to the office of Assessor, one of whose ordinary duties is to examine Bills presented to either House of Parliament with reference to the interests of the University. Afterwards it was proposed in Committee to grant out of the Consolidated Fund £500 a year to each of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and £200 a year to Sion College for buying books alone. Finally, however, it was decided to retain five gratuitous copies for the British Museum, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, and Dublin, and the remaining six Libraries received compensation for the loss of their privileges. In the Bills subsequently brought forward by Sergeant Talfourd and Lord Mahon from 1838 to 1842, for the advantage of authors and publishers, no attempt seems to have been made to disturb the arrangement of 1837, respecting the five gratuitous copies.
60. It is certainly expedient that the privilege should be confined to those Libraries which are able to make a proper use of it. The University of Cambridge has spent in the course of the last 27 years, as we have seen, probably £117,000 in building, binding and buying books, salaries, &c., for the Library. It appears natural that an author, who has any opinion of the value of his own work, should esteem it a privilege, rather than an injury, to have it placed and preserved in such a collection. Again, a great part of the books published are never sold off, and five copies are thus preserved, if claimed, from being used as waste paper; while, on the other hand, this is an exceedingly light tax on those books which do sell, in return for the monopoly secured by the Copyright Law. The payment of the Syndics for the colouring of expensive works, removes a difficulty which the law could not touch without leading to numerous evasions. Still great discretion will be required, lest, in endeavouring to avoid an injustice to the author, too much be charged to the Library Fund. An attempt has been made to ridicule the title of the Act which granted these gratuitous copies, as if its effect was rather to oppress than encourage learning. When, however, a full consideration is given to the whole matter the purchase of foreign books to render the Library complete, and the careful preservation of all for present and future
use, it becomes very apparent that learning is thus greatly encouraged. And those publishers who object to the Universities having this privilege, should be reminded that their trade is thus indirectly benefited.
61. Reports of Commissioners are, in general, based on some kind of evidence favouring their own views, but, so far as respects the claim of the University Library to gratuitous copies of books, the recommendations of the Cambridge Commissioners are directly opposed to the only evidence referred to that of the Librarian. They do, however, give their reasons, and we can thus examine by what process they arrived at a result which has surprised every one. They say that "of the books which are received, the greatest part are of "little worth, or are better suited for a popular circulating Library "than for one which is designed for a repository of the permanent "literature and science of all nations. The cost also incurred for "binding this vast multitude of books, for arranging and collecting pamphlets and periodicals, for entering them in the catalogues, and "for payment of the expenses of agent for collecting them at Stationers' Hall, is probably not much less than £600 per annum.' Again, "the cost of providing space and fittings for the reception of books supplies another argument against the accumulation of such as possess a temporary interest only." This expense of accommodation is then stated to have been at the rate of £250 for every 1000 volumes in the New Library, and it is afterwards added, that "This consider"ation alone renders necessary the exercise of great vigilance and "caution in the selection and purchase of books, in order to see that "their intrinsic value, whether for purposes of reference or study, "is sufficient to justify the large expenditure required for their re"ception and preservation." It is difficult to say whether the foregoing passages are intended to be directed against the Library in general, or merely against the collection of perfectly useless books. If the latter be the case, their estimate of £600 a year, as the additional yearly expense thereby incurred, is, at least, ten times the sum that need be spent for "binding," "arranging and collecting," "entering,” and "agent for collecting."
62. The Commissioners afterwards proceed with their argument, and they affirm that if the University Library is designed to be made a permanent record of the national literature, it ought to be furnished "with adequate funds for binding, cataloguing, and preserving them, as well as for providing a proper building for receiving "them." "But none of these conditions are fulfilled," and, therefore, we are induced by these considerations to think that the privilege "which the Copyright Act gives to the University might be advantageously commuted for a money payment, to be expended in the "purchase and binding of such works recently published as might "be deemed to be worth preserving." (Report, p. 129). simple and sufficient reply to this reasoning is, that the University and its Members, chiefly by subscriptions, make most ample provision, not only for "binding, cataloguing, and preserving" those granted under the Copyright Act, but for providing in addition, all desirable works published in Italy, France, and Germany. The importance of a good Library for the well-being of the University, is generally felt, and it is only to be regretted, that the truly noble contributions made for its service have not been turned to better account.
63. The following summary of a return made to Parliament in 1849, of the number of books and parts received under the Copyright Act, will at once shew how impossible it is to name any fixed money commutation, that may not prove highly injurious to the prosperity of the Library in future.
64. It is somewhat strange, that, although three of the five Commissioners had been Members of the Library Syndicate for 15, 20, and 33 years, respectively, they should not themselves have previously attempted to carry out the policy which they recommend. Did it never strike them that proper regulations would prevent the Library from being used as a circulating Library, or as a substitute for a book club? Did they not recollect that a demand in writing must be made in order to establish a claim to a book, and that thus any selection may be made much better under the existing, than under the proposed system? Did they ever suggest any remedy for the numerous evils detailed in the evidence of the Librarian? Did they forget that if, instead of employing an agent at a salary of £63 a year, to claim books, we adopt their system of commutation, then one-fifth of the money expended must be paid for the charges and services of booksellers? The strenuous efforts of the Member of the First Syndicate in 1831, in favour of Mr. Cockerell's design, have been already detailed with some minuteness. After having succeeded in his endeavours to involve the University in this extravagant scheme, it is somewhat ungracious in him as a Commissioner, to unite in a recommendation to deprive the University of the privilege of claiming books, alleging as a principal reason for so doing, the great cost of the part built. And further, a comparison of the styles of the "Observations" and the account of the Public Library in the Commissioners' Report, will leave little doubt that they have proceeded from the same writer.
65. The select Committee on Public Libraries thought proper to enquire very minutely into the custom prevailing among the Continental nations, with respect to the supply of their great Libraries. They circulated a series of fifteen questions, the last of which related to claims to free copies. Replies were obtained through the intervention of the British representatives at the several Courts, which shew that the custom of demanding copies for the use of National and University Libraries is very general. Thus, Bavaria, Belgium, and France, require three copies each. Greece gives one to the Public and one to the University Library. Hanover assigns one to the Royal Library and one to the Library of
the University of Gottingen. Hamburg, Lubeck, Nassau, Sardinia, Netherlands, and Wirtemburg require one free copy each. In Hesse Cassel, Cassel, and the University of Marburg receive one copy each. In Hesse Darmstadt, one copy is given to the Grand Ducal Library, one to Giessen University, and one to Mayence City Library. Prussia, the Royal Library at Berlin is entitled to one free copy of every publication, and the several Libraries of the Universities of Berlin, Bonn, Breslau, Halle, Konigsberg, and Westphalia, receive one copy each of all books published in their respective provinces. In 1846, the United States also granted one free copy to the Congress Library, and one to the Smithsonian Institution, and in the contemplated international Copyright treaty with them, it is stipulated that England shall give two, but receive only one free copy.
66. It may be useful to collect from the evidence given before the Committee on Public Libraries, the sentiments of a few distinguished men, of various nations, respecting the proper and possible principle of forming a really good and large Library; and as to the reasonableness of requiring for this purpose, the contribution of a few copies of all published books. The opinions of experienced Librarians seem to be, in this respect, of more value than those of literary or scientific men, who confine their attention to one or two branches of learning, because the former are placed in positions that enable them to obtain a knowledge of the requirements of all. M. Guizot expresses his decided approval of the system of demanding free copies of books for Public Libraries; it is a small burthen and the utility is great, (Question, 526). Three copies of every edition are claimed in France (504); there is no serious complaint about it (527); the expense of the work makes no difference (529). M. Van de Weyer, Minister of his Majesty the King of the Belgians, states that the Belgian law requires the delivery of three gratuitous copies of every book (630); it has never been complained of by authors or publishers (633); copies of all sorts of works are exacted, and of every edition (635). "A great Library ought to be the receptacle of books that are "found nowhere else but there; and it is for that purpose that money "is granted to them for buying books, which may add comparatively little "value to the collection," (712); they ought not, therefore, to despise any publication. M. W. Libri states that two or three copies are claimed in Italy (1870), and of every edition (1888). He thinks it quite necessary that there should be a certain number of large Libraries, in which every book that is published, of every description, should be deposited (1901); it is quite necessary for the inquiries of learned men, (1902). And Mr. Panizzi elsewhere replies to the question :must the British Museum possess and preserve all the trash that is "published ?"- -as follows:- "What is trash? What is the book "printed in the British Dominions--for the argument is only respecting them-utterly unworthy of a place in the National Library? Who is "to judge of it and to discriminate? Are novels trash? Who is to "decide between a Scott and a -? Is poetry trash? The poems of "Wordsworth might be likewise rejected... What sums are now given for the trash' published in the reigns of Henry VIII., Eliza"beth, and James I. ?...The Bodleian Library is now paying very high "prices, and very properly too, for pamphlets and plays, which its first
“Librarian, Dr. James, in vain urged its illustrious founder to pur"chase when new." Parl. Paper, British Museum, (115), 1846, p. 35.
67. With this evidence before them, the Committee did not venture to recommend that the Universities should be deprived of the privilege of claiming books under the Copyright Act, but suggested that their Libraries should be thrown open to the Public. In support of this view they instanced the Belgian University Libraries; but, on turning to the evidence of M. Van de Weyer, it appears that these were municipal Libraries, which have been ceded to the Universities of Liege and Ghent, with the stipulation, "that, they should always remain the "property of the Towns, should the Universities, by some chance or other, be removed to other places." It is thus manifest that the cases of the Belgian and English University Libraries are by no means parallel. There can, however, doubtless be no objection to allow persons, not Members of the University, to refer to books, under proper regulations, and no one, who wishes to consult the Library for literary purposes, finds any difficulty in obtaining access to it; but surely the University will not be expected to provide reading rooms, books, and attendants for all comers, after the manner of the British Museum; more especially, as the same Committee, in the following year, proposed the formation of popular London Libraries, and alleged as a reason for the expediency of so doing, that, by this means, the "British Museum would be relieved from a numerous class of readers, "who might be equally well accommodated elsewhere," (Report, 1850).
68. Although many Undergraduates procure books from the University Library through the intervention of friends, yet it is very desirable that a reading room should be provided for them with all convenient speed. As a means of employing the spacious New Library for some useful purpose, without interfering much with the Architectural display, I would suggest that the West end be fenced off by wire lattice-work, and used as a reading room. The books in the front shelves should be replaced by Encyclopædias, Dictionaries, and other works of reference. Independent access to the lock-up cases might be obtained, at a small expense, and without any great sacrifice of room for books, by removing the short shelves ab, cd, Fig. 2. The books, might then be given out from the doorways of the present lock-up cases. The room is spacious and well warmed, and is already provided with an independent entrance opposite to Trinity Hall. Strangers wishing to see the Library, could thus be brought into the show-room at once, and there would be no further necessity for admitting any one to the old Library, who was not accompanied by a Graduate.
69. The Public Library has now been for a century under the management of a Syndicate composed of the Heads of Colleges, all Doctors, and public Professors, the Orator, and the six annual Officers, Proctors, Taxors and Scrutators. Although there are about seventy Members of this Syndicate, sometimes so many as twenty, but generally only seven or eight attend the meetings, (Ev. p. 51). This being an official Syndicate, many Members excuse themselves by saying that they have never consented to act. But as the present ruling body seem either to feel so little interest in the Library, or to have so little time to attend to its concerns, it becomes very desirable that the change